KIERAN McCARTHY REPORTS
WOW. Just wow.
Cork have knocked Kerry out of the Munster SFC after the most incredible finish to Sunday evening’s semi-final at Páirc Úi Chaoimh.
The heroic Rebels had pushed their much-fancied rivals all the way in this war of attrition that needed extra-time, and it had looked like Kerry had one foot in the Munster final when they led by one point in injury time at the end of extra time.
But, and here it comes, Cork struck for an incredible match-winning goal. It’s already the stuff of legend.
Luke Connolly hoofed a huge ball in towards the Kerry square - it was a point attempt, let’s be fair - and it dropped to the Wizard of Oz, Mark Keane, the AFL star surprisingly named in the squad earlier in the week, and he buried it.
'Connolly kicking up into the air. It's drifting, it's moving, it's still in play, it bounces, IT'S A GOAL!'
— Jack McCarron (@JayBurgKK) November 8, 2020
What a way to win a game. What a way to win a game against Kerry. And what a way to reaffirm the belief that the Cork footballers are moving in the right direction - because they are.
There were heroes everywhere. Mark Keane, of course. Debutants Maurice Shanley and Sean Meehan were outstanding. So was captain fantastic Ian Maguire, as was Sean Powter and Ruairi Deane. Heroes all.
It took an injury-time Mark Collins free in normal time to force extra time, 0-10 apiece, under the lights on Leeside, and it was what these resilient Rebels deserved.
Kerry looked like they had the edge in extra time and had moved two points clear, 0-12 to 0-10, before sub Connolly nailed a stunning free to make it a one-point game. Then came the drama in injury-time, as Mark Keane took centre stage to knock Kerry out and send Cork into the Munster senior football final against Tipperary.
Cork: Mark Collins 0-4 (3f); Mark Keane 1-0; Luke Connolly 0-3 (2f); Killian O’Hanlon 0-2 (1 45); Brian Hurley (1 mark), Sean Powter, Kevin O’Donovan 0-1 each.
Kerry: David Clifford 0-4 (1f); Killian Spillane 0-4; Sean O’Shea 0-2 (1f); Ronan Buckley, Dara Moynihan, Tony Brosnan 0-1 each.
CORK: M A Martin (Nemo Rangers); S Powter (Douglas), M Shanley (Clonakilty), K Flahive (Douglas); K O’Donovan (Nemo Rangers), S Meehan (Kiskeam), M Taylor (Mallow); I Maguire (St Finbarr’s), K O’Hanlon (Kilshannig); J O’Rourke (Carbery Rangers), C O’Callaghan (Éire Óg), R Deane (Bantry Blues); M Collins (Castlehaven), B Hurley (Castlehaven), P Walsh (Kanturk).
Subs: Mark Keane (Mitchelstown) for O’Callaghan (44), Luke Connolly (Nemo Rangers) for O’Rourke (45), Michael Hurley (Castlehaven) for P Walsh, P Kerrigan (Nemo Rangers) for B Hurley (63), Sean White (Clonakilty) for K O’Donovan (69), Paul Ring (Aghabullogue) for Flahive (70, et), T Corkery for Powter (73, et), Damien Gore (Kilmacabea) for K O’Hanlon (80, et), K O’Driscoll (Tadhg MacCathaigh) for Maguire, D Gore (Kilmacabea) for O’Hanlon)
KERRY: S Ryan; J Foley, T Morley, T O’Sullivan; P Murphy, P Crowley, G White; D Moran, D O’Connor; B Ó Beaglaoich, S O’Shea, R Buckley; T Brosnan, D Clifford, D Moynihan.
Subs: S O’Brien for Moynihan (47), K Spillane for T Brosnan (50), J Barry for Ó Beaglaoich (55), J Sherwood for Buckley (63), G Crowley for G White (et, 70), Ó Beaglaoich for O’Sullivan (80), T Walsh for Foley (85).