Kerry's Colm Cooper and Cork's Noel O'Leary. INPHO/James Crombie
Kingdom Rule

Division 1 FL: Kerry claim vital win over Cork

Eamonn Fitzmaurice saw his team pick up two points in their fight against relegation in Tralee today.

Kerry 0-11
Cork 0-7

KERRY KEPT ALIVE their hopes of staying in Division 1 of the Allianz Football League next year with a four-point win over Cork this afternoon.

The Munster rivals clashed in Austin Stack Park in Tralee with Kerry desperately needing a win to help them in their fight against relegation.

And the home supporters were delighted as they watched the Eamonn Fitzmaurice managed side achieve that goal in a game where big guns Colm Cooper and Paul Galvin were both sprung from the bench during the second-half.

In a tight and low-scoring first-half, Kerry were grateful to the marksmanship of Johnny Buckley from placed balls as they lead by 0-4 to 0-3 at the interval.

Anthony Maher was also on the scoresheet while newcomer in defence Mark Griffin made a vital block early on to deny Aidan Walsh a goal.

With star forward Colm O’Neill sidelined after tearing his cruciate ligament against Donegal last week, Cork had to look to Walsh, Andrew O’Sullivan and Fintan Goold to notch their first-half points.

Kerry kicked on after the interval with Buckley being assisted in the scoring stakes by the likes of Kieran O’Leary and Killian Young.

Then Cooper, making his 2013 inter-county debut, and Galvin were introduced midway through the half with the Finuge man making an immediate impression as he notched the point that sent Kerry 0-10 to 0-5 clear.

Kieran Donaghy raised a white flag soon after and Kerry were relieved to see Paul Kerrigan’s goal bound effort for Cork come crashing off the crossbar.

The Rebels pulled two points back late on when Nemo Rangers Barry O’Driscoll converted a pair of frees but they struggled for scores on a day when Kerry’s defence was outstanding as the experienced Tomás O Sé and youngster Griffin both caught the eye.

Kerry’s survival hopes now depend on them getting something out of their trip to Healy Park in Omagh in a fortnight’s time when they face Mickey Harte’s Tyrone side.

Cork are still in a good position to claim a semi-final spot but must get at least a point out of their last game at home to Mayo in order to achieve that objective.

Tempers flare late in the game.
Pic: INPHO/James Crombie

Scorers for Kerry: Johnny Buckley 0-6 (0-6f), Killian Young, Anthony Maher, Kieran O’Leary, Paul Galvin, Kieran Donaghy 0-1 each.
Scorers for Cork: Fintan Goold, Barry O’Driscoll (0-2f) 0-2 each, Andrew O’Sullivan, Aidan Walsh, Tomas Clanchy 0-1 each.
KERRY: Brendan Kealy (Kilcummin); Marc Ó Sé (An Gaeltacht), Mark Griffin (St Michael’s-Foilmore), Shane Enright (Tarbert); Tomás Ó Sé (An Gaeltacht), Killian Young (Renard), Brian McGuire (Listowel Emmetts); Anthony Maher (Duagh), Johnny Buckley (Dr Crokes); Jonathan Lyne (Legion), Donnchadh Walsh (Cromane), Kieran O’Leary (Dr Crokes); Declan O’Sullivan (Dromid Pearses), Kieran Donaghy (Austin Stacks), Darran O’Sullivan (Glenbeigh/Glencar).
Subs: Paul Galvin (Finuge) for O’Leary (52), Colm Cooper (Dr Crokes) for Walsh (52), James O’Donoghue (Legion) for Darran O’Sullivan (60), Fionn Fitzgerald (Dr Crokes) for Lyne (63), Peter Crowley (Laune Rangers) for Tomás Ó Sé (68).

CORK: Ken O’Halloran (Bishopstown); Michael Shields (St Finbarr’s), John McLoughlin (Kanturk), Jamie O’Sullivan (Bishopstown); Paudie Kissane (Clyda Rovers), Noel O’Leary (Cill na Martra), Tomás Clancy (Fermoy); Aidan Walsh (Kanturk), Alan O’Connor (St Colum’s); Fintan Goold (Macroom), Mark Collins (Castlehaven), Andrew O’Sullivan (Castletownbere); Daniel Goulding (Éire Og), Barry O’Driscoll (Nemo Rangers), Paul Kerrigan (Nemo Rangers).

Subs: Pearse O’Neill (Aghada) for O’Connor (half-time), Liam Shorten (Ballingeary) for Goulding (51), Brian Shanahan (Carbery Rangers) for O’Leary (59), James Fitzpatrick (Carbery Rangers) for Kerrigan (63), Denis Crowley (Bishopstown) for Collins (68).

Referee: Cormac Reilly (Meath)

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