Kerry take early season bragging rights against Cork
Danny Neville inspires Limerick to McGrath Cup semi-final win against Waterford
Kerry’s James O’Donoghue gets his kick away with James Loughrey and Conor Dorman of Cork in pursuit. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho
Kerry stripped Cork of the McGrath Cup when qualifying for the final after an impressive win in Mallow on Sunday.
The Kingdom started brightly, scoring the opening six points inside 14 minutes with Jack Savage hitting the first three before Niall Coakley replied for Cork.
The visitors swept further in front with a goal via a 21st minute penalty, tucked away superbly by James O’Donoghue after Ken O’Halloran fouled Jack Barry.
O’Donoghue made it 1-7 to 0-2 after 28 minutes before Coakley hit three on the spin, but Kerry were still in control, leading by 1-8 to 0-5 at the break.
Coakley missed a 40th minute penalty before making amends 10 minutes from the end, but Kerry were never threatened and ran out four point winners.
Kerry: B Kelly; J Foley, M Griffin, K Young; B O Beaglaoich, P Crowley, T O’Sullivan (0-1); J Barry, T Morley; J Lyne, M Geaney, D Walsh; BJ Keane (0-2, one free), J Savage (0-6, one free), J O’Donoghue (1-3, 1-0 pen, one free). Subs: B O’Sullivan (0-1) for Walsh injured 14 mins, G Crowley for Beaglaoich injured 44 mins, R Shanahan for Foley 50 mins, C Geaney for O’Donoghue 60 mins, A Spillane for O’Sullivan 61 mins, D Daly for M Geaney 68 mins
Cork: K O’Halloran; J Loughrey, K Histon, J McLoughlin; S Cronin, C Dorman, M Taylor; I Maguire, R Deane; B O’Driscoll (0-1), S Powter, M Collins; N Coakley (1-5, three frees), P Kelleher, K Davis. Subs: A O’Donovan for Histon 20 mins, G Murphy (0-3) for Powter, half-time, R O’Toole for Maguire 49 mins, E Lavers for Loughrey 61 mins, D O’Driscoll for Davis 65 mins
Referee: D O’Mahony (Tipperary)
A second half scoring flurry by Danny Neville helped Limerick advance to the McGrath Cup final, defeating Waterford in Kilrossanty in the shadow of the Comeragh Mountains.
Neville struck five points, two off his right foot, two off his left foot and one via a free, to send Billy Lee’s men through to a final meeting with Kerry.
A wind-dominated first half, blowing in Limerick’s favour, saw the sides head for the dressing rooms 0-3 apiece - as both teams struggled to find their rhythm on a heavy sod.
After the break, as the wind abated, Limerick found the going a little easier, with Neville demonstrating his natural instincts in front of the uprights with some quality finishing. Waterford failed to create a goal scoring opportunity and their chances weren’t aided by captain Paul Whyte’s off-day over the dead ball.
Waterford: S Enright; J McGrath, T O’Gorman, S Dalton; F Galvin, S Prendergast, R O’Ceallaigh; T Prendergast, M Curry; C Murray (0-1), M O’Halloran, P Hurney (0-2); P Whyte (0-3fs), J Veale (0-1), F O Cuirrin.
Subs: D Breathnach for O’Halloran (34), G Crotty for Murray (43), D Guiry for Veale (57), C Maguire for Breathnach (BC, 67).
Limerick: D O’Sullivan; P Quinn, J McCarthy, G Noonan; P White, C Fahy, P Hannon; D Tracey, B Fanning; C Sheehan (0-1), S O’Carroll, D Neville (0-5; 0-1f); J Naughton, S McSweeney (0-1f), B Donovan (0-1).
Subs: J Lee for McSweeney (40), S O’Dea for O’Carroll (56), K Ryan (0-1) for Naughton (56), D Ward for Hannon (56), B Creamer for Quinn (69).
Referee: J Bermingham (Cork)