Kerry 0-17 Cork 1-9
A POWERFUL second-half display helped Kerry dethrone Cork as Munster and All-Ireland U20 football champions in Tralee last night.
A crowd of just over 3,000 saw the home side recover from a four-point deficit to completely dominate after the break, outscoring the visitors by 0-12 to 0-3 in the period.
Kerry took over around the middle, mopping up a pile of loose ball and feeding a forward sector that had four additions during the course of the game and those substitutions made a telling contribution.
Cork led by 1-6 to 0-5 at half-time, having missed a lot of chances, but, equally, had a major let-off, when Kerry missed a golden opportunity midway through.
The holders finished with a flourish as joint-captain Blake Murphy burst into life in the closing stages, bagging 1-2.
His goal came after 25 minutes, prospering from a brilliant tackle by Aodhan Ó Luasa on Kerry centre-back Dylan Casey, who lost possession.
Murphy was on to the ball in a flash and showed a cool head to slot home from close range.
Ten minutes earlier Kerry's centre-forward Patrick Darcy was actually too casual at the other end after Rory Begley set him-up, but a combination of David Buckley, Colm O'Shea and new keeper Cian O'Leary forced the ball out for a fruitless '45.
Murphy's confidence soared as he fired over a couple of points for Cork to complete the period on a high.
It contrasted to their nervous opening, in attack at any rate, because kickable frees went abegging and balls dropped short into the keeper's arms before the forwards finally settled.
Kerry's highly-rated attack also struggled as they accumulated five wides, three more than Cork, for whom Daniel O'Mahony excelled at the back.
But, the Knocknagree full-back could do little to stem the tide in the second half as Kerry took over to claim their third title in the grade, the rivals having 26 wins apiece at U21/U20 level.
Scorers for Kerry: R Begley 0-5 (0-1 f, 0-1 mark), P Walsh 0-3 f, P Darcy and S Quilter 0-2 each, D Lyne, K Falvey, P O'Shea, S Horan, S Keane 0-1 each
Cork: B Murphy 1-3, M Cronin 0-4 (0-1 f), J Murphy and F Herlihy 0-1 each.
KERRY: M Kelliher (Glenflesk); O Fitzgerald (Gneeveguilla), J McCarthy (Kenmare Shamrocks), D McCarthy (do); L Brosnan (Castleisland Desmonds), D Casey (Austin Stacks), S O’Brien (Beaufort); D Lyne ( Legion), M O’Gara (Austin Stacks); P Walsh (Brosna), P Darcy (Glenflesk), K Falvey (Annascaul); P O’Shea (Kilcummin), S Horan (Scartaglen), R Ó Beaglaoich (An Ghaeltacht).
Subs: E Horan (Scaraglen) for Fitzgerald half-time, S Keane (Listowel Emmets) for Walsh 44, S Quilter (Austin Stacks) for Falvey 45, S O'Connor (Cordal) for S Horan 49, D Geaney (Dingle) for Darcy 54
CORK: C O'Leary (Douglas); C O'Shea (Kilshannig), D O'Mahony (Knocknagree), D Phelan (Aghada); D Buckley (Newcestown), B Foley (Bantry Blues), E O'Hanlon (Kilshannig); J Lawton (Argideen Rangers), D O'Connell (Kanturk); J Murphy (Éire Óg), A Ó Luasa (Naomh Abán), B Hayes (St Finbarr's); M Cronin (Nemo Rangers), joint captain, F Herlihy (Dohenys), B Murphy (St Vincent's), joint captain.
Subs: B Lynch (Douglas) for Phelan 29, C Corbett (Clyda Rovers) for O Luasa injured half-time, B Curtin (Kilshannig) for Lawton 38, D Hayes (Carbery Rangers) for Hayes 51, C Russell (Douglas) for Herlihy 59
Referee: S Lonergan (Tipperary)