CORK retained the Munster Intermediate championship with a 15-point advantage over a Kerry side who earlier in the season were crowned Division 2A League champions.
Here, Cork were the better side at Cusack Park from the off. They had a better spread of scorers with nine players on target from play while Kerry had an overreliance on frees with only two players on target otherwise.
The opening half saw Cork take control as Kerry playing a very defensive game dropped back and as a result up front they found it hard to break through the Cork defence. At midfield Cork captain Rachel Harty was doing a lot of work and getting fast ball into their inside line.
Cork had opened up a three-point lead inside the opening quarter before Kerry found the range, Lauren Homan, Rachel Harty and Lucy Allen from play settling Cork before Patrice Diggin pointed a Kerry 45. Jackie Horgan converted Kerry free before the game was held up for six minutes after Cork keeper Caoimhe Buckley had to be stretched off the pitch following an ankle injury when she rolled her ankle as she came towards a dropping ball.
The game resumed with Stephanie Beausang taking up the custodian role.
Kerry pushed players forward but it was Cork who began to take control and hit four points without reply they stretched their lead to five points; Cliona Dooley and Lauren Homan with one a piece from play and Cliona O’Leary with two one a superbly struck long-range free.
Jackie Horgan and Patrice Diggin were working hard and battling for every possession as Kerry dug deep and Spillane and Homan swapped points as Cork maintained their lead.
We had six minutes of first-half injury time in the opening half and two Jackie Horgan points narrowed the gap but Kerry were let off the hook when Rachel Hartys pile driving shot hit the crossbar and bounced back int to play and at the short whistle it was Cork that led 0-8 to 0-5.
Cork had a dream start to the second half with Cliona O'Callaghan finished to the net for the game’s opening goal inside 50 seconds of the restart and boosted by this they upped the pace, three points without reply set the pattern for a second half that was dominated by Cork as Kerry began to struggle.
Cork began to show their class. Cliona O'Leary was unerring from frees and with their defence rock solid and their midfield on top Kerry could make little headway against an impressive Rebel outfit.
Kerry will no doubt be disappointed with their second-half tally of three points all of which came from placed balls. Cork never looked troubled and introducing substitutes Fiona Nelligan and Claudia Keane who each contributed to their tally showed they have plenty of talent in reserve.
As Cork picked off points Kerry relied on frees to eat into the Cork and a Lucy Allen goal two minutes full time sealed the deal for an impressive Cork.
Cliona O’Leary was named as Player of the Match with an impressive six-point tally, four of which came from frees.
C O'Leary 0-6 (0-4 f), L Homan 0-5, L Allen 1-1, C O'Callaghan 1-0, F Nelligan 0-2, R Harty, C Keane, C Dooley, L Doyle 0-1 each.
J Horgan 0-7 (0-6 f), P Diggin (45), C Spillane 0-1 each.
C Buckley; A Moloney, N O'Leary, E Flanagan; A O'Callaghan, M Ring, L Doyle; A Cashman, R Harty (c); R Murphy, L Allen, C O'Leary, C Dooley, C O'Callaghan, L Homan.
S Beausang for C Buckley (inj 19), F Nelligan for C Dooley (38), C Keane for C O'Callaghan ((52), I Sheehan for L Doyle (56), L Hallihane for R Murphy (57).
A Fitzgerald; R McCarthy, S Murphy, M Costello; C O'Sullivan, A Behan, E O'Donoghue; P Diggin, K Lynch; A O'Connor, J Horgan, C Spillane; C Walsh, L Collins, A O'Sullivan.
L Casey for A Behan (43). C Moloney for C Walsh (50), I Dillane for A O'Sullivan (50), L Collins for K Buckley (57), J O'Keeffe for P Diggin (57).
Aaron Hogg (Clare).