THE Cork SL U15 side enjoyed a dominant win over Kerry in their SFAI U15 Subway Inter League tie at Carrigaline on Sunday.
Cork commanded the majority of possession from the start, proving to be too strong and too quick for the opposition. Ben Fitzgerald controlled play well in the middle of the park as the home side played the ball out from the back with confidence.
Cork were 1-0 up after just two minutes after the impressive Darragh Sheehan headed home a corner from the left hand side.
It was 2-0 less than five minutes later as Fitzgerald and Lewis Lenihan combined well in midfield. Sheehan found space on the edge of the area and some superb dribbling was finished off with a controlled strike into the roof of the net.
Liam O’Brien put in a good shift in the middle of the park for Kerry but unfortunately his enterprise would go unrewarded.
Cork were almost 3-0 up inside 15 minutes when Eoin Looney pounced on a parry by goal-keeper Fionn Doyle but his effort was saved.
On 17 minutes Cork did find a third. A free kick on the right of the penalty area was swung in by Fitzgerald and Lenihan unleashed a wonderful acrobatic overhead kick off the second phase.
Perhaps Kerry’s best chance came from a free kick on the half way line, an awkward bounce forcing keeper Diarmuid O’Riordan to tip it over his crossbar.
Luke McDonnell and Dara Birdthistle were impressive for Cork throughout, stifling any and all Kerry attacks with assured defending.
On twenty five minutes Kerry went close after a corner from the right fell to Ben Kelliher, his half volley requiring a decent save from O’Riordan.
Just a few minutes later Cork extended their lead further. The ball broke to Lenihan in mid-field who played an exquisite through ball to Looney down the right hand side who finished well at the near post.
The second half started with more dominance from Cork, with striker Darragh Lynch turning well in the box but seeing his strike saved by the keeper.
Kerry played a bit more football in the second half and applied some pressure to the opposition. There were some good moments for them in the midfield but the strength of Cork’s back four offered them little to no outlet.
Arguably their best chance of the half was a headed effort from a corner ten minutes in which went just wide of the post.
If the result was any way in doubt it was confirmed with just over twenty minutes to go.
A corner from the left was met by the head of Luke McDonnell, his brilliant effort flying into the left top corner to put Cork five up.
The intensity of the game understandably faded as the half went on but still Cork dominated possession and limited Kerry to their own half of the pitch for much of the second period.
The travelling team battled on but the result was never in doubt, Cork running out worthy winners.
Cork: Dairmuid O'Riordan, Fionn O'Donovan, Liam Lynch, Dara Birdthistle, Luke McDonnell, Darragh Sheehan, Alex McSweeney, Ben Fitzgerald, Darragh Lynch, Lewis Lenihan, Cian Daly.
Subs: Matthew Kiernan, Conor Burke, Eoin Looney, Alex McSweeney, Cillian Beale, Stephen Daly, Aaron O'Mahony
Kerry: Fionn Doyle, Ben Kelliher, Mark O'Carroll, Joshua Minnie, JJ O'Donoghue, Liam O'Brien, Jack Power, Mikey O'Leary, Oscar Lovett, Brian Heaphy, Jake Nash
Subs: DJ Harrington, Mark Vansteenkiste, Jayden Fennell, Ryan Onyekware, Oran O'Sullivan.
Referee: Pat Ryan.