10 of the best: That sweet feeling when Cork beat Kerry in championship

10 of the best: That sweet feeling when Cork beat Kerry in championship
Fionán Murray celebrates with Mark O'Sullivan after scoring the second goal against Kerry in the 1999 Munster final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: Ray McManus/SPORTSFILE.

IN these strange times we must do whatever is necessary to keep ourselves sane.

Let’s completely overlook the 73 times that Kerry have beaten Cork in championship combat since the late 1800s. The fact that Cork are the side that Kerry have beaten the most in championship action does not interest us here.

In these peculiar days we are banishing the negatives, for mental health reasons, and concentrating entirely on the 33 times that Cork have scalped Kerry when it mattered.

For the record, Dublin have only beaten the Kingdom 11 times in their history. They have some way to go before they can boast Cork’s record in this respect.

This article concerns the last 10 occasions on which Cork came out on top in Munster Championship warfare against Kerry.

The big asterix is clearly the fact that there is no All-Ireland series/Croke Park triumph in the collection. Hopefully this is something that can be addressed in the coming years.

For those old enough, prepare for a trip down memory lane. For the younger readers, just make a mental note that beating the dear neighbours is something that, at one stage, in the 1990s, Corkonians actually took for granted.

1. June 10, 2012:

Cork 0-17 Kerry 0-12

THE first point worth noting is that it was too long ago.

Eight years is a long time to go without a victory in this rivalry. Even when Kerry were at their greatest the biggest gap was from 1974 to 1983, so one year left to match the record. No pressure then.

This was no ordinary Kerry team either, with Cooper, Declan O’Sullivan, O’Donoghue, and Galvin being their scorers in chief. This was a serious Cork team though.

Aidan Walsh beats Johnny Buckley to a kick-out.
Aidan Walsh beats Johnny Buckley to a kick-out.

Twenty-one months before they had been All-Ireland champions, so this was most definitely a meeting of heavyweights at Páirc Uí Chaoimh.

Donncha O’Connor and Colm O’Neill were Kerry’s main tormentors on the scoreboard, but it must be noted that Nicholas Murphy dominated the skies that day.

2. June 13, 2009:

Cork 1-17 Kerry 0-12

THIS great win was ultimately sullied by Kerry’s All-Ireland final win later that year in Croke Park, but this Munster semi-final replay victory was emphatic in the extreme, at the time.

For those prone to scrapping barrels, if the aggregate scores of the three Cork v Kerry matches that year had been compiled that year then Cork would have emerged the victors by four points. Alas, for some reason the winners of the All-Ireland Final took the spoils instead.

For the record but Noel O’Leary and Paul Galvin were both sent off. Imagine!

3. July 6, 2008:

Cork 1-16 Kerry 1-11

CORK may have beaten Kerry four times in this decade, but it was Kerry who won five All-Ireland titles in the noughties.

That was tough to swallow on Leeside. The great Munster victories getting consigned to the footnotes.

The towering Michael Cussen’s goal was a highlight, but for many the best takeaway were the dual sending offs of Darragh and Marc Ó Sé.

It’s the little, petty things that keep you going sometimes.

4. July 16, 2006:

Cork 1-12 Kerry 0-9

James Masters fires a goal into the Kerry net. Picture: Des Barry
James Masters fires a goal into the Kerry net. Picture: Des Barry

ANNOYINGLY Cork would lose to the Kingdom in the All-Ireland semi-final at Croke Pak later in the year, and then watch them dispatch a hapless Mayo outfit in the final at their ease, for a soft looking All-Ireland, but on Leeside Cork had the measure of Jack O’Connor’s men.

Nemo’s James Masters matched the entire Kerry team on the day with his 1-6 total, but unfortunately the tables were turned a few months later at GAA HQ.

5. June 23, 2002:

Cork 0-15 Kerry 1-9

IN this year Cork enjoyed a Munster semi-final replay win over their dear rivals after a low scoring 0-8 to 0-8 draw in Killarney.

Cork players Joe Kavanagh, Diarmuid O'Sullivan, Colin Corkery and Colin Crowley (23) celebrate after the win over Kerry at Páirc Uí Chaoimh in 2002. Picture: Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE
Cork players Joe Kavanagh, Diarmuid O'Sullivan, Colin Corkery and Colin Crowley (23) celebrate after the win over Kerry at Páirc Uí Chaoimh in 2002. Picture: Brendan Moran/SPORTSFILE

Colin Corkery, Fionán Murray, Brendan Jer O’Sullivan, and Alan Cronin were Cork’s main men.

6. July 18, 1999:

Cork 2-10 Kerry 2-4

FACHTNA COLLINS and Fionán Murray scored the goals on a dreary day, when Cork emerged easy six- point victors over Kerry.

Cork midfielder Micheál O'Sullivan in action against Kerry's Darragh Ó Sé in the 1999 Munster final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: Ray McManus/SPORTSFILE.
Cork midfielder Micheál O'Sullivan in action against Kerry's Darragh Ó Sé in the 1999 Munster final at Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Picture: Ray McManus/SPORTSFILE.

Philip Clifford and Podsie O’Mahony bagged four points each in the triumph, but ultimately Cork came up just short in their attempt to win a second double, with the footballers losing to Meath, despite Joe Kavanagh scoring arguably the greatest goal in All-Ireland football final history. 

If you are too young to have seen it, seek it out.

7, July 23, 1995:

Kerry 1-9 Cork 0-15

THE last Cork victory at Fitzgerald Stadium. It has clearly been took long.

This was arguably a better Cork team than the side that had won the All-Ireland five years earlier, but they ended up without winning an All-Ireland themselves, with Mark O’Connor’s famous slip allowing Dublin’s Jason Sherlock in for a crucial goal in that year’s All-Ireland semi-final.

Cork full-back Mark O'Connor won an All-Star in '95, despite the Dublin loss. Picture: INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan
Cork full-back Mark O'Connor won an All-Star in '95, despite the Dublin loss. Picture: INPHO/Lorraine O'Sullivan

It is hard to imagine now, but at this stage of the rivalry youngsters in Cork expected to beat Kerry, and Kerry youngsters expected to lose. Ah, the good old days.

Colin Corkery notched seven points that day, with Skibbereen’s Don Davis kicking three.

8. June 26, 1994:

Cork 1-13 Kerry 2-8

ANOTHER Corkery masterclass, with eight points to his name, ensuring that Cork maintained their dominance over the Kingdom during this period.

Ultimately the great Down team of that era proved too much for Cork in that year’s semi, in front of a half built Cusack Stand.

Cork forward Colin Corkery battles Michael Hassett of Kerry. Picture: INPHO
Cork forward Colin Corkery battles Michael Hassett of Kerry. Picture: INPHO

9. June 20, 1993:

Cork 1-10 Kerry 0-10

In 1993, Cork recovered from the disappointment of two years of defeats in the provincial arena. From ‘87 to ‘95, the Rebels lifted the Munster title eight times.

Alas, the unfortunate sending off of Tony Davis in the All-Ireland against Derry scuppered Cork after..

10. July 1, 1990:

Cork 2-23 Kerry 1-11

“Lock the f****** gates and make them watch...”

Danny Culloty races clear of Kerry's Morgan Nix. Picture: Ray McManus/SPORTSFILE
Danny Culloty races clear of Kerry's Morgan Nix. Picture: Ray McManus/SPORTSFILE

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