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What a day to be a sports fan – Munster football final, Leinster hurling football final, Wimbledon Men’s final, and more.

We’ll have a double-whammy of GAA liveblogs this afternoon, starting with the game between All-Ireland Champions Cork and Kerry in Killarney. Throw-in in is in about 15 minutes, so I’ll just fire the team news up and we’ll be ready for action.

Cork: A Quirke; J O’Sullivan, G Canty, M Shields; N O’Leary, J Miskella, P Kissane; A O’Connor, A Walsh; C Sheehan, P Kelly, P O’Neill; D Goulding, D O’Connor, P Kerrigan.

Kerry: B Kealy; S Enright, M O Se, T O’Sullivan; A O’Mahony, E Brosnan, K Young; A Maher, B Sheehan; Darran O’Sullivan, Declan O’Sullivan, D Walsh; C Cooper, K Donaghy, K O’Leary

Of course, the most obvious absence from that Kerry starting 15 is Paul Galvin, who is apparently not quite match-fit. I don’t buy it though, particularly as the Finuge man seemed to take full part in all the pre-match drills and looked raring to go. If he doesn’t make an appearance around the 55-minute mark, I’d be massively surprised.

We’re running a little bit behind schedule in Fitzgerald Stadium. The players gather on the half-way line for a minute’s silence in memory of Jimmy Coffey and Sean Wight.

A quick reshuffle of the Kerry pack just before throw-in. Kieran Donaghy moves into midfield straight from the off.

We’re up and running, let’s hope it’s a good one.

The Gooch has the first chance to open Kerry’s account but he just can’t get his foot around the ball and it floats well wide.

A wonderful save by Kealy inside the opening two minutes. Kerry corner back Tom O’Sullivan couldn’t quite deal with the dropping ball, punching it straight to Paul Kerrigan on the edge of the square. The Corkman’s strike was on target but Kealy instinctively got an outstretched boot on the ball to clear the danger.

Cooper opens the scoring with a straightforward free from in front of the posts. Kerry 0-01 Cork 0-00

Cork are defending well in these opening stages, smothering the Kerry forwards and putting them under plenty of pressure. Brian Sheehan and Cooper combine nicely but Aidan Walsh gets across to block Sheehan’s attempt.

Two points in quick succession for Kerry, first from Donaghy and then from Declan O’Sullivan. Kerry are offering the most going forward in these opening exchanges. Kerry 0-03 Cork 0-00

Cooper is through on goal and looks set to blast the ball past Quirke but chooses to take his point instead. Kerry 0-04 Cork 0-00

That is quite simply a brilliant response from Cork. Goulding and O’Connor remind us all just how lethally acccurate they can be, each cutting in from the right touchline before pointing from distance. Kerry 0-04 Cork 0-02

GOAL! Kerry 1-04 Cork 0-04 (Darren O’Sullivan, 15′) Brilliant by Darren O’Sullivan. He takes a straight line off Kieran O’Leary’s handpass, powering past his namesake, Rebel corner-back Jamie, before slamming the ball into the roof of Quirke’s net.

Wow, there’s hardly time to type. This game has started at an absolutely blistering pace and it doesn’t look like letting up any time soon. Donaghy tacks on another well-worked point for Kerry who have really been turning on the style in this opening quarter. Kerry 1-05 Cork 0-02

A free from Daniel Goulding is quickly followed by a well-taken score by Ciaran Sheehan, the Corkman shaking his marker Aidan O’Mahony before pointing. Cork haven’t been at their best yet, but they’re still well in this and there is a lot of football to be played. Kerry 1-05 Cork 0-04

Kieran O’Leary appears to have the beating of Jamie O’Sullivan but he’s not exactly using it to his advantage, kicking two bad wides in quick succession.

Cork’s Patrick Kelly and Kerry’s Declan O’Sullivan exchange points at either end of Fitzgerald Stadium. Kerry 1-06 Cork 0-05

Declan O’Sullivan twists and turns inside a floundering Graham Canty (how often do you read those words?) before knocking the ball over the bar. Kerry 1-07 Cork 0-05

Brilliant running and passing by Kerry to work themselves into a scoring position but Eoin Brosnan’s curling effort doesn’t quite sneak inside the post. That’s Kerry’s seventh wide of the afternoon by my count.

Solid defending by Shane Enright who forces Paul Kerrigan to take one step too many before pointing. Referee David Coldrick spots that the forward has overcarried and awards a free-out.

Kieran O’Leary becomes the third and final member of the Kerry full forward line to get his name on the scoresheet. A minute later, Brian Sheehan pushes on from midfield and tacks on another score. Kerry 1-09 Cork 0-05

Lovely interplay between the Gooch and Declan O’Sullivan, allowing O’Sullivan to pick up his fourth point as we enter first-half stoppage time. Kerry 1-10 Cork 0-05

HALF-TIME: Kerry 1-10 Cork 0-05 I, for one, am very grateful for a quick break. We’ll have first-half analysis in a couple of minutes, so send in any comments on the action so far.

