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Another Look Back at the Munster Senior Final 2017-07-04 10:10:00

Kerry 1-23 Cork 0-15

By Diarmuid Kearney and Samuel Mansfield

Kerry have retained their Munster Senior Football Championship title after a comprehensive 1-23 to 0-15 win over Cork in the Munster Final. The match was played in Killarney in front of 31,836 spectators in Fitzgerald Stadium.

Kerry’s win over arch rivals Cork has given them their 79th Munster Title and they have now managed an impressive 6th ‘5 in a row’ as Co Captains Johnny Buckley and Fionn Fitzgerald climbed the steps of the stand to lift the Munster Senior Cup.

Cork were the only side to make a change before the game as Niall Coakley replaced Colm O’Neill. As the game threw in the Kingdom were hot off the mark getting 4 points within the opening 5 minutes.

Cork were slow to settle  in the early stages as they squandered two chances before Mark Collins got their first point of the game after 8 minutes. Kerry were stronger in the opening 20 minutes of the half as they held a 5 point lead after Niall Coakley sent over a free for Cork.

Kerry had a great chance on goal in the 26th minute as Paul Geaney hit a low shot in but was saved spectacularly by Ken O’Halloran in the Cork goal. Going into the break Kerry now held a 4 point lead after Paul Geaney pointed just before referee Paddy Neilan blew for halftime, the score at the break; Kerry 0-11 Cork 0-07.

Kerry were again hot off the mark at the start of the second half as they put 5 quickfire scores on the board before Cork could find a reply, with Stephen O’Brien, a half time substitute, managing to get 2 scores within two minutes of coming on.

Cork were trailing by 8 points before they had their first major goal chance but Paul Kerrigan’s effort was saved well by Brian Kelly before Donncha O’Connor fisted the loose ball over the bar.

Kerry lost Captain Fionn Fitzgerald to a nasty injury 12 minutes into the Second Half to a possible concussion after a clash of heads and Cork lost full back Jamie O’Sullivan after he was shown a black card in the 61st minute after a bad challenge on James O’Donoghue.

Kerry looked comfortable late on as the Cork energy levels started to deplete and after a brilliant catch by Kieran Donaghy he sent the ball through to Paul Geaney whose  shot deflected off Ken O’Halloran and the ball then  ricocheted off Paul into the net.

10 minutes was added on after the Fionn Fitzgerald injury as Cork again failed to hit the target late on. Donncha O’Connor put over a late free to reduce the deficit to 11 points but it would be no more than a consolation as the full time whistle blew with a final score in Killarney of Kerry 1-23 Cork 0-15


Scorers: Kerry : S.Enright (0-01), P.Murphy (0-01), D.Moran (0-01), A.Maher (0-01), M.Geaney (0-02)(1 45) P.Geaney (1-05)(1 F), K.Donaghy (0-01), J.O’Donoghue (0-07)(4 F), S.O’Brien (0-03), BJ.Keane (0-01)

Cork:  T.Clancy (0-01), I.Maguire (0-01), M.Collins (0-02)(1 F), L.Connolly (0-02)(1 F), P.Kerrigan (0-01), D.O’Connor (0-06)(3 F), N.Coakley (0-02)(2 F)


Kerry: B,Kelly, F.Fitzgerald (C), M.Griffin, S.Enright, P.Crowley, T.Morley, P.Murphy, D.Moran, A.Maher, M.Geaney, K.McCarthy, D.Walsh, P.Geaney, K.Donaghy, J.O’Donoghue,

Subs: S.O’Brien for D.Walsh(35), J.Buckley for K.McCarthy(40), K.Young for F.Fitzgerald(49 Temporary sub), J.Barry for A.Maher(58), BJ.Keane for J.O’Donoghue(63), D.O’Sullivan for K.Donaghy(64), J.Lyne for M.Geaney(65)


Cork: K.O’Halloran, J.Loughrey, J.O’Sullivan, S.Powter, T.Clancy, M.Shields, K.Crowley, A.Walsh, I.Maguire, R.Deane, M.Collins, K.O’Driscoll, N.Coakley, L.Connolly, P.Kerrigan (C)

Subs: D.O’Connor for N.Coakley(35), A.O’Connor for R.Deane(38), C.O’Driscoll for M.Shields(44), M.Hurley for K.O’Driscoll(44), E.Cadogan for J.O’Sullivan(64 – Black Card), S.Cronin for J.Loughrey(64)

Kerry secure 5 in-a-row of Munster Titles – Quarter Finals next stop 

By John O’Leary PRO Coiste Chontae Chiarraí

Kerry secured a 5-in-a-row of Munster Senior Football titles at sun splashed Fitzgerald Stadium Killarney on Sunday last when over powering Cork to win their 79th provincial title (1-23 to 0-15).  It was a victory achieved probably a little easier than Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice would have liked but at the end of the day Kerry did exactly what they had to do.  David Moran made a huge statement of intent when driving into the heart of the Cork defence from the throw-in and laying off to Paul Geaney who pointed with ease. Kerry followed with three more points in as many minutes and straight away the good start that every underdog craves for had been denied to Cork. With Geaney and James O’Donoghue in top form, Kerry drove on to put six between the sides with twenty minutes gone but they then seemed to take their foot off the pedal and Cork accepted the invitation to join in the scoring and at the break the Rebels were in a good enough position given that they were just two scores in arrears (0-11 to 0-7).

Again Kerry restarted in a devastating mood and went one better than their opening half blitz putting over five stunning points in a five minute spell with the introduction of Stephen O’Brien being central to an upping of the tempo by the home side. Kerry had taken the wind out of the Cork sails and by the time Kieran Donaghy laid on a goal for Paul Geaney in the 28th minute of the half Kerry were well on their way to an emphatic victory.

This was a welcome step up in pace and intensity from the form Kerry displayed in the semi final against Clare and no doubt Eamonn Fitzmaurice and his management team will be very pleased with the days work. Kerry’s discipline improved as well and that was another welcome factor.

So Kerry head into the quarter finals on July 30th in a good place but from here on in you would expect that the opposition – from the “A” side of the qualifiers – will be somewhat tougher than that served up by Cork last weekend. Munster are paired with Connaught for the quarter finals. On the “A” side of the qualifiers at present, Meath will play Donegal and Clare will play Mayo. The winners of those two games will be drawn against the provincial final losers in Round 4 i.e. Cork and Galway/Roscommon. The Round 4 winners will play Kerry and the Connaught champions (Galway/Roscommon) in the quarter finals. Repeat pairings will be avoided so Kerry cannot play either Cork or indeed Clare should either advance to the quarter finals.

The game on Sunday last may not have been the wonderful contest many people had hoped it would be but Munster final day was once again a wonderful occasion and our thanks to all the voluntary people who made sure that everything ran smoothly from an organisational point of view. There was a larger than expected attendance of 31,836 at the game and of course unless we get a few drawn games between the sides it is going to be at least 2021 before Kerry and Cork meet in the Fitzgerald Stadium again given that the Kingdom owe the Rebels 3 games following the closure of Páirc Uí Chaoimh after the 2014 Championship meeting between the sides.