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2023 Electric Ireland Minor Football Championship Final – Kerry 2-10 Cork 0-11

June 2, 2023 @ 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm

Kerry defeated Cork by 2-10 to 0-11 in the Electric Ireland Minor Football Championship Final on June 2nd at Austin Stack Park Tralee.

Goals key as Kerry keep Cork quiet to land Munster minor title

Kerry 2-10 Cork 0-11

Report by Eoghan Cormican for the Irish Examiner newspaper

Efficient rather than excellent, Kerry shut down and shut out Cork to reverse last month’s quarter-final result between the counties and wrestle back the Munster minor crown.

The five-point victory delivers the Kingdom a 51st Munster title and progresses them to an All-Ireland quarter-final against beaten Leinster finalists Kildare next weekend. Cork, meanwhile, must regroup for a daunting last-eight bout with Dublin.

This was a Munster final serviced far more by mistakes than scores. So often the wrong decision was taken, a fact of proceedings that was amplified late on as Cork chased an equalising goal.

The required green flag never looked like emerging. Kerry’s every-man-behind-the-wheel approach in the closing minutes made certain of that.

Kerry’s two injury-time points to wrap the green and gold ribbons around the silverware were breakaway scores. The final’s closing white flag – a Paddy Lane free – saw Cork’s Frank Hurley black carded. Having already picked up an earlier yellow, the full-back’s removal constituted a sending-off.

The outcome of this Munster final had been much less clear-cut when Cork kicked the opening three points of the second period to draw level, 2-4 to 0-10, on 42 minutes. The problem for the visitors was the energy expended in getting back on parity.

There had been two goal chances – one off the crossbar and one saved – and two wides, along with the three points from David O’Leary, Dara Sheedy, and Timothy Cullinane.

For all their third quarter pressure and probing, Cork would have hoped for a bigger return.

Paddy Lane’s 46th minute free was Kerry’s first score of the second period. The resultant Cork kickout was won by the opposition. It was a recurring theme all evening. Tomás Kennedy promptly sent the ball back between the posts.

Lane’s fourth free reestablished Kerry’s three-point interval buffer. Just like that, they had wiped out Cork’s recovery work. Their economy in attack was way superior to their opponents.

Cork managed only one score from the 42nd minute onwards. Kerry overpopulated their defence in the fourth quarter, issuing a strict barring order in the scoring zone.

Cork had had the breeze at their backs in the opening half. You wouldn’t have known such from the half-time scoreline. 2-4 to 0-7 they trailed. Kerry is home to many difficult and steep climbs. Name any one of those mountains and they’d have aptly captured the second half task facing the visitors.

Kerry’s second green flag was the Collins Dictionary definition of a sucker punch. Cork’s two previous attacks had finished in a Séan Coakley wide and a David O’Leary point attempt blocked down.

Either of them would have nudged Cork back in front. Instead, Ray O’Mahony’s charges found themselves three behind.

The assist for Kerry’s second goal on the half hour mark, the same as the first, was provided by number three Ben Murphy. The finish was applied by Dara Hogan.

It was Hogan’s fellow corner-forward Paddy Lane who had supplied their opening major on 22 minutes. On that occasion, a handpass to Odhran Foley wasn’t taken cleanly by the Cork half-back, Murphy gathered the breaking ball, and delivered a lovely kickass inside to Lane who had got on the right side of his marker.

The goals were so hurtful to a Cork team who were getting their hands on plenty of possession, but lacking in ideas and invention when it came to picking locks in Kerry’s defensive set-up.

It certainly didn’t help the travelling cause that their two go-to figures in attack, Dara Sheedy and Séan Coakley, were receiving the most suffocating of attention from Gearoid Evans and David Mulvihill respectively. Evans and Mulvihill did their jobs superbly, as did the rotating Kerry sweepers.

The acres of green grass Cork ran into and made hay from during their Munster quarter-final win over the Kingdom last month were fenced off here with barbed wire.

The other issue for Cork in that opening half was retaining possession from their own kickouts. Sean Ó Cuinn’s 12th minute point to tie matters at 0-3 apiece came from a third consecutive Cork restart won by a player in green and gold. That the ensuing restart was also lost made it a four-in-a-row of Kerry takes.

The goalkeeper in question, Billy Curtin, came forward to kick a free shortly after and when Coakley followed a minute later with a point from play, Cork were 0-5 to 0-3 in front. The remainder of the half went 2-1 to 0-2 in favour of the home side. A home side that were finding space and scores easier to come by, particularly off more limited ball time.

