Electric Ireland Munster MFC Final: Kerry retain title
Electric Ireland Munster MFC Final
KERRY 2-14 CLARE 1-7
By Derrick Lynch at the LIT Gaelic Grounds
Kerry claimed an eighth Electric Munster MFC title in a row at the LIT Gaelic Grounds.
It was a third final victory over Clare in the last four years, and while the margin may not have been as vast as those previous meetings, there was no doubting that the better team took the spoils.
Goals at the beginning and end of the opening period for Kerry set them on their way to a six point half time lead, with an unanswered run of 1-2 to close the first half and see them lead 2-5 to 0-5 at the break.
The first goal arrived inside the opening five minutes to see the Kingdom lead by 1-1 to 0-0 early with Keith Evans sending signals of an impressive performance to come as he slotted home after good work from Cian McMahon.
Clare responded well with three Diarmaid Fahy frees to cut the gap to one by the opening water break, but stout Kerry defending was proving effective as they cut down the space for a much vaunted Clare attack to exploit.
The second quarter was also an even affair with two outstanding scores from Clare captain Brendan Rouine leaving just a point between the sides midway through, but from here it was all about the Kingdom as they overpowered their opponents while making maximum damage on the scoreboard.
Wing back Paudie O'Leary twice raided along the left flank for fisted points, but it was the man on the other wing, Cillian Burke, who provided McMahon with their second goal, His incisive run created the opening for McMahon to palm home from close range, as the Kingdom built a 2-5 to 0-5 interval lead.
It was a much more expansive Kerry display in the second period and despite notching four wides to open the new half, they made amends with a run of 0-5 unanswered to put the result beyond any doubt at the turn of the final quarter.
Craig O'Riordan's goal with10 minutes left Clare trailing by 2-12 to 1-5 with the Wolfe Tones man profiting from a clever delivery by Dylan O'Brien. It would prove little more than consolation with the dominance either side of half time proving the crucial periods as Kerry collected their 50th Munster minor football title.
Scorers for Kerry: Keith Evans and Cian McMahon 1-2 each, Paudie O'Leary, Cillian Burke and Darragh O'Sullivan 0-2 each, Oisín Mounsell, Caolan O'Connaill, Jordan Kissane and Ruairi Burns 0-1 each.
Scorers for Clare: Craig Riordan 1-1 (1f), Diarmuid Fahy 0-3 (3fs), Brendan Rouine 0-2, Michael Nash 0-1.
KERRY: Sean Broderick; Cian O'Donoghue, Joey Nagle, Dara O'Callaghan; Paudie O'Leary, Armin Heinrich, Cillian Burke; Oisín Mounsell, Caolán Ó'Connaill; Keith Evans, William Shine, Thomas O'Donnell; Cian McMahon, Aaron O'Shea, Darragh O'Sullivan.
Subs used: Jack McElligott, Darragh Fleming, Maurice O'Connell, Jordan Kissane and Ruairi Burns.
CLARE: Thomas Collins; Marc O'Loughlin, Fergal Guinnane, Dara Rouine; Odhran Cunningham, Fionn Kelleher, Josh Guyler; Brendan Rouine, Brian McNamara; Dylan O'Brien, Cillian McGroary, Dara Nagle; Eoin Killeen, Craig Riordan, Diarmuid Fahy.
Subs used: Sean McMahon, Michael Nash, Daithi Lohan.
REFEREE: Jonathan Hayes (Limerick).