KIERAN McCARTHY REPORTS
CORK’S reign as Munster and All-Ireland U20 football champions is over after they were dethroned in Tralee on Wednesday night.
The Rebels led 1-6 to 0-5 at the break, but Kerry bossed the second half at Austin Stack Park and outscored Cork by 0-12 to 0-3 in front of a crowd of 3,059.
While Cork were the better team in the first half, there can be no arguments after Kerry’s dominant second-half display saw them level, 0-10 to 1-7, after 42 minutes and then pull away as the half wore on.
Ruaidhri O Beaglaoich led the Kerry charge and they carried a real threat all during the second half, while Cork struggled to find their rhythm in the second period. As Cork chased the game, they left gaps that Kerry exploited.
Mark Cronin (2) and Blake Murphy were Cork’s only second-half scorers while Kerry found their target with ease, in contrast to the opening half.
Cork led 1-6 to 0-5 at the break after a first half that was the tale of two goals chances - Cork took theirs, Kerry didn’t.
Cúl iontach ó Aodhán Ó Luasa @OfficialCorkGAA ?
— Spórt TG4 (@SportTG4) March 4, 2020
After 14 minutes, and with Kerry leading 0-3 to 0-2, Ruaidhri O Beaglaoich’s pass across the Cork goalmouth set up Patrick Darcy for a goal, but he took a split second too long and his low shot was smothered on the line by Cork defenders David Buckley and Colm O’Shea.
When Cork got their first sniff of goal, Blake Murphy burst into life in the 26th minute after Aodhan O Luasa dispossessed Kerry centre back Dylan Casey. Blake took the ball, sped in at an angle and finished low from close range to push Cork 1-4 to 0-4 ahead.
Murphy finished the half strong and kicked to points to sandwich a Kerry effort from Darcy.
Cork were good value for their lead at the break, but didn’t back that up in the second half, so it’s Kerry that go forward to the All-Ireland series.
Cork: B Murphy 1-3; M Cronin 0-4 (1f); F Herlihy, J Murphy 0-1 each.
Kerry: R O Beaglaoich (1 m) 0-5; P Walsh (3f) 0-3; P Darcy, S Quilter 0-2 each; K Falvey, D Lyne, P O’Shea, S Horan, S Keane 0-1 each.
Cork: Cian O’Leary (Douglas); Colm O’Shea (Kilshannig), Daniel O’Mahony (Knocknagree), Diarmaid Phelan (Aghada); David Buckley (Newcestown), Billy Foley (Bantry Blues), Eanna O’Hanlon (Kilshannig); Jack Lawton (Argideen Rangers), Daniel O’Connell (Kanturk); Jack Murphy (Eire Og), Aodhan O Luasa (Naomh Aban), Brian Hayes (St Finbarr’s); Mark Cronin (Nemo Rangers), Fionn Herlihy (Dohenys), Blake Murphy (St Vincent’s).
Subs: Brian Lynch (Douglas) for Phelan (29), Conor Corbett (Clyda Rovers) for O Luasa (ht, inj), Bill Curtin (Kilshannig) for Lawton (38), Darragh Hayes (Carbery Rangers) for B Hayes (51), Conor Russell (Douglas) for Herlihy (59).
Kerry: Marc Kelliher; Owen Fitzgerald, James McCarthy, Dan McCarthy; Luka Brosnan, Dylan Casey, Sean O’Brien; Darragh Lyne, Michael O’Gara; Paul Walsh, Patrick Darcy, Killian Falvey; Paul O’Shea, Sean Horan, Ruaidhri O Beaglaoich.
Subs: Eddie Horan for O Fitzgerald (ht), Sean Keane for P Walsh (44), Sean Quilter for K Falvey (46), Sean O’Connell for S Horan (49), Dylan Geaney for Darcy (54).
Referee: Sean Lonergan (Tipperary).