Scorers for Kerry: P Lane (1-5, 0-5 frees); D Hogan (1-0); T Kennedy (0-2); S Ó Cuinn, P Fitzgerald, S Gannon (0-1 each).

Scorers for Cork: D Sheedy (0-1 free), T Cullinane (0-3 each); B Curtin (0-1 free), O Foley, D O’Leary, S Coakley, D Clifford (0-1 each).

Kerry: J Hoare (Dingle); B Murphy (Austin Stacks), D Mulvihill (Tarbert), I Brosnan (Castleisland Desmonds); P Moynihan (Rathmore), G Evans (Keel), K O’ Shea (Kilcummin); E Boyle (Ballyduff), D Kirby (Austin Stacks); D O’Keeffe (Moyvane), T Kennedy (Kerins O’Rahillys), S Ó Cuinn (An Ghaeltacht); D Hogan (Milltown/Castlemaine), O Healy (Asdee), P Lane (Austin Stacks).
Subs: P Fitzgerald (Castlegregory) for O’Keeffe (40); A Kennelly (Listowel Emmets) for Healy (44); S Gannon (Laune Rangers) for Ó Cuinn (44); P Walsh (Listowel Emmets) for Hogan (52); A Ó Beaglaíoch (An Ghaeltacht) for Murphy (64).

Cork: B Curtin (Valley Rovers); N O’Shea (Urhan), F Hurley (O’Donovan Rossa), M Ahern (St Finbarr’s); O Foley (Bishopstown), G Daly (Mallow), T Kiely (Doneraile); M O’Brien (Ballinora), D Clifford (Éire Óg); T Cullinane (Ballinascarthy), D Sheedy (Bantry Blues), D O’Leary (Ballincollig); D O’Mullane (Kilmurry), S Coakley (Douglas), O O’Callaghan (Liscarroll Churchtown Gaels).
Subs: J O’Leary (Douglas) for O’Mullane (HT); M Hetherington (St Finbarr’s) for Clifford (43); C Mullins (Mallow) for Foley (53); G Holland (Bishopstown) for Cullinane (57); S O’Leary (Kilmurry) for Kiely (62).

Referee: E Morrissey (Waterford).

Ticket Information

Adults – €15
Students / OAPs – €10
Under 16s – Free

Click here to buy tickets

Alternatively, purchase tickets from participating Centra and Supervalu outlets

Match Coverage

The game will be shown live on TG4.

Team News

Kerry: J Hoare (Dingle); D Mulvihill (Tarbert), B Murphy (Austin Stacks), I Brosnan (Castleisland Desmonds); P Moynihan (Rathmore), K O’ Shea (Kilcummin), G Evans (Keel); E Boyle (Ballyduff), D Kirby (Austin Stacks); D O’Keeffe (Moyvane), T Kennedy (Kerins O’Rahillys), S Ó Cuinn (An Ghaeltacht); D Hogan (Milltown/Castlemaine), O Healy (Asdee), P Lane (Austin Stacks).
Subs: O O’Halloran (Ardfert), S Clifford (Laune Rangers), A O Beaglaoich (An Ghaeltacht), P Walsh (Listowel Emmets), A Kennelly (Listowel Emmets), R Carroll (Austin Stacks), A Carey (Listowel Emmets), S Gannon (Laune Rangers), P Fitzgerald (Castlegregory).

CORK (MFC v Kerry): B. Curtin (Valley Rovers); N. O’Shea (Urhan), F. Hurley (O’Donovan Rossa), M. Ahern (St Finbarrs); O. Foley (Bishopstown), G. Daly (j-c, Mallow), T. Kiely (Doneraile); M. O’Brien (Ballinora), M. Hetherington (St Finbarrs); T. Cullinane (Ballinascarty), D. Sheedy (Bantry Blues), D. O’Leary (Ballincollig); D. O’Mullane (Kilmurry), S. Coakley (j-c, Douglas), G. Holland (Bishopstown).
Subs: D. Fray (Mallow), S. O’Leary (Kilmurry), L. Hourihan (St Columns), A. Dineen (Cill na Martra), O. O’Callaghan (Liscarroll Churchtown Gaels), C. Mullins (Mallow), D. Clifford (Éire Óg), L. Shorten (Tadhg Mac Carthaigh), J. O’Leary (Douglas).

Match Programme

Pick up a copy of the Souvenir Match Programme for 3 euro


June 2, 2023
7:30 pm - 9:30 pm


Austin Stack Park Tralee
Tralee, Ireland + Google Map

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