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Dublin: 7°C Sunday 7 March 2021
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Stunning drama as Keane goal hands Cork extra-time victory over Kerry in Munster semi-final

Páirc Uí Chaoimh hosted today’s clash.

Kerry's Sean O'Shea and Cork's Sean Powter.
Kerry's Sean O'Shea and Cork's Sean Powter.
Image: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

Cork 1-12
Kerry 0-13

(After extra-time)

AFL PLAYER MARK Keane struck a goal with the last kick of the game to give Cork victory over Kerry in extraordinary fashion in the Munster senior football semi-fina today.

It clinched a first victory for Cork in eight years in a senior championship outing and dumped the Kingdom out of the 2020 race in an amazing late twist to a grinding battle in the rain on Leeside.

With Cork trailing by a point, Luke Connolly hoisted an attempt in the 91st minute from the left wing. His kick hung short where Keane was lurking inside and he outmuscled the Kerry defence before booting home a goal that clinched a remarkable win.

The stands may have been empty, the stadium enveloped in darkness and the torrential showers impeded prospects of free-flowing play, yet it was gripping stuff in normal time with outcome in doubt.

Kerry at last tapped into the scoring potential of their forward line in the closing quarter. Spillane and Sean O’Shea were the key performers as they contributed Kerry’s final four points of the game evenly between them.

Afer a monumental show of effort, Cork seemed set for defeat but they managed to dig out a draw. Connolly spun over a shot off his right and after Sean Powter was felled, Mark Collins nailed the 73rd minute free to leave the teams locked at 0-10 apiece.

Cork chalked up one point in the opening 18 minutes but those struggles preceded a stronger phase. They gained a real foothold around the middle and pinned Kerry back in their own half. Killian O’Hanlon and Ian Maguire were particularly prominent with that productive spell reflected in the last three points of the half. Mark Collins from a free, O’Hanlon from a ’45 and Kevin O’Donovan raiding from defence were all on target to nudge them in front 0-6 to 0-5.

david-clifford-and-maurice-shanley Kerry's David Clifford and Cork's Maurice Shanley. Source: Laszlo Geczo/INPHO

The first half had been an arm wrestle in trying conditions on a greasy pitch. Kerry were 0-2 to 0-1 ahead by the water break and must have wondered how their advantage was so narrow. 

Brian Ó Beaglaoich, a late inclusion for Stephen O’Brien, cut clear for a glorious goal chance in the 14th minute but Michael Martin beat away his blasted shot. Ronan Buckley tapped the rebound over the bar but in general Kerry spurned point scoring chances with their threats of Sean O’Shea and Tony Brosnan unusally inaccurate as shots fell short.

Newcomer Maurice Shanley was policing David Clifford and the star turn from Fossa was the one forward on song as he rifled over two scores from play in the first half.

But Kerry’s shooting was poor compared to the usual high levels as they coughed up chances throughout. That allowed Cork to stay in contention and peg them back in normal time.

In extra-time the brilliance of Spillane in front of goal seemed destined to nudge Kerry over the line. They were 0-13 to 0-11 clear when he hooked over a shot in the 82nd minute.

Cork kept coming with Connolly trimming the gap as he stroked over a superb free from the left and then he provided an unlikely assist for Keane’s famous late strike.

Scorers for Cork: Mark Collins 0-4 (0-3f), Mark Keane 1-0, Luke Connolly 0-3 (0-2f),Killian O’Hanlon 0-2 (0-1 ’45), Brian Hurley 0-1 (0-1 mark), Sean Powter 0-1, Kevin O’Donovan 0-1.

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Scorers for Kerry: David Clifford 0-4 (0-1f), Killian Spillane 0-4, Sean O’Shea 0-2 (0-1f), Ronan Buckley, Dara Moynihan, Tony Brosnan 0-1 each.

Cork

1. Micheal Martin (Nemo Rangers)

5. Kevin O’Donovan (Nemo Rangers)
3. Maurice Shanley (Clonakilty)
4. Kevin Flahive (Douglas)

6. Sean Meehan (Kiskeam)
2. Sean Powter (Douglas)
7. Mattie Taylor (Mallow)

8. Ian Maguire (St Finbarr’s)
21. Paul Walsh (Kanturk)

10. John O’Rourke (Carbery Rangers)
9. Killian O’Hanlon (Kilshannig)
12. Ruairi Deane (Bantry Blues)

13. Mark Collins (Castlehaven)
11. Colm O’Callaghan (Éire Óg)
14. Brian Hurley (Castlehaven)

Subs

25. Mark Keane (Mitchelstown) for O’Callaghan (44)
15. Luke Connolly (Nemo Rangers) for O’Rourke (46)
19. Michael Hurley (Castlehaven) for Walsh (54)
24. Paul Kerrigan (Nemo Rangers) for Brian Hurley (62)
23. Sean White (Clonakilty) for O’Donovan (69)
18. Paul Ring (Aghabullogue) for Flahive (start of extra-time)
20. Tadhg Corkery (Cill na Martra) for Powter (74)
22. Kevin O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaigh) for Maguire (76)
26. Damien Gore (Kilmacabea) for O’Hanlon (80)

Kerry

1. Shane Ryan (Rathmore)

3. Tadhg Morley (Templenoe)
2. Jason Foley (Ballydonoghue)
4. Tom O’Sullivan (Dingle)

5. Paul Murphy (Rathmore)
6. Peter Crowley (Laune Rangers)
7. Gavin White (Dr Crokes)

8. David Moran (Kerins O’Rahilly’s)
9. Diarmuid O’Connor (Na Gaeil)

19. Brian Ó Beaglaoich (An Ghaeltacht)
11. Sean O’Shea (Kenmare)
12. Ronan Buckley (Listry)

15. Dara Moynihan (Spa)
14. David Clifford (Fossa)
13. Tony Brosnan (Dr Crokes)

Subs

10. Stephen O’Brien (Kenmare) for Moynihan (47)
20. Killian Spillane (Templenoe) for Brosnan (50)
18. Jack Barry (Na Gaeil) for Ó Beaglaoich (55)
22. Jack Sherwood (Firies) for Buckley (63)
17. Gavin Crowley (Templenoe) for White (start of extra-time)
23. Graham O’Sullivan (Dromid Pearses) for O’Sullivan (80)
21. Tommy Walsh (Kerins O’Rahilly’s) for Foley (85)

Referee: Derek O’Mahoney (Tipperary)

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole  / Reports from Páirc Uí Chaoimh

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