Kerry 0-17 Cork 1-9
Kerry regained the Munster Under-20 Championship with a dominant second-half display at Austin Stack Park on Wednesday evening, ending Cork’s reign as Munster and All-Ireland Champions at the grade.
Cork won’t lack regret about some of the chances they left behind them in the first-half, but can have little complaints after scoring only three times in a wretched second-half for them.
Kerry led by 0-3 to 0-1 after 15 minutes and it could have been more after a combination of Cork defenders cleared a goal-bound shot from Patrick D’Arcy off the line at the end of the first quarter.
The Rebels made no mistake when presented with their own chance after 25 minutes as Blake Murphy punished the Kerry defence for some sloppy play. Giving his team a 1-4 to 0-4 advantage. Cork then kicked several efforts short into goalkeeper Marc Kelliher's hands, failing to capitise on their purple patch. Two more points for Murphy gave the visitors a lead of 1-6 to 0-5 at half-time.
There was far more purpose about Kerry's play after the restart though and they were level after 41 minutes at 0-10 to 1-7. Sean O'Brien's prowess was key to this turnaround and it was a Sean Horan point that brought the side's level.
Sean Quilter's introduction yielded two points for Kerry as they went ahead by 0-14 to 1-8. Mark Cronin scored two of Cork's three points in the second period - approaching the final five minutes - while Blake Murphy made it a two-point game for the Rebels but Ruaidhrí Ó Beaglaoich restored Kerry's three-point lead before extending it to four with a fisted effort in the 58th minute.
Substitute Sean Keane put the seal on Kerry’s five-point win - one in which they had 10 different scorers. They now go on to the All-Ireland semi-finals on St Patrick’s Day where they will face the Connacht champions in Croke Park.
KERRY: M Kelliher; O Fitzgerald, J McCarthy, D McCarthy; L Brosnan, D Casey, S O'Brien; D Lyne (0-1), M O'Gara; P Walsh (0-3 frees), P D'Arcy (0-2), K Falvey (0-1); P O'Shea (0-1), S Horan (0-1), R Ó Beaglaoich (0-5, 0-2 frees, 0-1 mark). Subs: E Horan for O Fitzgerald (h-t), S Keane (0-1) for P Walsh (43 mins), S Quilter (0-2, 0-1 free), for K Falvey (45 mins), S O'Connell for S Horan (48 mins), D Geaney for P D'Arcy (53 mins), T Sugrue for S Quilter (blood 57 mins) S Quilter for I Sugrue (59 mins).
CORK: C O'Leary; C O'Shea, D O'Mahony, D Phelan; D Buckley, B Foley, E O'Hanlon; J Lawton, D O'Connell; J Murphy (0-1), A Ó Luasa, B Hayes; M Cronin (0-4, 0-1 free), F Herlihy (0-1) , B Murphy (1-3), Subs: B Lynch for D Phelan (28 mins), C Corbett for A Ó Luasa (h-t), B Curtin for J Lawton (37 mins), D Hayes for B Hayes (51 mins) and C Russell for F Herlihy (58 mins).
Referee: S Lonergan (Tipperary)