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14-man Kerry survive Banner scare as James O'Donoghue marks his return with 0-9

Donnchadh Walsh was sent-off in the first-half.

Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Kerry 1-18

Clare 1-12

JAMES O’DONOGHUE SLAPPED over nine points on his return from injury as 14-man Kerry beat Clare in the Munster semi-final.

The Kingdom will now play Cork in the provincial decider on July 2 at Pairc Ui Chaoimh after their 1-18 to 1-12 win in Ennis.

The Banner put up a stiff resistance through the first half and early in the second but O’Donoghue and impact sub Stephen O’Brien — who scored a fine goal — proved the difference.

Clare started brightly as David Tubridy hit two points inside six minutes leaving the Banner three points to nil ahead.

The four-in-a-row Munster champions hit back to make it 0-3 to 0-2 but Tubridy then scored a penalty on 17 minutes after Keelan Sexton was brought down by Donnchadh Walsh.

In fact, so many of the main talking points from the first half revolved around Walsh. On 32 minutes, he had a strong case for a penalty turned down when he seemed to be tugged back inside the area. Then, less then a minute later, referee Padraig Hughes produced a second yellow card for the Cromane man.

Kerry had managed just 0-2 from play in the first half but Clare had begun to tire, and only levelled 1-5 to 0-8 before the interval through Ciaran Russell with their first shot for 15 minutes.

Stephen O’Brien was introduced at the switching of ends and has his name on the scoresheet four minutes later, with Paul Geaney doing likewise to whittle the deficit after frees from Eoin Cleary (2) and Cathal O’Connor.

Then came the turning point: wing-forward Jamie Malone cruised through the Kerry defence and fired off a shot at Brian Kelly’s goal, only to see it cannon off the crossbar and out wide.

Instead of Colm Collin’s side going four ahead on 43 minutes, Eamonn Fitzmaurice’s replied with five unanswered to take control. Mikey Geaney, O’Donoghue three times, and Anthony Maher splitting the posts in a game-breaking run.

Tubridy finally got some service to pull one back, and though Gary Brennan continued to impress in the middle, Clare looked a broken team despite being a man up and playing with a strong wind.

O’Brien ended the debate with two minutes to go. He picked up possession at the ’21 from Paul Geaney, feinted past two defenders with the same trick, and then ran at goalkeeper Joe Hayes before finishing low to the net.

Clare continued to battle on with scores through the impressive Cleary, but the Kingdom were full value for their six-point win.

Scorers for Kerry: James O’Donoghue (0-9, 0-5 frees); Stephen O’Brien (1-1); Paul Geaney (0-4, 0-2 frees); Bryan Sheehan (0-1 free), Shane Enright, Anthony Maher, Michael Geaney (0-1 each).

Scorers for Clare: David Tubridy (1-3, 1-0 pen); Eoin Cleary (0-6, 0-4 frees); Gary Brennan (0-1 free), Jamie Malone, Ciarán Russell (0-1 each).

Kerry

1. Brian Kelly (Legion)

2. Fionn Fitzgerald (Dr Crokes)
3. Mark Griffin (St Michaels-Foilmore)
4. Shane Enright (Tarbert)

5. Peter Crowley (Laune Rangers)
6. Tadhg Morley (Templenoe)
7. Paul Murphy (Rathmore)

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17. Jack Barry (Na Gaeil)
9. Anthony Maher (Duagh)

10. Michael Geaney (Dingle)
11. Kevin McCarthy (Kilcummin)
12. Donnchadh Walsh (Cromane)

13. Barry John Keane (Kerins O’Rahilly’s)
14. Paul Geaney (Dingle)
15. James O’Donoghue (Legion)

Subs

Stephen O’Brien (Kenmare) for Keane (half-time),
Jack Savage (Kerins O’Rahilly’s) for McCarthy (45),
Jonathan Lyne (Legion) for M Geaney (57),
Kieran Donaghy (Austin Stacks) for Maher (62),
Bryan Sheehan (St Mary’s) NR for Barry (64),
Johnny Buckley (Dr Crokes) for P Geaney (69).

Clare

1. Joe Hayes (Lissycasey)

2. Dean Ryan (Eire Og)
3. Kevin Harnett (Meelick)
4. Martin McMahon (Kilmurry-Ibrickane)

5. Pearse Lillis (Cooraclare)
6. Gordon Kelly (St Joseph’s Miltown)
26. Ciaran Russell (Eire Og)

8. Gary Brennan (Clondegad)
9. Cathal O’Connor (Coolmeen)

12. Shane Brennan (Clondegad)
11. Sean Collins (Cratloe)
10. Jamie Malone (Corofin)

15. Keelan Sexton Kilmurry-Ibrickane)
13. Eoin Cleary (St Joseph’s Miltown)
14. David Tubridy (Doonbeg)

Subs:

Cian O’Dea (Kilfenora) for S Brennan (50)
John Hayes (Kilrush) for Lillis (56)
Eoghan Collins (Ballyhaunis) for Harnett (67)
Gearoid O’Brien (Kilrush) for O’Connor (71).

Referee: P Hughes (Armagh).

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