Kerry hammered Cork in Munster Final by double scores, James O’Donoghue kicked ten points for Kerry as they beat Cork 0-24 to 0-12
A scoring masterclass from James O’Donogue, who scored 0-8 from play and added two further frees, helped Kerry overcome Cork 0-24 to 0-11 at Páirc Uí Caoimh to win the Munster football title. O’Donoghue returned to the starting lineup after injury and provided a sensational performance in front of goal as Eamonn Fitzmaurice’s men dominated their rivals in the Munster final.
It looked like a very different story early on as Cork’s Aidan Walsh and Daniel Gouling put them into an early 0-2 lead inside two minutes. But Kerry soon got the upper hand in midfield and James O’Donoghue took advantage of a lapse of concentration in the Cork defense to get them off the mark. Johnny Buckley, back in at centre field, levelled the game four minutes in. But Goulding’s short free on seven minutes became their last score for almost half an hour.
O’Donoghue added two points, one from a free and Paul Geaney shrugged off Eoin Cadogan to brilliantly score from play; 0-5 to 0-3 15 minutes in. Kerry were a different class with Geaney, Buckley and Sheehan scoring a free to put the Kingdom five points up after 26 minutes.
O’Donoghue continued to harass Michael Shields with another point, before Ken O’Halloran saved comfortably when the Kerry marksman turned Shields again. Debutant Stephen O’Brien got his first point of the Championship as he turned and pointed after Paul Geaney rescued a hopeless ball. Points from Sheehan, Geaney from the outside of the right foot and a Declan O’Sullivan 45 effort from play saw them score 0-11 points without reply for a 0-13 to 0-3 lead going into injury time. Two Goulding points saw Cork trail 0-13 to 0-5 at half-time.
Brian Hurley (free) and a free and 45 from Goulding narrowed the gap to five points, 0-13 to 0-5, after the break, but it was as good as it got for Cork. Sheehan restored order with his third point with a free and James O’Donoghue added another free to push their lead out to seven points. Sheehan showed brilliance around the middle of the park in fielding which led to O’Donoghue leaving Shields for dead once more and his handpass found O’Brien coming in from the left but his effort riffled off the crossbar.
But there was no let up. O’Donoghue’s pace was unstoppable, as he pointed with Sheehan pointing from a free from the left touchline, five yards from the end-line to push the lead out to nine. O’Donoghue, Donnacha Walsh and Buckley’s third point left 11 between them.
Cork were unable to complete with their dual stars looking slow and off the pace. Goulding pointed from play but Buckley brushed Cadogan aside restore the 11 point cushion. A hat-trick from O’Donoghue saw them lead 0-24 to 0-10. Hurley added the final point for Cork before John Hayes was sent off for an elbow on Declan O’Sullivan at the death.
A 76th Munster title for Kerry who can look forward to an All-Ireland quarter-final while Cork will have to prepare for the unknown in the qualifiers. A deciding factor might be their ability to get their dual stars fully fit as they looked off the pace against the Kingdom.
Cork: Ken O’Halloran; Michael Shields, Eoin Cadogan, Noel Galvin; James Loughrey, Thomas Clancy, Damien Cahalane; Aidan Walsh (0-1), Fintan Goold (0-1); Patrick Kelly, Paul Kerrigan, John O’Rourke; Daniel Goulding (0-6, 3 f, 1 45) Brian Hurley (0-4, 3 f), Barry O’Driscoll.
Kerry: Brian Kelly; Marc Ó Sé, Aidan O’Mahony, Shane Enright; Paul Murphy, Killian Young, Fionn Fitzgerald; Anthony Maher, Johnny Buckley (0-4); Stephen O’Brien (0-1), Bryan Sheehan (0-4), Donnchadh Walsh (0-10); Paul Geaney (0-3), Declan O’Sullivan (0-1), James O’Donoghue (0-10, 2 frees).
Cork come into the game on the back of a Munster semi-final scare against Tipperary. The Premier County were two points with three minutes remaining, before Aidan Walsh hit three points to help clinch victory for Brian Cuthbert’s men. It was a below average display by Cork who should have pushed on having turned a three point deficit into a two-point lead. But it took the introduction of the likes of Walsh, Eoin Cadogan and Colm O’Neill to prevent a shock defeat.
Kerry were far from impressive as they stuttered past Clare in their semi-final. Bryan Sheehan looked like he was close to his best as he added five points and even a red card to Anthony Maher failed to stop the Kerry attack. But they despite an early goal giving them a great launchpad, Kerry went in at the break a point down but showed some real class to run out comfortable winners.
Duel of the gameJohnny Buckley v Aidan Walsh
Johnny Buckley returns to midfield after David Moran was substituted after just 22 minutes against Clare while Aidan Walsh’s substitute appearance snatched victory for Cork from the jaws of defeat. The Cork dual star will look to make a serious impact in the Championship on Sunday and could begin a titanic midfield battle with in Buckley. Walsh pointed with either boot in the narrow semi-final win and offers that little bit extra than Andrew O’Sullivan and is likely to get the nod.
Buckley has yet to live up to the expectation in the Kerry that he would step into the shoes of Dara O Se, but the Dr Crokes clubman has shown enough to leave Kingdom supporters hopeful that it’s just a matter of time. His Championship debut came against Cork at Páirc Ui Chaoimh and Eamonn Fitzmaurice will be hoping he can continue his progression at senior level.
Kerry face Cork without Colm Cooper for the first time in 12 years, but are boosted by the return of Johnny Buckley, James O’Donoghue and Donnchadh Walsh with Aidan O’Mahony making a return at full back.
Cork start Aidan Walsh and Eoin Cadogan after their cameos in the semi-final while Damien Cahalane makes his first appearance of the season in the half-back line.
Cork Team – Ken O’Halloran; Michael Shields, Eoin Cadogan, Noel Galvin; James Loughrey, Thomas Clancy, Damien Cahalane; Aidan Walsh, Fintan Goold; Patrick Kelly, Paul Kerrigan, John O’Rourke; Daniel Goulding, Brian Hurley, Barry O’Driscoll.
Kerry: Brian Kelly; Marc Ó Sé, Aidan O’Mahony, Shane Enright; Paul Murphy, Killilan Young, Fionn Fitzgerald; Anthony Maher, Johnny Buckley; Stephen O’Brien, Bryan Sheehan, Donnchadh Walsh; Paul Geaney, Declan O’Sullivan, James O’Donoghue
VerdictWere the semi-final showings a sign of rustiness or have Munster’s kingpins waned? With the absence of Cooper, much will depend on the scoring capabilities of O’Donoghue, Bryan Sheehan and Paul Geaney, the latter scoring 0-6 from play against Clare. The biggest question is whether Cork can deliver. They were lacklustre at best against Tipperary and when it seemed like they had the upper hand, they failed to push on. Kerry won’t make give them a second chance as Tipperary did and have too much ability around the park to give Cork a perfect ending at Pairc Ui Caoimh before it’s redevelopment.
|Cork 16 Or More50/1|
|Kerry 16 Or More|