Kerry prove far too strong for youthful Cork in McGrath Cup final

The Kingdom had too much class and experience for the visitors who now turn their attentions to the league
Kerry prove far too strong for youthful Cork in McGrath Cup final

22 January 2022; Brian Hurley of Cork in action against Jason Foley of Kerry during the McGrath Cup Final match between Kerry and Cork at Fitzgerald Stadium in Killarney, Kerry. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Kerry 2-17 

Cork 0-11 

AS expected Kerry had too much for Cork in a one-sided McGrath Cup final in Killarney on Saturday.

A strong Jack O'Connor selection showed all their class and experience against a youthful Cork side which learned a valuable lesson in the importance of minding the football in such exalted company.

Their limitations were exposed in having just three scorers, and one of those was wing-back Rory Maguire with a couple until, substitute Dan O Duinnin added his name to list near the end.

Once again Brian Hurley was their main threat up top giving Kerry full-back Jason Foley an uncomfortable afternoon.

And Kerry's winning margin would have been even greater but for a combination of outstanding goalkeeping by Micheal Aodh Martin and the frame of the goals at either end of Fitzgerald Stadium.

The game, which started five minutes later due to turnstile congestion, began in almost sensational fashion after home keeper Shane Murphy had to react smartly to smother Colm O'Callaghan's shot in the opening minute.

Kerry, though, didn't take long to create a goal chance of their own and on this occasion Tom O'Sullivan finished clinically after four minutes following a Paul Geaney pass sent him clear.

Geaney himself was denied a goal of his own in the ninth minute, his shot rebounding from the base of an upright as Kerry led by 1-4 to 0-2 at the first water break.

Cork enjoyed a productive spell on the resumption, outscoring their opponents by 0-3 to 0-1 with captain Brian Hurley nailing a beauty off his left before Rory Maguire following suit on the right and Hurley made it 1-5 to 0-5 after 24 minutes with his third point.

Cork had lost Kevin O'Donovan to a black card just before following a linesman's intervention and Kerry capitalised with 1-2 on the spin.

Geaney's influence on proceedings was reflected in the second goal following a brilliant cross-goal pass by Micheal Burns, who picked out the Dingle player with clinical precision.

It was 2-9 to 0-5 at the interval and Cork's cause wasn't helped by an injury to substitute Damien Gore, who had only just been introduced, when he landed awkwardly.

He didn't re-appear for the second-half, replaced by Luke Connolly, making the Kilmacabea player a doubtful starter for MTU Cork Campus's Sigerson Cup tie against Ulster University on Wednesday.

Although Maguire opened the scoring in the second-half, Cork went another quarter-of-an-hour without adding to their tally as Kerry added on 0-6.

Martin frustrated Killian Spillane with a superb save in the 50th minute as Cork hit three on the fly to leave it 2-15 to 0-9 at the second water break.

A brilliant one-handed save by Martin to thwart the impressive Geaney was the highlight of the closing quarter.

Scorers for Kerry: P Geaney 1-4, 1'mark', T O'Sullivan 1-0, T Brosnan 0-3f, K Spillane, P Clifford, D Clifford and J Savage 0-2 each, S O'Shea 0-2f.

Scorers for Cork: B Hurley 0-5, 2f, M Cronin 0-3, 1f, R Maguire 0-2, D Dineen 0-1.

KERRY: S Murphy; D O'Donoghue, J Foley, T O'Sullivan; P Murphy, T Morley, G White; S O'Shea, captain, A Spillane; M Burns, P Clifford, S O'Brien; T Brosnan, P Geaney, K Spillane.

Subs: J Savage for O'Brien injured 6, G Crowley for P Murphy and B O Beaglaoich for O'Donoghue half-time, D Clifford for Brosnan and G Horan for A Spillane 45, G O'Sullivan for White 50, D Casey for Crowley injured 55, D Roche for K Spillane and C Gammell for O'Sullivan 60.

CORK: MA Martin (Nemo Rangers); S Powter (Douglas), K Histon (Nemo Rangers), T Corkery (Cill na Martra); R Maguire, J Cooper, M Taylor; C Kiely (Ballincollig), J Grimes (Clonakilty); K O'Donovan (Nemo Rangers), B Murphy (St Vincent's), C O'Callaghan (Eire Og); M Cronin (Nemo Rangers), B Hurley (Castlehaven), captain, C og Jones (Iveleary).

Subs: D Gore (Kilmacabea) for Murphy 33, L Connolly (Nemo Rangers) for Gore injured and D Buckley (Newcestown) for O'Donovan half-time, D O'Connell (Kanturk) for Kiely and D Dineen (Cill na Martra) for Jones 45, K Flahive (Douglas) for Histon injured 51, S Merritt (Mallow) for Grimes 52, K Crowley (Millstreet) for Cooper 54, P Allen (Newmarket) for Corkery 55, P Ring (Aghabullogue) for Powter 61, Referee: N Quinn (Clare).

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