Cork 0-13 Kerry 1-14
IT was the same old story at Páirc Uí Rinn last evening as Kerry's class proved too much for Cork in the Munster junior football final to register their 46th title.
In completing six-in-a-row, All-Ireland champions Kerry are now poised to make it a fifth successive national title, too, as they await either the English or Scottish winners in the semi-final. Meath meet Galway in the other tie.
Kerry completed dominated the second-half, keeping Cork scoreless for 23 minutes and firing over seven points themselves to take a stranglehold on proceedings.
Only four points separated the teams at the finish, but the outcome was a foregone conclusion long before the finish with Cork claiming the last three scores, two from frees and a Seamus Hickey in between.
Hickey didn't see out the game as he was sent off in injury-time just after scoring.
Cork led by a point at the interval, 0-9 to 1-5, and didn't register a wide during the period, a rare happening for any Cork team.
Kerry lost midfielder Nathan Breen to a black card after only four minutes for a cynical body check on Paul Walsh and Cork capitalised to move 0-4 to 0-1 clear after 11 minutes.
The opening three points came from the left boot of Gary Murphy (2) and Anthony O'Connor only for Kerry to regain their composure and restore parity at 0-4 apiece entering the second quarter.
In keeping with the trend it was Cork's turn to go on a second scoring spree, knocking over four on the spin without response with Murphy starting the sequence.
Shane Aherne's fine individual effort made it 0-6 to 0-4 before the O'Connors, Fintan and Anthony (from a '45), left it double scores after 25 minutes.
Kerry, though, replied with a cracking goal from Stephen O'Sullivan a couple of minutes later after Cork lost possession in the half-forward line and the Templenoe flier duly pounced.
Cork needed keeper Chris Kelly to prevent a second goal in injury-time, denying Brandon Barrett with his feet before Michael Foley and Eoin O'Shea exchanged points.
O'Sullivan's pace and finishing ability continued to hurt Cork on the resumption, adding on another couple of points before Dan Daly's craft chipped in with two more and Barry O'Dwyer's third left Kerry 1-12 to 0-9 in front after 45 minutes.
Cork were struggling in attack with Kerry keeping tabs on Murphy, who wasn't afforded the same space or time in possession as in the first half and scoring dried up accordingly.
Indeed, Cork's next score only arrived seven minutes from the end, courtesy of a Murphy free, but Kerry's lead had stretched to 1-12 to 0-10 by that stage with cup heading back to the Kingdom once again.
The score of the evening came in the 49th minute, when wing-back Jack Brosnan soloed up from defence to slot a superb point, sandwiched in between a couple of Daly frees.
Even goalkeeper Eoghan O'Brien got in on the act as he ventured out from goal to coolly slot a '45 just before O'Sullivan completed the Kerry tally two minutes from the end of normal time.
Scorers for Cork: G Murphy 0-4 (0-2 f), A O'Connor 0-4 (0-3 f), S Hickey, F O'Connor 0-2 each, E O'Shea 0-1
Kerry: S O'Sullivan 1-3, D Daly 0-4 (0-3 f), B O'Dwyer 0-3, J Brosnan, M Foley, C Teahan 0-1 each, E O'Brien 0-1 45.
CORK: C Kelly (Éire Óg); P Clancy (Fermoy), P Murphy (Bandon), G McCarthy (St Vincent's); K Cremin (Boherbue), J Mullins (Éire Óg), captain, G O'Callaghan (Gabriel Rangers); BT O'Sullivan (Garnish), P Walsh (Kanturk); F O'Connor (Knocknagree), A O'Connor (do), S Aherne (Fermoy); G Murphy (Castletownbere), S Hickey (Rockchapel), E O'Shea (Éire Óg).
Subs: L Wall (Kilmurry) for O'Callaghan 20, ST O'Sullivan (Garnish) for Aherne and T Corkery (Cill na Martra) for BT O'Sullivan 40, E O'Callaghan (Rockchapel) for Walsh 48, E Goggin (Gabriel Rangers) for O'Shea 55, G Kelleher (St Vincent's) for F O'Connor 58.
KERRY: E O'Brien; C Ó Murchú Padraig O'Connor, PJ O'Sullivan; J Brosnan, M Breen, M Foley; JM Foley, N Breen; Phillip O'Connor, C Farley, B Barrett; S O'Sullivan, D Daly, B O'Dwyer.
Subs: C Teehan for Breen black card 5, T Lynch for Barrett 53, J Crean for Farley 57, J Spillane for O'Dwyer 60+2.
Referee: D O'Callaghan (Limerick).