Kerry 3-21 Clare 1-7
The gulf in class between Kerry and most other counties in Munster was highlighted again this Saturday afternoon when, for the second year in a row, they scored a comfortable win over Clare in the Provincial minor final
In bright sunshine at Pairc Ui Caoimh, the defending champions struck for 1-12 without reply in a fourteen minute spell in the opening half as they opened a fourteen point gap which put them into a commanding position and the result was never in doubt after this.
They were slicker throughout the field and their teamwork proved much too sharp for their opponents
After scoring the opening two points, Kerry were rocked in the eleventh minute when Clare got through for a goal which Thomas Kelly finished well to give the Banner side the lead for the only time in the game.
Kerry’s response was devastating as , in the space of two minutes they had landed 1-1 from Dylan Geaney, the goal coming after a Paul Walsh free rebounded off the upright and Geaney was quickest to react. It was 1-15 to 1-2 at half time and while Clare would have the assistance of the wind in the second half, the favourites tag remained very much with Kerry.
Clare returned with Tadhg Lillis and Padraic O’Donoghue in thir attack and Lillis landed the opening score of the half when he pointed in the second minute. Kerry’s response was to strike for their second goal and, again, the Clare defence will be disappointed as they should have controlled the ball when goalkeeper Michael Garrihy parried a free from Paul Walsh. The ball fell to the waiting Dylan Geaney who palmed to the net from close range.
To be fair to Clare they did well in the third quarter, scoring 0-3 while conceding 1-1 to the winners whose third goal came with eleven minutes remaining and, again,it was similar to the previous goals. Substitute Brendan O’Beaglaoich’s free caused problems for the Clare defence and Paul Walsh was on hand to fist the ball to the net.
Cillian Rouine, Darragh Conneely, Thomas Kelly and Shane Meehan worked hard throughout for Clare who must now re-group and prepare for an all-Ireland quarter final meeting with the Connacht champions.
Kerry had outstanding performances from Paul Walsh, Dan McCarthy, Mark Kelliher and Jack O’Connor
Kerry; Mark Kelleher; Conor Flannery, Owen Fitzgerald, David Mangan; Colm Moriarty, Dan McCarthy 0-1, Dan Murphy; Darragh Rahilly 0-2, Darragh Lyne 0-1; Paul Walsh 1-7, Paul O’Shea 0-2, Killian Falvey 0-1; Dylan Geaney 2-2, Jack O’Connor 0-2, Michael Lenihan 0-1.
Subs; Sean Quilter for O’Shea; Brendan O’Beaglaoich 0-2 for Lenihan; Jack Kenneally for Geaney James Mc Carthy for O. Fitzgerald; David Dineen for Rahilly; Sean Og Moran for Mangan
Clare; Michael Garrihy (St.. Breckans); Jack Reidy (Shannon Gaels) Dara Conneely (Ennistymon), John Murphy (Ennistymon); Gavin D’Auria (Eire Og) Cillian Rouine (Ennistymon) Captain, Adam O’Connor (Kilmurry-Ibrickane); Chibby Okoye (Banner), Emmett McMahon(Kildysart) 0-2; Thomas Kelly (Shannon Gaels) 1-0, Cian McDonough (Doora-Barefield), Jack Regan(Ennistymon); Joey Droney (Ml. Cusacks) Shane Meehan (Banner) 0-3, Mark McInerney (Eire Og).
Subs; Tadhg Lillis (Cooraclare) 0-1 for Regan; Paxraic O’Donoghue (Cooraclare) for Droney; Kevin Keane (Corofin) for McInerney; Conor Hassett (Kildysart) 0-1 for D’ Auria; Manus Doherty (Ennistymon) for Lillis, black card; Ryan Barry (Ennistymon) for O’Connor
Referee; John Ryan, Cork
By Seamus Hayes