Kerry redeem lost pride with brave first half show against Rebels

MUNSTER MINOR HURLING CHAMPIONSHIP 2011 -LOSER’S ROUND
CORK 0 – 25 KERRY 2 – 6 By Murt Murphy for kerrygaa.ie

The final score in this Munster Minor Hurling Championship Losers Round does not adequately reflect the efforts of this brave Kerry Minor Hurling team as they entered the lions den in Pairc Ui Caoimh on Saturday evening and redeemed themselves against the kingpins of Munster Hurling.

It takes a lot of bottle after being pummelled to the canvas just three days earlier by 31 points to dust themselves down and travel to banks of the Lee against a wounded Cork side, when everyone expected another hammering.

So top marks and full respect for these young Kerry hurlers, who displayed the type of pride in wearing the green and gold, that augurs well for Kerry hurling down the road.

Kerry more than redeemed themselves and had Cork worried at half time and though the rebels as expected pulled clear in the second period, it was mostly from placed balls as Kerry understandably tired and they also lost three top players through injury from the team that started against Clare, so a thirteen point defeat is acceptable, all things considered.

Ricky Heffernan opened Kerry’s account with a point but the Lixnaw lad had to go off soon after having picked up an injury. Cork took control of matters and led 0 –m9 to 0 – 3 with 15 minutes gone on the clock. Then Kerry hit a purple patch with goals from Shane Dunne and Pádraig Boyle and by the 24th minute Kerry led 2 – 5 to 0 – 10 having played some excellent hurling. Cork tagged on two pointed frees from Rob O’Shea to lead 0 – 12 to 2 – 5 at half-time.

Cork, with the breeze to their backs, took control once more and points from play & from frees flowed freely. Kerry did have sporadic attacks and in the 15th minute Pádraig Boyle fluffed a 20 metre free as he fouled the ball and any hope of a Kerry revival was dashed. Boyle did get Kerry’s only score of the half three minutes from the end but this proved a consolation score in the final analysis. Hero for Cork was their free taker Rob O’Shea who finished the game with a total of 13 points which proved to be the winning margin on the night. Pádraig Boyle was Kerry’s top scorer with 1 – 3.

CORK: Gary Minihan; Alan Dennehy, Colm Barry, Anthony Dennehy; Cormac Walsh, Colm Spillane, Killian Burke; Cillian McSweeney, Killian McIntyre(0 – 2); Alan Cadogan(0 – 4), Dillon Cahill, Cormac Murphy(0 – 2); Pa O’Callaghan(0 – 2), Darren Sweetman(0 – 2), Rob O’Shea(0 – 13, 10f, “65”)

SUBS: Danny Morrissey for C McSweeney; Kevin O’Keeffe for D Cahill; Barry Connell for K McIntyre; Patrick White for P O’Callaghan; Tomás Condon for C Spillane.

KERRY: Kieran Fitzgibbon; Tom B McElligott, Dougie Fitzell, Kevin O’Sullivan; Mikey O’Halloran, Daniel Collins, Tadhg Moore; Eric O’Connor, Darren Leahy; Shane Dunne(1 – 0), Muiris Delaney, Pat Joe Connolly(0 – 1); Luke Fitzell(0 – 1), Pádraig Boyle(1 – 3), Ricky Heffernan(0 – 1).

SUBS: Paul McGrath for R Heffernan (inj); David Goulding for L Fitzell; Vincent Savage for E O’Connor; Damien Lynch for M O’Halloran.

REFEREE: Shane Hourigan, Limerick.