Adam Moynihan reports from Páirc Uí Rinn
Munster Championship Semi-Final
Cork 0-11 Kerry 0-23
A run of eight straight points between the 51st and 64th minutes lifted Kerry to what was ultimately a comprehensive victory over Cork at Páirc Uí Rinn.
Cork had frustrated their fiercest rivals up until then and some excellent kicking by Stephen Sherlock and Cathail O’Mahony had them trailing by the minimum.
With David Clifford being well marshalled by a combination of Kevin Flahive and Seán Powter, Kerry had struggled to find their rhythm but that string of unanswered scores finally put the contest to bed.
This match was played in front of a virtually full Páirc Uí Rinn in perfect conditions but, save for a Cork run around the 26-minute mark, it failed to really burst into life in the first half.
Kerry boast arguably the best forward division in the country but Cork’s Stephen Sherlock was the stand-out marksman of the opening period. He kicked the hosts first six points (the fifth was his first from play and also the score of the half).
David Clifford (two), Paudie Clifford, Stephen O’Brien and Séan O’Shea (two) had given The Kingdom a 7-3 lead with 20 minutes on the clock before Sherlock (three) and Cathail O’Mahony roused the home crowd by making it a draw game.
The visitors finished the half in the ascendancy, however, and a great point (as he was being fouled) by the excellent Diarmuid O’Connor and a Tony Brosnan score gave them a two-point half-time lead.
O’Mahony’s kicking kept the Rebels within striking distance at the beginning of the second half but the introduction of David Moran at midfield coincided with Kerry’s best spell of the match. With Gavin White also exploding into the game, Jack O’Connor’s side eased into fourth gear and left Cork in their wake.
Seán O’Shea accounted for a good portion of Kerry’s match-sealing points and subs Micheál Burns and Paul Geaney also got in on the act late on.
Cork’s second-half performance can perhaps be summed up by the fact that they scored just one point in the last 20 minutes. Kerry’s backs deserve credit here; corner back Graham O’Sullivan in particular caught the eye.
Speaking to the media after the match, Kerry manager Jack O’Connor said the game had “more or less” gone the way Kerry would have predicted.
“We expected a big battle from Cork. With all the controversy over the game being played here, they had no option but to battle and they did. And fair play to them. They gave us a great battle for 50 minutes.
“We needed all our experience off the bench to see out that game.”
KERRY: S Ryan; G O’Sullivan, J Foley, T O'Sullivan; B Ó Beaglaoich, G White, T Morley; D O’Connor (0-1), J Barry; S O’Brien (0-2), Seán O’Shea (0-10, 8f), A Spillane; T Brosnan (0-1), D Clifford (0-4, 3f), P Clifford (0-2).
Subs: P Geaney (0-2) for Brosnan, D Moran for Spillane, P Murphy for Ó Beaglaoich, M Burns (0-1), J O’Connor for D O’Connor.
CORK: M Martin; K O’Donovan (0-1), M Shanley, K Flahive; J Cooper, R Maguire, M Taylor; I Maguire, C O’Callaghan; D Dineen, S Powter, J O’Rourke; S Sherlock (0-6, 5f), B Hurley, C O’Mahony (0-3).
Subs: D Foley for Martin, D Gore for Hurley, T Corkery for Powter, E McSweeney (0-1) for Dineen, D Hayes for O’Rourke.
Rebel lights delight for Killarney star
By Con Dennehy The continued growth, development and participation of women’s handball in East Kerry was rewarded at the weekend when Cork hosted ‘She’s Ace’, the prestigious All Ladies Handball […]
By Con Dennehy
The continued growth, development and participation of women’s handball in East Kerry was rewarded at the weekend when Cork hosted ‘She’s Ace’, the prestigious All Ladies Handball championships.
Attracting all the leading players in Ireland, it was Sarah Dineen, the Spa/Killarney player who shot out the Rebel lights in Conna with a phenomenal display of handball.
Competing in the highly competitive Ladies Challenger championship, the Killarney player, who took up the sport just 18 months ago, had the perfect start in the competition defeating the home town favourite Agnes Hurley from Conna on a 21-20 scoreline following an energy sapping and close encounter that hung in the balance to the final ace.
