Heartbreak as Kerry lose thriller in extra time

Cadburys Munster U-21 Football Championship Final
Cork 2-12 Kerry 1-14 (after extra time) 
By Murt Murphy for kerrygaa.ie 
Munster Champions Cork needed extra time to see off the brave challenge of Kerry in this exciting and absorbing Cadbury's Munster U-21 Football Championship Final played before a bumper crowd of 5318, at the Austin Stack Park Tralee to night. 
It was a game that was decided in overtime as Kerry just came up short by a single point in a rip roaring finish. It was heartbreaking for Eamon Fitzmaurice and his Kerry players, who overcame a sluggish opening to the first half proper and the first half of extra time and still showed true grit and raw courage to fight back and almost snatch victory in the normal time and at the death.

It was game where Cork held the advantage in physicality but Kerry players fought tooth and nail for every ball and even in defeat can feel proud of their efforts in game that was spoiled somewhat by the wind.
Kerry had lots of stars on the night but what about full forward Conor Cox who scored eight points, James Walsh who fetched some great ball at midfield, Stephen O'Brien who worked tirelessly for his team, and Shane O'Carroll for that magnificent point from a side line ball when the game was in the balance.
Paul Murphy had a mighty game at wing back, Ferghal McNamara held Brian Nurley to 0-2 from play, Mark Griffin was excellent at full back while Pa Kilkenny was belligerent at wing back.

The Kerry substitutes who came on all played major roles including Marc Reen, Eanna O'Connor and Gavin O'Grady and the future of Kerry football looks bright with the lads showing rich promise.
So full marks to Eamon Fitzmaurice, Darragh Ó Sé , Harry O'Neill and John Shanahan for a job well done and the memory of last years disaster at Pairc Ui Rinn was well and truly laid to rest!
It appeared very much a case of déjà vu after five minutes of this contest when Cork threatened to repeat last years mauling of Kerry at Pairc Ui Rinn as they raced 0-4 to 0-0 in front with an explosive opening in front a massive crowd.
Cork were winning every break around midfield and their inside line of Brian Hurley, Luke Connelly and Donal Og Hodnett had the legs on their opponents with points from Hurley (2) and one each from Connolly and corner back Alan Cronin, leaving the Kingdom in a daze.
However one Kerry settled with James Walsh winning vital ball at midfield, the Kerry inside duo of Kieran Hurley and Conor Cox began to torment the Cork fullback line and suddenly against the wind Kerry stormed back into the contest.
Kieran Hurley began to get the measure of his marker and Kerry were on level terms by the 20th minute thanks to four unanswered points from Conor Cox with three ( two frees) and Hurley with the other.
The Kerry defence was defending staunchly against a dangerous looking Rebel attack who did not post a score from the 5th to the 24th but the crucial goal of the half, came in the 28th minute when Luke Connolly floated in free to the Kerry square and when the ball broke, Donal Og Hodnett finished to the Kerry net as Cork led 1-5 to 0-5 at the interval.
In a very low scoring second half,  Cork did their best to kick the game away as Kerry rallied with James Walsh outstanding and points from Cox ( 3) and a point from the side line from Shane Carroll left the minimum between the sides with seven minutes left.
Brian Hurley then appeared to have kicked the insurance point for Cork in the 56th minute but Kerry fought back in injury time and forced extra time with points from Cox and O'Carroll.
It appeared that Kerry were down and out in the first period as Cork added 1-3 to 0-0 with the goal coming from Luke Connolly.
However Kerry refused to give in and a goal from the penalty by Chris Brady and points from substitutes Eanna O'Connor and Gavin O'Grady closed the gap to one point but Cork prevailed to win back to back U-21 titles. It was so near and yet so far for Kerry - it was cruel but they left nobody down and winning is not everything!


Scorers
Kerry
C Cox 0-8 (0-7 frees), C Brady 1-0, S O'Carroll 0-2 (0-1 sideline), G O'Grady 0-2, E O'Connor and K Hurley 0-1 each

Cork
D Og Hodnett 1-1, L Connolly 1-1 B Hurley 0-4 ( 0-2 frees), D McEoin 0-2 A Cronin, J Wall, R Deane and J O'Rourke 0-1 each


Teams:
Kerry
P O'Sullivan, M Galvin, M Griffin, F McNamara, P Kilkenny, J Sherwood, P Murphy, D O'Sullivan, J Walsh, S O'Carroll, C Brady, S O'Brien, I Galvin, C Cox, K Hurley
Subs: M Reen for Me Galvin (26), N O'Shea for K Hurley (42), D Culhane for M Galvin (52), T Morley for J Sherwood (e/t), G O'Grady for C Cox (e/t). E O'Connor for S O'Carroll (e/t)


Cork
J Mellet, D O'Donovan, D Cahalane, A Cronin, J Cronin, T Clancy, J Wall, R Deane, E Healy, K Hallissey, D Og Hodnett, J O'Rourke, L Connolly, M Sugrue, B Hurley
Subs: D Nation for E Healy (48), C O'Sullivan for T Clancy (inj 49), A Cadogan for M Sugrue (56), D McEoin for K Hallissey (60), D Drake for J O'Rourke (e/t), B O'Driscoll for J Wall (e/t)

Referee: K O'Brien (Tipperary)