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The Kerry team celebrate with the cup after their Electric Ireland Munster GAA Football Minor Championship Final victory over Cork. 
The Kerry team celebrate with the cup after their Electric Ireland Munster GAA Football Minor Championship Final victory over Cork. 

Kerry win seventh Munster minor title in a row

Electric Ireland Munster Minor Football Final

KERRY 3-14 CORK 2-14

By Denis Hurley at Páirc Uí Chaoimh

Kerry needed a strong finish to make it seven Electric Ireland Munster MFC titles in a row as they overcame Cork at Páirc Uí Chaoimh on Saturday evening.

The sides were level when Cork captain Conor Corbett scored his fourth point of the game in the 59th minute and the Rebels – beaten by 16 points by their neighbours in the round-robin section – dreamed of a first title since 2010.

However, Kerry dug deep and took the lead again thanks to a point from sub Emmet O’Shea before captain Jack O’Connor and Darragh Lynch added insurance scores.

Having led by two points at half-time, Kerry conceded the first score of the second half but struck for a third goal through Kevin Goulding on 37 minutes. Their lead was never more than four points though as Cork suck with them, Corbett leading their charge.

A free from Cork’s Patrick Campbell left it 3-11 to 2-11 with ten minutes remaining and they harnessed momentum with two fine points from sub Michael O’Neill before Corbett tied the game. It proved to be their last score though as Kerry pushed on in the final stages to make sure of the win.

The first half was a frenzied affair. Kerry led by 0-3 to 0-1 early on but Cork had the lead as midfielder Kelan Scannell goaled in the sixth minute, a cool finish following a nice interplay from Hugh Murphy, Campbell and Jack Cahalane.

While Kerry’s Dylan Geaney equalised, Cork struck again, this time with some good fortune as Campbell’s low ball across goal rebounded off a Kingdom defender and ended in the net.

Gearóid Hassett might have had a Kerry goal but he was denied by Neil Lordan’s block and then Kevin Goulding’s follow-up was saved by Aaron O’Brien.

Cork moved four ahead when Ryan O’Donovan pointed on 19 minutes, 2-4 to 0-6 the lead, but in the closing stages of the first half, Kerry upped things again.

After a point from Seán O’Brien, they had a goal from Colin Crowley, set up by Dylan Geaney and O’Connor put them in front.

O’Donovan’s free levelled at 2-5 to 1-8, but Geaney notched Kerry’s second goal on 27, set up by Goulding.

Cork corner-back Seán Andrews left two in it at the break, with Corbett reducing the deficit further on the resumption, but Kerry remained dangerous and it took an O’Brien save to deny Crowley on 36 before the third goal did arrive a minute later, Geaney setting up Goulding.

It put them four ahead, but Cork never allowed matters to become a procession.

Scorers for Kerry: Jack O’Connor 0-5 (0-2 45, 0-2 frees), Dylan Geaney 1-2, Kevin Goulding, Colin Crowley 1-1 each, Gearóid Hassett 0-2, Darragh Lynch, Seán O’Brien, Emmet O’Shea 0-1 each.

Scorers for Cork: Ryan O’Donovan (0-3 frees), Conor Corbett 0-4 each, Kelan Scannell 1-0, Michael O’Neill 0-2, Patrick Campbell (free), Seán Andrews, Hugh Murphy, Adam Walsh Murphy 0-1 each (1-0 own goal).

KERRY: Devon Burns; Kieran O’Sullivan, Alan Dineen, Luke Chester; Eoghan O’Sullivan, Adam Curran, Seán O’Brien; Joseph Linehan, Ronan Collins; Colin Crowley, Jack O’Connor, Darragh Lynch; Dylan Geaney, Gearóid Hassett, Kevin Goulding. Subs: Emmet O’Shea for Goulding (46), Dylan O’Callaghan for Crowley (47), Jason Kerins for O’Brien (49, injured), Terry Sparling for Dineen (59, black card), Tomás Ó hAiniféin for Lynch (60).

CORK: Aaron O’Brien; Seán Andrews, Daniel Linehan, Joseph O’Shea; Tadhg O’Donoghue, Neil Lordan, Daniel Peet; Jack Lawton, Kelan Scannell; Hugh Murphy, Conor Corbett, Adam Walsh-Murphy; Ryan O’Donovan, Patrick Campbell, Jack Cahalane. Subs: Keith O’Driscoll for Walsh-Murphy (24, injured), Michael O’Neill for O’Shea (half-time), Alan O’Hare for O’Donovan (49), Shane Aherne for Campbell (55), Nathan Gough for Andrews (60).

Referee: Seán Lonergan (Tipperary)

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