In her second game she took on the challenge of Nolwenn Even from St Brigids where her skill, superior fitness and movement on the court resulted in the 21-12 victory and a place in the prestigious final.
“The final was always going to be a difficult game not least playing local girl Kate O’Riordan from Conna. I concentrated on my serve and kill shots which ensured we shared the aces early in the game. It was a difficult game with the home supporters out in force to cheer on their local hero. However, I played well and secured a 21-11 victory. This was the second time this title came to Spa Killarney following the 2022 win by Aoife Walsh in Northern Ireland,” said Sarah, who is currently chairperson of the Killarney Camogie Club.
A native of Westmeath, Sarah (46) runs a jewellery business in Killarney and lives in Rathmore. No stranger to competitive sport she played camogie for Westmeath and Leinster and also won an Intermediate championship Gaelic football medal in Westmeath.
Survey reveals Kerry fans’ expectations for 2023
A start-of-season survey carried out by the Killarney Advertiser has revealed Kerry supporters’ expectations ahead of the 2023 campaign, which gets underway on Sunday with a league match against Donegal.
Kerry enjoyed a perfect year in 2022 as Jack O’Connor led his team to glory in the National League, Munster Championship and All-Ireland Championship. It would be an incredible achievement to replicate that success again this time around, but some supporters seem to think that it can be done.
Around 73% of those polled believe that Kerry will reach another All-Ireland final, with the majority (42%) predicting that Sam Maguire will be staying in the Kingdom for another year at least. Just under a quarter of respondents (23%) think that Kerry will fall at the semi-final stage, however, with the remainder (4%) anticipating a quarter-final or round robin exit.
1. How far will Kerry go in the championship?
All-Ireland round robin – 1%
All-Ireland quarter-final – 3%
All-Ireland semi-final – 23%
All-Ireland final (runners-up) – 31%
All-Ireland final (winners) – 42%
That’s what supporters expect to happen, but what would they be happy with? When asked what would constitute a “good year” for Kerry in 2023, 54% stated that only an All-Ireland will do. A further 32% said they would be content with another All-Ireland final appearance. So, effectively, the vast majority of Kerry supporters (86%) won’t be happy unless their team at least makes it to the All-Ireland final on July 30.
2. Kerry need to ___________ for 2023 to be classed as a “good” year.
Reach the All-Ireland round robin stage – 1%
Reach the All-Ireland quarter-final – 3%
Reach the All-Ireland semi-final – 10%
Reach the All-Ireland final – 32%
Win the All-Ireland final – 54%
Neighbours Cork gave Kerry a real hiding in the McGrath Cup at the beginning of this month but it appears as though fans from this side of the county bounds are placing little stock in that particular result. Over 96% of supporters expect Kerry to win their provincial championship. A very small minority (3%) are fearing the worst, i.e. Cork winning Munster.
3. Who will win the Munster Championship?
Kerry – 96%
Cork – 3%
Someone else – 1%
Expectations are lower for the immediate future, however. With several players out injured and others – including star player David Clifford – being rested, most fans reckon Kerry will finish mid-table in Division 1 of the National League. Over half of the readers who responded to our survey (52%) think Kerry will finish 3rd or 4th in the eight-team pool, with roughly one-in-five expecting a 5th or 6th place finish.
Despite the lengthy list of absentees, 21% of supporters are still optimistic that Kerry can retain their Division 1 title. At the other end of the scale, around 1% think Kerry will be relegated.
4. Where will Kerry finish in Division 1 of the National League?
1st or 2nd (winners) – 21%
1st or 2nd (runners-up) – 8%
3rd or 4th – 52%
5th or 6th – 18%
7th or 8th (relegated) – 1%
When asked which opponent they are most wary of heading into the new season, the vast majority of Kerry fans singled out the same Division 2 team.
5. Which opposition team should Kerry be most worried about in 2023?
Dublin – 78%
Tyrone – 7%
Armagh – 6%
Cork – 3%
Derry – 3%
Mayo – 2%
Galway – 1%
Jack O’Connor’s side travel to Ballybofey on Sunday for their first competitive outing of the season. Throw-in is at 2pm with the match being televised live on TG4.
Follow @AdamMoynihan for all the latest Kerry GAA news
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