Jason O’Connor reports from Austin Stack Park
DEFENDING ELECTRIC IRELAND All-Ireland minor champions Kerry kept their impressive winning record at the U18 grade going with an easy 13-point victory over a Clare side who simply couldn’t live with the Kingdom’s powerful play.
The win was Kerry’s 19th consecutive win at minor level and keeps them undefeated in the grade since their 2013 All-Ireland quarter-final loss to Tyrone.
Fiachra Clifford set up his namesake and team captain David for the game’s first goal after five minutes, and two minutes later, the impressive Donal O’Sullivan had their second to put them 2-3 to 0-0 in front, scoring a rebounded effort after Donnachadh O’Sullivan’s initial shot had been blocked.
Clare’s goal in the 16th minute came when a defensive lapse by the Kingdom rearguard allowed Gearoid Cahill to finish from close range, but the visitors still found themselves facing a 2-10 to 1-0 deficit at half time.
The second half was pretty processional although Clare did redeem themselves somewhat on the scoreboard by matching Kerry for 0-6 apiece.
The Kingdom won’t be happy with their second-half display, one that saw them kick 10 wides. Centre-back Eddie Horan scored a great point in the 36th minute but was dismissed late on for a second yellow card, while Chris O’Donoghue impressed at the heart of their defence.
The stage is now set for an ‘all-or-nothing’ Munster semi-final with Cork next month in Páirc Uí Rinn with the losers out of the minor grade for the rest of the year.
At the Gaelic Grounds, Calvin Moran’s late goal gave Limerick a 1-10 to 0-9 win against Waterford.
Limerick join Kerry and Cork in the semi-finals, while the Déise go into the first play-off round where they take on Clare.
Scorers for Kerry: Donal O’Sullivan (1-6, 4f), David Clifford (1-4, 1 ‘45’), Brian Friel, Fiachra Clifford, Barry Mahony, Donnachadh O’Sullivan, Eddie Horan and Niall Donohoe (0-1 each)
Scorers for Clare: Gearoid Cahill (1-0), Gavin Cooney (0-3, 1f), Dermot Coughlan (0-2, 1f) and Diarmuid Ryan (0-1)
1. Deividas Uosis (Dingle)
2. Ryan O’Neill (Na Gaeil)
3. Chris O’Donoghue (Glenflesk)
4. Sean O’Leary (Kilcummin)
5. Michael Potts (Dr Crokes)
6. Eddie Horan (Scartaglin)
7. Patrick Warren (Gneeveguilla)
8. Barry Mahony (St Senans)
9. Diarmuid O’Connor (Na Gael)
10. Adam Donoghue (Castleisland Desmonds)
11. Brian Friel (Rathmore)
12. Fiachra Clifford (Laune Rangers)
13. Donnachadh O’Sullivan (Firies)
14. David Clifford (Fossa, Capt)
15. Donal O’Sullivan (Kilgarvan)
19. Michael Slattery (Austin Stacks) for Friel (HT)
18. Niall Donohoe (Firies) for Warren (44)
17. Ciaran O’Reilly (Austin Stacks) for O’Leary (46)
21. Jack Griffin (Dr Crokes) for Fiachra Clifford (49)
23. Cathal Firtear (Annascaul) for Donnachadh O’Sullivan (52)
20. Michael O’Leary (Renard) for Michael Potts (56)
1. Mark Lillis (Cooraclare)
2. Jack Sheedy (St Breckans)
3. Jamie O’Sullivan (Wolfe Tones)
4. Joe Miniter (Kilrush)
5. Fergal Donnellan (Cooraclare)
6. Keith White (Inagh Kilnamona)
7. Colin McNelis (Clondegad)
8. Danny Griffin (Eire Óg)
9. Paudie Kelly (St Breckans)
10. Sean Rouine (Ennistymon)
11. Ciaran O’Donoghue (Cooraclare)
12. Diarmuid Ryan (Cratloe)
13. Gavin Cooney (Kilmurry/Ibrickane)
14. Dermot Coughlan (Corofin, Capt)
15. Gearóid Cahill (St Joseph’s Doora Barefield)
19. Rian Considine (Cratloe) for O’Donoghue (38)
17. Aidan McNamara (Michael Cusacks) Cahill (44)
18 Conor McMahon (Cratloe) for Paudie Kelly (49)
20. Aaron O’Brien (St Breckans) for White (54)
23. Ross O’Doherty (Ennistymon) for Griffin (58)
21. Ross Phelan (Kilrush) for Ryan (60 +2)
Referee: David Murnane (Cork)
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