A little bit of team news which now makes my prediction of 13:53 seem quite unlikely. RTE’s Darren Frehill has just tweeted that Kerry selector Ger O’Keeffe has told him that Paul Galvin is NOT in the Kerry matchday panel. So, there you go …

Just about ready to go for the second half. It has been an absolute cracker so far, played at an absolutely rip-roaring pace. Cork aren’t exactly playing badly but they are being overrun in midfield, which is allowing Kerry to play some lovely stuff when they have the ball in hand. The Kerry forwards seem to be winning nearly all of their individual battles up front – has Conor Counihan got anything up his sleeve to turn this one around?

The attendance at Fitzgerald Stadium has just been confirmed as 40,892. Not too shabby at all.

It looks like there’ll just be the one change for Cork to start this second half. Eoin Cotter comes in at corner back with Jamie O’Sullivan, who was struggling a little bit against Kieran O’Leary, making way.

Would it have been wiser to take Canty off instead? It certainly would have been braver, that’s for sure …

We’re back up and running again. It takes Declan O’Sullivan all of about 15 seconds to open the scoring, beating John Miskella to the incoming ball before turning easily and scoring. Kerry 1-11 Cork 0-05

If Cork are to stay alive in this second half, Daniel Goulding will be key. A quick brace from him cuts Cork’s deficit to seven. Kerry 1-11 Cork 0-07

Hmm, Kieran Donaghy can count himself slightly fortunate there. As he tried to extricate himself from a bit of a tangle with Noel O’Leary, he seemed to kick out at him, catching him in the thigh with his studs. He’s booked for his troubles.

An enforced change for Cork sees Fintan Goold come on for Ciaran Sheehan who is stretchered off with a knee injury. Donncha O’Connor kicks Cork’s fourth wide of the afternoon from a free. He’ll be disappointed with that.

Donncha Walsh and Brian Sheehan extend Kerry’s advantage to nine points before Paul Kerrigan points following a fine solo run. Kerry 1-13 Cork 0-08

Daniel Goulding knocks over another free as Eoin Cadogan comes on to replace the injured Paudie Kissane. Just over 20 minutes left here in Killarney. Kerry 1-13 Cork 0-09

Goulding’s effort is blocked down but it breaks to Paul Kerrigan who judges his effort perfectly to cut the deficit to six. Kerry 1-13 Cork 0-10

Kerry make their first change as Barry John Keane comes on to replace Kieran O’Leary.

PENALTY! Cork Paul Kerrigan’s effort beats Kealy but is stopped by Marc O’Se on the ground as it’s about to trickle over the line. Donncha O’Connor steps up …

GOAL! Kerry 1-13 Cork 1-10 (O’Connor, 56′) … and O’Connor scores to Kealy’s left. I think “Game On” is the phrase I’m looking for here.

Alan O’Connor steps into to intercept a wayward handpass, haring towards Kealy’s net. There may be a chance for a goal but he opts to stick it over the bar to cut Kerry’s lead to two. Kerry 1-13 Cork 1-11

Brilliant defending by Cork who, all of a sudden, look like they really want to win this. Aidan O’Mahony is put under severe pressure on the edge of the large rectangle and he can’t find enough space to get his shot on target.

Paul Kerrigan puts his head down and goes straight for goal once again, planting his shot narrowly over the bar. It’s almost 15 minutes since our last Kerry score. Only the one point in it now. If Cork pull this off, it will be a quite remarkable comeback. Kerry 1-13 Cork 1-12

Fintan Goold feeds Aidan Walsh to give him a chance to level things up, but Walsh’s shot drifts just wide of the left upright. Maybe he could have worked that to someone in a better position? Six minutes to play.

Kerry’s last score was in the 46th minute, a full 20 minutes ago. The Kingdom look tired – can they find a second wind to see them over the line?

Oooooh, what a chance that was. Alan O’Connor broke through the Kerry defence and, rather than go for goal himself, feeds John Miskella on his left. Miskella takes one step before drilling his shot past Kealy, only to see it cannon back off the upright. Two minutes on the clock, Kerry lead by a point.

We’re into injury time, of which there will be five minutes. Cork need one more score for a replay. It couldn’t be closer.

Eoin Brosnan storms through the middle from centre half-back to fist the ball over Alan Quirke’s bar. It’s Kerry’s first score in 26 minutes but, more importantly, they now lead by two points with about three minutes to play. Kerry 1-14 Cork 1-12

Daniel Goulding has a free from about 50 yards out but it drifts agonisingly wide. We’re into the final minute here.

That’s that. Aidan O’Mahony feeds James O’Donoghue who points and Kerry will be the Munster Champions in a few short seconds. Kerry 1-15 Cork 1-12

FULL-TIME: Kerry 1-15 Cork 1-12 That’s that as David Coldrick blows his whistle and Kerry are crowned Munster SFC Champions 2011. And, judging by the reaction of the players in green and gold, it means a lot to them.

Cork could’ve easily snatched a draw late on as Kerry tired, but Conor Counihan and his men will be left to rue those lengthy first-half periods during which they let Kerry.

I’d love to stay and chat, but throw-in in the Leinster SHC Final is only 15 minutes away. If you’re still in need of a GAA fix, come join me on the other liveblog.

Gavin Cooney
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