A low point for Cork football? It’s five out of five for Kerry

A low point for Cork football? It’s five out of five for Kerry
Aidan Walsh, Jamie O'Sullivan and Ian Maguire go highest from Kerry's Kieran Donaghy. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

KERRY'S expected retention of their Munster senior football title in Killarney on Sunday helped secure a clean sweep for the Kingdom.

All five provincial championships now reside in the county, four of them claimed at Cork's expense with the minor the exception, Kerry ending their great rivals' interests at the semi-final stage.

Kerry also triumphed at U21, Junior and the new-look U17 and more alarmingly from a Cork perspective the margins separating the counties at the finish point to a widening gulf.

In the five games between the neighbours Kerry won by a total of 49 points, ranging from 16 in the U21 decider (2-16 to 0-6) to 11 on Sunday (1-23 to 0-15) to 10 at minor (2-17 to 1-10).

Cork were more competitive, in the scoring stakes at any rate, in the others. The U17s lost by five, 0-15 to 0-10, while there was no rhyme or reason to the junior meeting, Kerry coming from nine adrift at one stage to win by seven, 4-24 to 3-20 after extra-time.

It all suggests a bleak future for the big ball game on Leeside in relation to the auld enemy across the county bounds at any rate.

Cork manager Peadar Healy with selector Eamonn Ryan. Picture: Eddie O'Hare
Cork manager Peadar Healy with selector Eamonn Ryan. Picture: Eddie O'Hare

Kerry, of course, are heading in the opposite direction especially if they can deliver a belt of All-Irelands later in the season.

Indeed, you could make a strong case for them collecting all five, particularly a four-in-a-row of minor titles on the evidence of their complete annihilation of Clare in Sunday's showpiece, 2-21 to 0-3.

It's difficult to look beyond them in the other grades, too, though the Sam Maguire is less certain though a final shoot-out between themselves and the holders, Dublin, looms large on the horizon.

Cork's ambitions are less lofty, awaiting the outcome of Saturday's round 3A games in the qualifiers.

Clare have home advantage against Mayo at Cusack Park in Ennis and Meath have Donegal as visitors to Navan.

On the evidence of the weekend's games, Clare look to be the form team going into the games.

Not only did they register the biggest win last weekend, but their 2-18 to 0-14 success against Laois was the only away victory, as well.

Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice, whose charges defeated Clare by 1-18 to 1-12 in the semi-final in Ennis, believes they can continue to progress.

“Clare showed what they're all about at the weekend and they'll keep showing what they're about as well which is no surprise to me,” he said after Sunday's game.

Cork will know their fate following next Monday's draw with the ties scheduled for Saturday, July 22, at neutral venues.

Either way, it will be a tough assignment for Peadar Healy's side, who lost to the Banner by 2-11 to 0-9 in division 2 of the league back in early March.

Cork also have recent history with Meath, squandering an eight-point lead during their 0-18 to 1-15 draw at Páirc Uí Rinn in one of three tied games in the league.

Last season, Donegal ended Cork's season in the qualifiers while Cork's last encounter with Mayo ended in a division 1 league defeat two seasons ago.

Yet, neither Meath, Donegal nor Mayo impressed, despite winning on home soil last weekend.

The Royals' 0-14 to 1-9 win over Sligo was marked by a more defensive approach, which was quite understandable given Meath had conceded a total of 5-25 in their two outings against Louth and Kildare.

It suggests their meeting with Donegal will hardly be one for the purists and hardly likely to attract the interests of the tv people searching for a live game to broadcast.

Donegal could only must a dozen points against Longford in another dour exhibition, but they still achieved the main goal of bouncing back from their disappointing showing against Tyrone in Ulster.

Have Mayo really learned any lessons at all from recent seasons? They made an average looking Derry side appear quite handy by repeating the same mistakes again.

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