Clifford lords it over Cavan for the Kingdom

Clifford helps himself to 1-10 as holders Kerry reach fourth successive minor final

 Kerry’s David Clifford celebrates a score. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

Kerry’s David Clifford celebrates a score. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

 

Kerry 2-22 Cavan 2-10

A mesmerising performance from Kerry captain David Clifford helped the Kingdom ease into a fourth successive All-Ireland minor final with a comfortable win over Cavan.

The precocious Fossa man, who has now bagged 4-37 in five matches in this campaign, was magnificent and proved the difference between the teams as the Munster champions dismissed the Ulster runners-up.

There was little between them early on with Clifford kicking Kerry’s first three points - all from play - and Cavan’s own go-to forwards Oisin Pierson and Cian Madden replying.

In the second quarter, however, Peter Keane’s side took charge. They dominated on kick-outs and with Clifford in such deadly form - despite Cavan deploying Ryan Coyle as a sweeper in front of him - they always looked comfortable.

Damage

Cavan midfielder James Smith made it 0-4 to 0-3 on 15 minutes but Kerry reeled off eight points in succession, with Clifford, Donnchadh O’Sullivan and Brian Friel doing much of the damage.

Cavan’s Oisin Pierson under pressure from Sean O’Leary of Kerry. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho
Cavan’s Oisin Pierson under pressure from Sean O’Leary of Kerry. Photograph: Gary Carr/Inpho

Cavan were thrown a lifeline when Pierson got on the end of a long delivery and bundled home a goal just before half-time to reduce Kerry’s interval advantage to four, 0-11 to 1-4, but the third quarter was all about the All-Ireland champions as they kicked for home.

After Cavan goalkeeper Gary O’Rourke saved well, Kerry recycled possession and it landed in the hands of trigger man Clifford, who calmly side-footed to the net in the 36th minute to effectively end the match as a contest.

Kerry’s tackling was excellent and, when they stripped Cavan of possession, they countered at pace - and their inside forwards did the rest.

Composure

Two Friel points and a Clifford free helped them extend their lead to 11 by the end of the third quarter and although Cavan briefly rallied, impressive midfielder Smith getting on the end of a good move to hit the net and Pierson adding two points (one a free), the Breffni lads were never close enough to truly threaten.

Kerry recovered their composure and dominated the closing stages, with sub Jack Griffin slotting home their second goal in injury time and another sub, Eddie Horan, landing a well-taken point as Keane emptied his bench.

While Cavan battled to the end and posted a respectable 2-10, they were out-gunned as Kerry sauntered through to their fourth All-Ireland final in a row. And with their brilliant captain Clifford in such red hot form, they will be the warmest of favourites to retain their crown again.

Kerry: D Uosis; S O’Leary, C O’Donoghue, C Gammell; P Warren, M Potts, N Donohue; B Mahony (0-1), D O’Connor (0-1); A Donoghue, D Clifford (1-10, 2f, 45), Donal O’Sullivan (0-1); F Clifford (0-2), Donnchadh O’Sullivan (0-1), B Friel (0-4) Subs: E Horan (0-1) for Warren (47 mins), J Griffin (1-1) for O’Sullivan (50 mins), C O’Reilly for F Clifford (58 mins), R O’Neill for Gammell (60 mins)

Cavan: G O’Rourke; J Cooke, E Fortune, R Coyle; P Nulty, C Timoney, D Cusack; R Patterson (0-1), J Smith (1-2); R Curran, C Madden (0-1), P Rogers (0-1); O Pierson (1-5, 2f), P Lynch, O Kiernan. Subs: S Keogan for Kiernan (h-t), K Brady for Coyle (38 mins), N McCabe for Lynch (50 mins), P Meade for Patterson (60 mins), R Madden for Timoney (60 mins)

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.