Cork gave their all but Kerry's class shone through

It was only in the closing 20 minutes that the All-Ireland favourites pulled away from gallant Cork
Cork gave their all but Kerry's class shone through

Kerry’s Tom O’Sullivan and Brian Hayes of Cork in action at Páirc Uí Rinn. Picture: INPHO/James Crombie

Cork 0-11 Kerry 0-23 

CORK lived with their more illustrious neghbours for 50 minutes before Kerry’s power and class told in the end at Páirc Ui Rinn on Saturday evening.

A shirt-sleeved crowd of 10,743 expected a rout in this historic Munster semi-final between the rivals at the venue and while Kerry had a dozen points to spare at the end, Cork lost no face in defeat.

Indeed, compared to last year’s demolition job, Kerry had to dig a lot deeper for their victory, which sets-up a provincial final against either Tipperary or Limerick, leaving Cork to join the growing ranks of those in the All-Ireland Qualifiers.

Cork made one change to their selected team, starting Sean Powter as sweeper, though they finished with 14 men after his Douglas colleague Kevin Flahive, who had an outstanding game on David Clifford, was helped off injured near the end after Cork had used their full allocation of substitutes.

When Cathail O’Mahony kicked another brilliant point from distance in the 48th minute, Cork had moved within two points, 0-12 to 0-10, before Kerry decided enough was enough.

They went through the gears to kick eight points without response as the extreme toll of the Cork effort began to impact on ailing bodies.

The magnificent Sean O’Shea played a true captain’s part by starting and completing the brilliant 10-minute sequence as Kerry surged 0-19 to 0-10 in front.

To Cork’s credit, there was never going to be a repeat of the goal-glut from 2021 with Kerry creating just one clear-cut opportunity but replacement keeper Dylan Foley smothered his effort with a brave stop just after the hour.

In the first-half Cork competed well and only trailed by 0-9 to 0-7 after losing keeper Micheal Aodh Martin to injury after 23 minutes in a repeat of last season in Killarney.

Foley came in for his championship debut between the posts even though he doesn’t play in goal for his club Eire Og.

Sherlock’s frees had Cork 0-2 to 0-1 in front by the eighth minute before Kerry rattled over four without response, captain Sean O’Shea fisting over to make it 0-5 to 0-2 after quarter-of-an-hour.

The visitors still led by three in the second quarter, yellow cards handed out to Cork full-back Maurice Shanley for a late hit on Stephen O’Brien and to David Clifford for a dangerous challenge on Powter.

Cork, then, kicked three without reply in an uplifting two-minute spell, Sherlock with the first from play after 26 minutes following a clever sidestep and Cathail O’Mahony replying in kind before Sherlock levelled matters for a third time with a free, 0-7 apiece.

Kerry, though, don’t do panic and eased back in front once more with Diarmuid O’Connor finding the range before Tony Brosnan completed the half’s scoring, four minutes from the interval.

Given the corresponding experience this time last season, Cork would feel satisfied enough with their performance.

Scorers for Cork: S Sherlock 0-6 (0-5 f), C O’Mahony 0-3, K O’Donovan, E McSweeney 0-1 each.

Kerry: S O’Shea 0-10 (0-7 f, 0-1 45), D Clifford 0-4 (0-3 f), S O’Brien, P Clifford, P Geaney 0-2 each, D O’Connor, T Brosnan, M Burns 0-1 each.

CORK: MA Martin (Nemo Rangers); K O’Donovan (do), M Shanley (Clonakilty), K Flahive (Douglas); J Cooper (Éire Óg), R Maguire (Castlehaven), M Taylor (Mallow); I Maguire (St Finbarr’s), C O’Callaghan (Éire Óg); D Dineen (Cill na Martra), S Powter (Douglas), J O’Rourke (Carbery Rangers); S Sherlock (St Finbarr’s), B Hurley (Castlehaven), captain, C O’Mahony (Mitchelstown).

Subs: D Foley (Éire Óg) for Martin injured 23, E McSweeney (Knocknagree) for Dineen 55, D Gore (Kilmacabea) for Hurley 57, T Corkery (Cill na Martra) for Powter 59, B Hayes (St Finbarr’s) for O’Rourke 65.

KERRY: S Ryan; G O’Sullivan, J Foley, T O’Sullivan; B O Beaglaoich, T Morley, G White; D O’Connor, J Barry; S O’Brien, S O’Shea, captain, A Spillane; T Brosnan, D Clifford, P Clifford.

Subs: P Geaney for Brosnan 48, D Moran for Spillane 50, P Murphy for O Beaglaoich 51, M Burns for O’Brien 62, J O’Connor for D O’Connor 67.

Referee: B Cawley (Kildare).

More in this section

Sponsored Content

Echo WISA

Read all about the monthly winner’s and more.
Click Here

EL_music

Podcast: 1000 Cork songs 
Singer/songwriter Jimmy Crowley talks to John Dolan

Listen Here

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more