Dublin: 14°C Thursday 29 July 2021

Kerry make no mistake in replay to be crowned Munster champions against Cork

The Kingdom are provincial champions again.

Bryan Sheehan tackles Paul Kerrigan Cork's Paul Kerrigan tackles Kerry's Bryan Sheehan Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Kerry 1-11
Cork 1-6

Fintan O’Toole reports from Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney

KERRY MADE NO mistake at the second time of asking to lift the Munster senior football title on a rain-sodden night in Killarney against Cork.

In near darkness at the finish 32,333 spectators were present at the Killarney venue for the second instalment of this provincial final clash with Paul Geaney’s 50th minute goal the critical score of the game.

Geaney fired a shot to the net after brilliant quick thinking by Colm Cooper from a free released Donnchadh Walsh and after his shot rebounded off Ken O’Halloran, Geaney slammed a left-foot shot home.

That score propelled Kerry into a 1-9 to 1-6 lead and in torrential rain they added two more points before the final whistle courtesy of a Geaney free and James O’Donoghue.

At the other end Kerry’s defence was magnificent with Shane Enright particularly impressive as they restricted Cork to 0-2 in the second-half and kept them scoreless for the last 26 minutes of action.

Diarmuid Murphy and Eamonn Fitzmaurice celebrate Manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice and selector Diarmuid Murphy celebrate Kerry's victory Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Cork’s cause had been boosted greatly before the interval when they prised Kerry’s defence apart to plunder the first goal of the game.

It all stemmed from an Aidan O’Mahony wayward crossfield ball going out for a sideline and Cork started a swift attacking move. Donncha O’Connor’s delivery fell into the lap of Colm O’Neill who transferred to the inrushing Paul Kerrrigan and he held off the covering defence before crashing a shot to the net.

Paul Kerrigan celebrates scoring a goal Paul Kerrigan celebrates scoring a goal for Cork Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

That kept Brian Cuthbert’s very much in the game as they trailed 0-8 to 1-4 at the interval. They could have gone ahead before the break when Stephen Cronin went close to a second goal but an acrobatic save by Brendan Kealy saw him tip the ball against the upright.

Bryan Sheehan’s outstanding freetaking was central to Kerry’s first-half lead while Cork committed handling errors in the wet conditions that resulted in the concession of points.

Kerry were in front 0-5 to 0-2 after the opening quarter before O’Neill and Kevin O’Driscoll pointed to cut the deficit to the minimum. The Kingdom stretched further clear before they were rocked by Kerrigan’s goal.

Cork started the second-half brightly with O’Neill and Kevin O’Driscoll hitting fine points. The game was delicately poised in the 46th minute with the teams tied at 1-6 to 0-9 before Kerry took over proceedings.

They defended stoutly while David Moran directed matters with an outstanding showing at midfield to help Kerry run out winners.

Donnchadh Walsh and James OÕDonoghue Donnchadh Walsh and James O'Donoghue celebrate Kerry's success Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Scorers for Kerry: Paul Geaney 1-3 (0-1f), Bryan Sheehan 0-5 (0-5f), Donnchadh Walsh, James O’Donoghue, Jonathan Lyne 0-1 each.

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Scorers for Cork: Colm O’Neill 0-3 (0-2f), Paul Kerrigan 1-0, Brian O’Driscoll, Kevin O’Driscoll, Donncha O’Connor (0-1f) 0-1 each.

Colm Cooper and Paul Geaney with James Loughrey and Stephen Cronin Cork and Kerry players tussle for possession Source: Cathal Noonan/INPHO


1. Brendan Kealy (Kilcummin)

2. Marc Ó Sé (An Ghaeltacht)
3. Aidan O’Mahony (Rathmore)
4. Shane Enright (Tarbert)

5. Jonathan Lyne (Killarney Legion)
7. Paul Murphy (Rathmore)
6. Killian Young (Renard)

8. David Moran (Kerins O’Rahilly’s)
9. Anthony Maher (Duagh)

12. Donnchadh Walsh (Cromane)
11. Bryan Sheehan (St Mary’s)
10. Johnny Buckley (Dr Crokes)

13. Paul Geaney (Dingle)
14. Kieran Donaghy (C) (Austin Stacks)
15. James O’Donoghue (Legion)

22. Michael Geaney (Dingle) for Buckley (29)
17. Colm Cooper (Dr Crokes) from Donaghy (45)
20. Stephen O’Brien (Kenmare) for Sheehan (58)
18. Barry John Keane (Kerins O’Rahilly’s) for Paul Geaney (63)
19. Peter Crowley (Laune Rangers) for Young (68)

The Kerry team break from the team photo The Kerry team break from the photo Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO


1. Ken O’Halloran (Bishopstown)

4. James Loughrey (Mallow)
17. Jamie O’Sullivan (Bishopstown)
2. Michael Shields (St. Finbarr’s) (Capt)

6. Brian O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaigh)
7. Stephen Cronin (Nemo Rangers)
5. Barry O’Driscoll (Nemo Rangers)

8. Alan O’Connor (St. Colum’s)
12. Kevin O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCarthaigh)
9. Fintan Goold (Macroom)

14. Mark Collins (Castlehaven)
11. Donncha O’Connor (Ballydesmond)
22. Patrick Kelly (Ballincollig)

13. Colm O’Neill (Ballyclough)
10. Paul Kerrigan (Nemo Rangers)
15. Brian Hurley (Castlehaven)

9. Fintan Goold (Macroom) for O’Connor (47)
19. Conor Dorman (Bishopstown) for Kevin O’Driscoll (54)
25. Daniel Goulding (Éire Óg) for Kelly (60)
20. Tomás Clancy (Fermoy) for Barry O’Driscoll (65)
23. John Hayes (Carbery Rangers) for Hurley (66)

Referee: Maurice Deegan (Laois)

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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