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Kerry overcome Cork to set up Munster Minor Final vs Clare 2017-05-11 21:35:00

Electric Ireland Munster Minor Football Semi-Final

Kerry overcome Cork to set up Munster Minor Final vs Clare

Kerry 2-17 Cork 1-10

By Jimmy O'Sullivan-Darcy of Kerry's Eye

This was billed as a clash of minor titans and it lived up to all the billing right from the throw-in. Big Mark Keane came into this game with a formidable reputation and more than justified it by setting up Evan Murphy for a smashing goal. Kerry, completely focused, set to work with a will and rapidly picked off neat points from Donal O'Sullivan and David Clifford, the latter after a great pass by Diarmuid O'Connor. Clifford drew a foul and potted it from a tight angle – his reputation was even more justified with a display that many seniors would struggle to emulate. A great move by Brian Friel and Donnchadh O'Sullivan saw Clifford gain possession near the square and, even though he was tightly marked, sheer strength and determination saw him power through and blast home. It only got better for Kerry, who were using long ball very effectively while Cork laboured to carry through a tight and disciplined Kerry defence. Adam Donoghue and Fiachra Clifford stretched Kerry's lead to 1-5 to 1-1 before Donal O'Sullivan pointed a free won by Donnchadh O'Sullivan. 1-6 in twelve minutes against talented opposition – this was magnificent football.

Damien Gore finally hit Cork's first point, a fine score, but it was answered in kind by Michael Potts. Damien Gore again showed his quality with two well-taken scores (1f), but once Fiachra Clifford picked out David Clifford, the Fossa man coolly rattled the net again to make it 2-8 to 1-3. Donnchadh O'Sullivan set up Brian Friel for a Kerry point before Cork hit a brief purple patch that saw Mark Keane and Evan Murphy add points before the irrepressible David Clifford kicked the last score of the half – even at this early stage, any man of the match discussion was long over.

Half-time Kerry 2-9 Cork 1-5.

Cork emerged in determined mood and Cillian Myers Murray fisted over a point, but Kerry were just as hungry and fired up and had slightly better craft to go with it – some of their kick-passing was a joy to behold. David Clifford added a brace to his tally and Donnchadh O'Sullivan added two more in response to a lone free won by Mark Keane and converted by Damien Gore.

Cork needed a lifeline and it looked like they had it when Colm O'Callaghan was fouled in the square. Damien Gore hit a great penalty to the right corner – incredibly, lightning fast Deividas got his hand there first and managed to knock it away for a '45 converted by Evan Murphy.

Although they showed great character in battling on defiantly, it was becoming clear that there was no way back for a gallant but outclassed Cork, and two more points by the Kerry captain David Clifford served to emphasize the fact.

Cillian Myers Murray, who sparkled after his introduction, picked off another point and Mark Keane cut in to unleash a bullet shot – but again Deividas Uosis was equal to it.

Sub Jack Griffin added a Kerry point and, fittingly, it was David Clifford who hit Kerry's final score to seal a really impressive victory.

The Kerry minors haven't been beaten since August 4th, 2013 – this performance ranks right up there with any of their triumphs since then.

Kerry will now face Clare in the Munster Minor Final.

Kerry: Deividas Uosis, Ryan O'Neill, Chris O'Donoghue, Cian Gammell, Michael Potts (0-1), Eddie Horan, Niall Donohue, Barry Mahony, Diarmuid O'Connor, Adam O'Donoghue (0-1), David Clifford (2-8, 3f), Donal O'Sullivan (0-2, 1f), Fiachra Clifford (0-1), Donnchadh O'Sullivan (0-2), Brian Friel (0-1). Subs Jack Griffin 0-1 (for Brian Friel, 37 mins|), Michael Slattery (for Donnchadh O'Sullivan, 46 mins), Ciarán O'Reilly (for Fiachra Clifford, 48 mins), Patrick Warren (for Donal O'Sullivan, 55 mins), Sean O'Leary (for Ryan O'Neill, 59 mins), Michael O'Leary (for Cian Gammell, 60 mins)

Cork: Kevin McMahon, Lorcan Finn, William Ronan, Dylan Ward, Jason Harrington, Peter O'Driscoll, Jack McCarthy, Mark Keane (0-1), Ryan Walsh, Evan Murphy (1-2, 1'45), Colm O'Callaghan, Jack Murphy, Mark Cronin, Damien Gore (0-4, 2f), Cathail O'Mahony. Subs: Cillian Myers Murray 0-3 (for Cathail O'Mahony, 22 mins), Colm Barrett (for Jack Murphy, half-time), Daniel O'Mahony (for William Ronan, 40 mins), Shane Hickey (for Ryan Walsh, 42 mins), Sean Meehan (for Jack McCarthy, 42 mins), Rory O'Driscoll (for Jason Harrington, 45 mins)

Referee: Alan Kissane (Waterford)