Electric Ireland Munster GAA Football Minor Championship Semi-Final – Kerry 1-11 Cork 1-10

Kerry defeated Cork by 1-11 to 1-10 in the Electric Ireland Munster GAA Football Minor Championship Semi-Final on Tuesday May 8th at Austin Stack Park Tralee.

Match Highlights

A familiar tale as Kerry break Rebel hearts

By Eoghan Cormican for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Just when you think you have them cornered, Kerry find a way out. Yesterday evening in Tralee, the Cork minors were sure they had done enough to force extra-time against a county which has not tasted defeat at this level since August of 2013.

As Cork celebrated Conor Corbett’s 61st-minute equalising goal, Kerry quickly reset. Referee Sean Lonergan had indicated three minutes of stoppages and the hosts had no intention of holding on for two additional 10-minute periods. A county does not win four All-Irelands on the hop with a keep-ball mentality.

Goalkeeper Marc Kelliher put the ball back in play, possession was worked to Jack O’Connor, the substitute from Beaufort had ghosted up the field without little or any attention being paid to him, and despite numerous Cork shirts closing in, he held his nerve to land the winning point.

There was time for Cork to chase an equaliser. None was forthcoming. The defeat marks a fifth consecutive summer where the county’s minor campaign has ended at the hands of their neighbours. No more than the 2015 extra-time semi-final defeat in Tralee, this one will hurt.

Cork, aided by the wind, were the more probing side in the opening half and yet went back down the tunnel tied at 1-3 to 0-6. The result appeared beyond them when Kerry kicked six unanswered points between the 38th and 44th minute, but the visitors refused to go away.

Two Aodhán Ó Luasa frees and a Jack Kelleher minor had them within touching distance, 1-10 to 0-10, as the clock entered the red. Their equalising goal came from the likeliest of suspects. Conor Corbett had been a thorn in the Kerry defence all evening, kicking four points from play in the opening half. He smashed a low shot past Kelliher to tie up matters. And still, Kerry march on.

The development of this Cork group, as in 2015 and 2017, will be somewhat stunted by a failure to negotiate the Munster semi-final hurdle. Kerry will be kicking ball until at least late July, looking forward to a seventh straight Munster final.

Trailing 0-7 to 1-3 early in the second half, the hosts appeared to have made the decisive burst when kicking six unanswered points to move 1-9 to 0-7 ahead. Ruaidhrí Ó Beaglaoich (two frees), O’Connor, Dan McCarthy, Jack Kennelly, and Paul Walsh were all on the mark as a Kingdom attack, so subdued in the opening period, sparked to action.

O’Connor’s winner aside, they’ll have been disappointed by the manner in which they allowed Cork restore parity. They’ll be disappointed too by a first half where they went scoreless for periods of 11 and 16 minutes. Having recovered from the setback of Paul Walsh’s seventh-minute goal, Cork had the deficit cut to the minimum by the 18th minute. Corbett had a goal shot blocked by the body of Dan Murphy. In the subsequent action, Niall Hartnett and Aodhán Ó Luasa put through Corbett for another green flag opportunity. This time, the crossbar denied the Clyda Rovers corner-forward.

And when Sean McDonnell dropped a pointed effort short, one wondered if Cork would ever get back on level terms. On 23 minutes, Corbett did just that, also edging them in front for the first time approaching the break.

Kerry could have had a second goal if Patrick D’Arcy offloaded to the unmarked Paul Walsh in first-half stoppage time. It didn’t materialise, although Walsh did have the final say of the half when kicking Kerry’s first score in 16 minutes to tie matters. Their unbeaten run extends to 26. The drive for five continues.

Scorers for Kerry: P Walsh (1-3, 0-2 frees); R Ó Beaglaoích (0-2 frees), D McCarthy, J O’Connor (0-2 each); D Rahilly, J Kennelly (0-1 each).

Scorers for Cork: C Corbett (1-4); A Ó Luasa (0-4, 0-4 frees); N Hartnett, J Kelleher (0-1 each).

Kerry: M Kelliher (Glenflesk); K O’Donoghue (Legion), C Moriarty (Annascaul), C Flannery (Dingle); D McCarthy (Kenmare), D Murphy (Rathmore), D Mangan (Laune Rangers); P O’Shea (Kilcummin), D Lyne (Legion); D Rahilly (Rathmore), P D’Arcy (Glenflesk), K Falvey (Annascaul); J Kennelly (Ballydonoghue), P Walsh (Brosna), R Ó Beaglaoich (An Ghaeltacht)
Subs: J O’Connor (Beaufort) for Rahilly (40 mins); D Dineen for Kennelly, S Quilter (Austin Stacks) for D’Arcy (both 55).

