Kerry hammer Cork by 22 points to land Munster football title in style

An All-Ireland semi-final on the weekend of 14-15 August now awaits Peter Keane’s team.

Kerry 4-22

Cork 1-9

THE PAIN OF last November’s nightmare was wiped away by Kerry as they crushed Cork in the Killarney sunshine this afternoon.

sean-oshea-and-kevin-flahive Sean O'Shea and Kevin Flahive. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

After being shocked last year by the knockout punch of a late goal, Kerry left little room for error here as they collected this Munster title at their ease. They may have started slowly as Cork made an encouraging opening but then Kerry hit their stride in the second quarter and ripped Cork apart after the break.

Defender Brian Ó Beaglaoich began the goalscoring rout before Paul Geaney, twice, and Sean O’Shea killed off this contest by finding the net in the third quarter.

And the remarkable fact of this stroll to Munster final success was that their star name David Clifford only scored a single point from a free, restricted in play largely due to a brilliant marking job by Sean Meehan, a rare bright spot for Cork on the day.

Cork landed at Fitzgerald Stadium without a championship win since 1995 at the venue and after a losing streak of four Munster finals in a row. The promising play early on faded as the match progressed. They were outscored 4-18 to 0-3 after the 19th minute as the terms of the game switched completely in Kerry’s favour and Cork were steamrolled as a result.

A late red card for Ruairi Deane compounded a miserable afternoon for Ronan McCarthy’s team.

paul-geaneys-son-paudi-celebrates-with-the-trophy Celebrations after the game for the Kerry players. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Cork required the fast start that injects underdogs with hope. They got it with the Hurleys brothers from Castlehaven providing much of the inspiration.

When Brian hooked over a left-foot point in the 19th minute, just after the water break, Cork were in command, 1-6 to 0-4 ahead. He had scored 1-2, younger brother Michael rifling over the opening two points of the game.

Cork’s goal was their standout score, the move stemming from a superb turnover by John O’Rourke deep in defence. When the play was transferred along the left flank to Hurley, he burned inside his marker Jason Foley and finished calmly to the net.

brian-hurley-celebrates-scoring-the-first-goal-of-the-game Brian Hurley celebrates scoring Cork's first goal. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Kerry left a few goals after them in the opening half. Sean O’Shea and Paul Geaney saw half chances smothered by Mícheál Martin. David Clifford’s was more clearcut in the 6th minute but the Fossa star blasted a strike that was gathered by Martin.

Gradually after the water break Kerry got moving with Mike Breen and Tom O’Sullivan prompting their attacks with clever runs. Paudie Clifford floated around to cause Cork problems and Sean O’Shea got his shooting radar in.

Cork’s defence had been superb early on with Kevin O’Donovan, Sean Meehan and Kevin Flahive holding firm. But the waves of pressure told as Kerry went in front 1-12 to 1-7 at the interval.

The teams were level 1-7 to 0-10 when Brian Ó Beaglaoich carried the ball unhindered from his defensive berth and cracked home a goal. Two additional points left Kerry five clear and feeling better about themselves at the break.

micheal-martin-saves-a-shot-by-sean-oshea Micheál Martin stops a Sean O'Shea shot. Source: Brian Reilly-Troy/INPHO

Then in the second half they stamped their authority all over the exchanges and confirmed their position as a big challenger for the All-Ireland title.

Kerry kept Cork scoreless in the third quarter while adding 3-3 to their own tally. The goals all arrived between the 39th and 48th minutes to ensure that captain Paul Murphy would be collecting the cup after the success.

Scorers for Kerry: Sean O’Shea 1-6 (0-3f), Paul Geaney 2-1, Paudie Clifford 0-3, Brian Ó Beaglaoich 1-0, Jack Barry, Killian Spillane, Tom O’Sullivan 0-2 each, Mike Breen, David Moran, David Clifford (0-1f), Stephen O’Brien, Tadhg Morley, Tommy Walsh 0-1 each.

Scorers for Cork: Brian Hurley 1-3 (0-1f), Michael Hurley 0-2, Brian Hartnett, Ian Maguire, Luke Connolly, Daniel Dineen (0-1 mark) 0-1 each.


1. Shane Ryan (Rathmore)

2. Brian Ó Beaglaoich (An Ghaeltacht), 3. Jason Foley (Ballydonoghue), 4. Tom O’Sullivan (Dingle)

5. Mike Breen (Beaufort), 7. Gavin White (Dr Crokes), 19. Paul Murphy (Rathmore).

8. David Moran (Kerins O’Rahillys), 9. Diarmuid O’Connor (Na Gaeil)

22. Jack Barry (Na Gaeil), 11. Sean O’Shea (Kenmare Shamrocks), 12. Stephen O’Brien (Kenmare Shamrocks).

13. David Clifford (Fossa), 14. Paul Geaney (Dingle), 15. Paudie Clifford (Fossa).


20. Killian Spillane (Templenoe ) for O’Connor (18)

23. Graham O’Sullivan (Dromid Pearses) for Ó Beaglaoich (temp) (53)

10. Micheál Burns (Dr Crokes) for David Clifford (temp)

17. Adrian Spillane (Templenoe) for Barry (54)

21. Tommy Walsh (Kerins O’Rahilly’s) for Geaney (55)

Clifford for Burns (58)

Ó Beaglaoich for O’Sullivan (58)

6. Gavin Crowley (Templenoe) for O’Sullivan (64)

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18. Tadhg Morley (Templenoe) for White (66)


1. Mícheál Martin (Nemo Rangers)

2. Kevin O’Donovan (Nemo Rangers), 4. Kevin Flahive (Douglas), 3. Sean Meehan (Kiskeam).

5. Cian Kiely (Ballincollig), 6. Sean Powter (Douglas), 7. Mattie Taylor (Mallow).

8. Ian Maguire (St. Finbarr’s – captain), 12. Brian Hartnett (Douglas),

10. John O’ Rourke (Carbery Rangers), 11. Ruairi Deane (Bantry Blues), 26. Michael Hurley (Castlehaven).

13. Luke Connolly (Nemo Rangers), 14. Brian Hurley (Castlehaven), 15. Daniel Dineen (Cill Na Martra).


16. Mark White (Clonakilty) for Martin (half-time)

23. Mark Collins (Castlehaven) for Connolly (40)

24. Colm O’Callaghan (Éire Óg) for Dineen (43)

21. Kevin O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaigh) for Michael Hurley (46)

18. Kevin Crowley (Millstreet) for O’Donovan (51)

Referee: Barry Cassidy (Derry)

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole  / Reports from Fitzgerald Stadium

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