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Kerry Win Munster Final 2015 2015-07-18 22:24:00

Cooper’s Magic Crowns Kingdom’s Gritty Display
John Ivory at Fitzgerald Stadium

While darkness descended over Fitzgerald Stadium, Kerry captain Kieran Donaghy raised the Munster Cup aloft as The Kingdom captured their 77th title.
On a wet and windy evening more akin to a winter night than a summer one, Kerry ran out deserved five point victors in this Munster Final replay over Cork on a score-line of 1-11 to 1-06.

Almost everything about this clash was in stark contrast to the drawn game from the weather, to the quality of football, to the number of scores, however, the intensity was as fierce as ever.
Kerry scored 1-02 without reply in the final twenty-six minutes to open up the five point gap that would see them emerge victorious. Kerry’s goal came with twenty minutes to play and would knock the wind out of a gallant Cork side.

Quick thinking from Kerry substitute Colm Cooper saw him delicately lob a free into the path of the tireless Donnchadh Walsh whose attempted goal shot found its’ way to Paul Geaney. The Dingle man gathered close to goal, sold a dummy to his marker and finished to the Cork net.
The opening exchanges were close and cagey as expected and the crowd of 32,333 saw the two sides share four points equally in the opening minutes.

Frees from Colm O’Neill and Donncha O’Connor were sandwiched by Kerry scores from Donnchadh Walsh and a Bryan Sheehan free – his first of five from placed balls in the opening thirty five minutes.

Good pressure from the Kerry forwards led to Paul Geaney opening his account in the tenth minute. He would add another shortly afterwards and when Sheehan knocked over his second Kerry were enjoying a 0-5 to 0-2 lead with the aid of the breeze.
Before the first quarter drew to a close Cork responded with two points of their own through another O’Neill free and a lovely curling effort from roving wing back, Brian O’Driscoll.
Kerry were employing Aidan O’Mahony as a sweeper and it worked to great effect. Cork’s runners still came forward but the sight of O’Mahony halted their attacks.
Shane Enright was getting the better of the exchanges with Brian Hurley and David Moran was a shining light at midfield, getting on a lot of ball.
The game entered a lull where both sides struck some disappointing wides but in the conditions this was to be expected. A 55-metre free from St. Mary’s clubman Sheehan, followed by a close range effort woke the game from its slumber and Kerry now enjoyed a three point cushion, 0-07 to 0-04.
Having gone seventeen minutes without a score, Cork needed something to get them back on track and it came in the form of a Paul Kerrigan goal. A long ball in found Colm O’Neill who offloaded to Kerrigan and the Nemo Ranger’s man made no mistake.
Sheehan responded to this set-back for Kerry with his fifth free of the half to leave Kerry ahead by the narrowest of margins at the interval, 0-08 to 1-04.

Colm O’Neill was first off the mark once again in the second period, with his right footed effort levelling the game once more.
When Jonathan Lyne found himself in space in the 43rd minute, he coolly converted his first point of the game to nudge Kerry into the lead again.
Colm Cooper was introduced for Donaghy to a rapturous reception – one that may only have been matched when Paul Galvin came on with a handful of minutes to play.
A Kevin O’Driscoll point a few moments later raised the Cork supporters’ voices as they tried to push on for the win. However, this was when Kerry took control of the game and set for home.
Only on the field five minutes, Cooper’s inch perfect pass found Walsh, who found Geaney, who found the net. Kerry were ahead by three and in a low-scoring affair, the goal was vital.
Geaney would follow this up with a pointed free before James O’Donoghue capped a fine display with a well-taken individual effort off his left boot in the 63rd minute that would be the final score of the game.
A late red card for Stephen O’Brien did nothing to dampen Kerry’s spirits and they refused to bow to Cork pressure in the closing stages. Final score, Kerry 1-11, Cork 1-06.

Kerry: P Geaney 1-3 (0-1f), B Sheehan 0-5 (5fs), J O'Donoghue, D Walsh, J Lyne all 0-1 each.
Cork: P Kerrigan 1-0, C O'Neill 0-3 (0-1f, 0-1 45), K O'Driscoll, D O'Connor (f), Brian O'Driscoll all 0-1 each.
B Kealy; S Enright, A O'Mahony, M O Se; J Lyne, P Murphy, K Young; D Moran, A Maher; D Walsh, B Sheehan, J Buckley; J O'Donoghue, K Donaghy, P Geaney.
Subs: M Geaney for Buckley (29), C Cooper for Donaghy (44), S O'Brien for Sheehan (57), BJ Keane for P Geaney (62), P Galvin for Walsh (66), P Crowley for Young (68).
Cork: K O'Halloran; M Shields, J O'Sullivan, J Loughrey; Brian O'Driscoll, S Cronin, M Collins, Barry O'Driscoll; A O'Connor, K O'Driscoll; P Kelly, D O'Connor, P Kerrigan; C O'Neill, B Hurley.
Subs: F Goold for D O'Connor (47), C Dorman for K O'Driscoll (54), D Goulding for Kelly (59), T Clancy for Barry O'Driscoll (66), J Hayes for Hurley (67).
Referee: Maurice Deegan (Laois)

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for match report from GAA.ie