Cork: D Doody (Buttevant); D Connolly (Glanworth), D Buckley (Newcestown), C O’Donovan (Glanmire); F Cronin (Cullen), D Phelan (Aghada), E Nation (Nemo Rangers); N Hartnett (Douglas), J Harte (Douglas); H Murphy (Éire Óg), D O’Sullivan (St Finbarr’s), E Cooke (Ballincollig); S McDonnell (Mallow), A Ó Luasa (Naomh Abán), C Corbett (Clyda Rovers)
Subs: M O’Neill (Buttevant) for McDonnell (27); J Kelleher (Canovee) for O’Sullivan (46); G Carey (Buttevant) for Harte (47); R Lombard (Ballyhooley) for Hartnett (55); J O’Shea (Urhan) for O’Donovan (57).

Referee: S Lonergan (Tipperary).

Team News

Kerry: M Kelliher (Glenflesk); C Flannery (Dingle), K O’Donoghue (Legion), D Mangan (Laune Rangers); C Moriarty (Annascaul), D McCarthy (Kenmare), D Murphy (Rathmore); D Rahilly (Rathmore), D Lyne (Legion); P Walsh (Brosna), P O’Shea (Kilcummin),K Falvey (Annascaul); P D’Arcy (Glenflesk), J Kennelly (Ballydonoghue), R Ó Beaglaoich (An Ghaeltacht).

Cork: D Doody (Buttevent); D Connolly (Glanworth), D Buckley (Newcestown), C O’Donovan (Glanmire); F Cronin (Cullen), D Phelan (Aghada), E Nation (Nemo Rangers); N Hartnett (Douglas), J Harte (Douglas); H Murphy (Eire Óg), Dara O’Sullivan (St Finbarr’s), E Cooke (Ballincollig); S McDonnell (Mallow), A O’Luasa (Naomh Aban), C Corbett (Clyda Rovers).

Electric Ireland Munster GAA Football Minor Championship Semi-Final – Clare 1-9 Tipperary 2-4

Clare defeated Tipperary by 1-9 to 2-4 in the Electric Ireland Munster GAA Football Minor Championship Semi-Final on Tuesday May 8th at Semple Stadium Thurles.

Match Highlights

Banner finish with a flourish

Report by Michael Dundon for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Clare 1-9 Tipperary 2-4: A strong finish by Clare yielded three points and clinched their place in the Munster minor football semi-final at the expense of a disappointing Tipperary side before 885 spectators at Semple Stadium last night.

The win was no more than Clare deserved as they were the more enterprising team throughout but they made life difficult for themselves with some erratic shooting, off target no fewer than 16 times in a game of moderate standard.

The throw-in was delayed for over 20 minutes due to the late arrival of the Clare side and this may have explained their slow start which saw Tipperary hit the front with a Max Hackett goal after eight minutes.

In a lacklustre first half, in which both sides were guilty of handling errors and poor shooting, Tipperary should have had a second goal after 25 minutes but Sean O’Connor failed to convert after being set up by Kyle Shelley.

It was an expensive miss and a brace of Shane Meehan points just before the break had Clare hot on Tipperary’s heels at half-time, with the home county leading 1-2 to 0-4.

Four minutes after resuming, Clare hit the front when Kevin Keane netted with Tipp defenders claiming a square ball, but referee David Murnane awarded the goal after consultation with his umpires.

A minute later, Cian McDonagh blazed wide for Clare with the Tipp goal at his mercy. Clare were the dominant side and Shane Meehan extended their advantage, 1-5 to 1-3, after 41 minutes.

Tipperary were level after 42 minutes when Christy English slipped his marker to crack home a fine goal and with five minutes of actual time to play, there was still deadlock between the sides.

In the closing minutes, Clare found an extra gear. Firstly Emmet McMahon pointed a 45 for the lead. A minute later, Shane Meehan extended their advantage and, in injury-time, Meehan clinched the victory with his fifth point, sending Clare forward to meet Kerry in the Munster final.

Clare fully deserved their win but they will have reservations about slack finishing and some basic handling errors which need to be addressed before the final. Shane Meehan and Emmet McMahon led by example but Cillian Rouine, Cian McDonagh, and John Murphy also had big games.

Clare scorers: S Meehan (0-5,3fs), K Keane (1-0), E McMahon (0-3,2fs), T Kelly (0-1);

Tipperary scorers: C English (1-1,0-1f), M Hackett (1-0), S O Connor (0-2,1f), K Shelly (0-1).

CLARE: M Garrihy; J Reidy, D Connelly, J Murphy; C Carrig, C Rouine, A O Connor; C Okoye, E McMahon; T Kelly, C McDonagh, P O Donoghue; K Keane, S Meehan, M McInerney
Subs: G Daurio for O Donoghue; S Lillis for Keane.

TIPPERARY: C Scully; T McDonagh, S Lowe, C McDonagh; M O Meara, G Meagher, J Ryan; K Ryan, K Hayes; M Hackett, D Ryan, C English; K Shelly, S O Connor, E Daly.
Subs: R Byron for K Ryan; B Murphy for Hayes; J Holloway for D Ryan; P Creedon for O Connor; J O Sullivan for Byron.

Referee: D Murnane, Cork