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Rebels push Kingdom all the way, but Killarney curse lives on

April 20th, 2024 6:40 PM

By Sean Holland

Rebels push Kingdom all the way, but Killarney curse lives on Image
Cork manager John Cleary. Cork were defeated by Kerry in MSFC semi final.

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KERRY 0-18

CORK 1-12



THE Cork footballers were unable to dethrone the Kingdom in Fitzgerald Stadium, on Saturday afternoon, as they fell to a three point defeat, 0-18 to 1-12. Even though defeat never fails to leave a sour taste, it was an encouraging display by the Rebels and their early onslaught had those donning red amongst the 17,568 attendees dreaming of a famous victory but it wasn't to be.

That early burst from the Rebels started with Conor Corbett drilling the ball over the bar for the first score of the game after he was put through on goal after a neat pass from Sean Powter. Soon after in the fourth minute, the first goal of the game came after a lovely running move that included Brian O’Driscoll and Ian Maguire was finished to the net from close range by Paul Walsh.

Kerry hit back immediately with a Sean O’Shea free and could’ve been level a minute later but Paudie Clifford missed a glaring 1v1 opportunity. The Kingdom did eventually draw level after ten minutes with scores from Darragh Moynihan, Cillian Burke, and Tom O’Sullivan. Cork went back into the lead with a Brian Hurley free, and that was the first of a trio of scores from the Castlehaven man that put Cork up 1-4 to 0-4 after 15 minutes.

Both sides traded two points each with Clifford and Sean O’Shea (free) for Kerry, Chris Óg Jones and Brian Hurley (free) for Cork. The Rebels regained a four point lead when Mattie Taylor curled over a beauty in the 25th minute. That was their final score of the half as Kerry came back with three scores of their own. Firstly O’Shea, and then two (0-1 free) from Clifford left it 1-7 to 0-9.

Brian Hurley got the Rebels off to a fast start after the break with a free from outside the 45, but it was immediately followed by a Dara Moynihan curled effort. O’Shea finally put Kerry on level terms in the 43rd minute. A Brian Hurley free nudged Cork back in front but Tom O’Sullivan responded immediately. The Kingdom then took their first lead of the game in the 50th minute, when David Clifford was on hand to finish a counter attacking move.

Graham O’Sullivan put Kerry two to the good, only for Hurley to respond again for Cork. O’Shea hand fisted point to give Kerry that breathing space. But to Cork’s credit they came back once more.Conor Corbett fetched a beautiful mark after a well placed ball in from Colm O’Callaghan, and the fulforward dispatched the ball over the bar with his left foot. 1-11 to 0-15. As much as Cork, tried Kerry kept the Rebels at arm length and the impressive Tom O’Sullivan popped up for his third of the game to once more leave two between the teams.

Kerry were now winding down the clock and with the help of goalkeeper Shane Ryan held it for four long minutes until a Cork foul allowed O’Shea to punish with a free. A Paul Geaney fisted score sealed the deal, putting them four up deep into injury time with a late Brian Hurley score merely a consolation. All in all, a positive display from the Rebels who came in as big underdogs, but still the wait goes on for Cork’s first championship win in Kerry since 1995. 


Kerry: S. O’Shea (0-6, 0-3f); D. Clifford (0-4, 0-1f); T. O’Sullivan (0-3); D. Moynihan (0-2); C. Burke, G. O’Sullivan, P. Geaney (0-1 each).

Cork: B. Hurley (0-8, 0-4f); P. Walsh (1-0); C. Corbett (0-2, 0-1m), C. Óg Jones, M. Taylor, (0-1 each).



Kerry: S Ryan; P Murphy, T Morley, T O’Sullivan; Graham O’Sullivan, G White, S, O’Brien; D O’Connor, J O’Connor; A Spillane, P Clifford, C Burke; D Clifford, S O’Shea, D, Moynihan.

Subs: P Geaney for Burke (HT), Stephen O’Brien for Spillane (47), M Breen for Sean O’Brien (61), T Brosnan for Moynihan (64), BD O’Connor for O’Connor (71).

Cork: C Kelly; K Flahive, D O’Mahony, M Shanley; L Fahy, T Walsh, M Taylor; I Maguire, C O’Callaghan; P Walsh, S Powter, B O’Driscoll; C Óg Jones, C Corbett, B Hurley.

Subs: S Meehan for Shanley (34), R Deane for Powter (44), S Sherlock for Óg Jones (53), M Cronin for P Walsh (57), K O’Donovan for T Walsh (60).

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