Cork 3-17 Kerry 2-09
Cork comprehensively beat Kerry by 11 points in front of over 6,000 supporters at Páirc Uí Rinn.
A strong first 20 minutes from the Rebels laid the foundations for an imposing lead that Kerry never looked like clawing back.
Goals from Colm O’Neill and a John O’Rourke (2) gave Cork a five-point half-time lead 3-07 to 2-05 with Kieran Donaghy and Tommy Walsh goaling for Kerry in the first half.
In the second half, Cork pulled clear and Colm O’Neill upped his personal tally, scoring 1-06 for the day, along with four points from substitute Donnacha O’Connor.
Barry John Keane was one of the few highlights from a Kerry team that were guilty of frequent loss of possession and poor shooting that ultimately resulted in an 11-point deficit to their Munster rivals.
Keane opened the scoring for Kerry inside the first minute with a free from 20 yards after Donaghy was fouled.
But Cork responded on two minutes with a goal through O’Neill.
Jack Sherwood was disposed in the centre of the field and Fintan Gould ran through the heart of the defence and saw his shot crash off the post to O’Neill who dispatched the rebound.
Kevin O’Driscoll, who would go on to score three points in the opening half, scored the first of his points finishing off a long, passing play.
On seven minutes, Cork would go 2-01 to 0-02 in front after O’Rourke scored the first of his two goals punching to the net to finish off Jamie O’Sullivan’s pass after a long run up the field.
But Kerry who launched a lot of high balls down on top of Donaghy, who was marking Stephen O’Donoghue in a rematch of the Munster Club semi-final back in November.
Ken O’Halloran dropped a long ball from Anthony Maher and Donaghy was on hand to tap the ball into the net on eight minutes.
Kerry’s Peter Murphy was shown a black card by referee Anthony Nolan on 11 minutes for dragging down Colm O’Driscoll. O’Neill kicked over the free for the first of his three first-half points all of them coming from frees.
Kerry back Marc Griffin blocked a goal-bound effort from O’Neill on 15 minutes. Cork were now pressing and added another goal on 17 minutes when Brian Hurley ran through the centre of the field and layed the ball off to O’Rourke who kicked it low to the left of Kealy into the bottom left-hand corner.
On 20 minutes Kerry introduced Walsh for Bryan Sheehan and they were to be rewarded for this change on 25 minutes when another long ball from Maher was well held by Donaghy, who passed to the incoming Walsh, who shot it high past O’Halloran to the net to make it 3-04 to 2-05.
A melee than erupted after the goal with a number of players being shown yellow cards but Cork scored further points from Hurley and O’Neill to ensure a four-point lead.
Cork had the better start to the second half with early points from an O’Neill free and Hurley, while Kerry substitute Alan Fitzgerald scored a point to help Eamonn Fitzmaurice's side try and mount a comeback.
Kerry were guilty of some wayward shooting during the second half that limited their attacking prowess.
Cork introduced Donnacha O’Connor in the second half and he contributed three points to extend Cork’s lead to 3-16 to 2-09 on 58 minutes.
Cork then introduced a few subs as they held out for a comfortable victory.
Cork: K O’Halloran; J Loughrey, S O’Donoghue, Tom Clancy, Tomás Clancy, M Shields, J O’Sullivan; E Cadogan, F Gould; K O’Driscoll (0-03), J O’Rourke (2-00), C O’Driscoll (0-01), C O’Neill (1-06, 0-05f), M Collins, B Hurley (0-02)
Subs used: D O’Connor (0-04, 0-01f) for O’Rourke (48), C Dorman (0-1) for Tomás Clancy (51), P Kerrigan for C O’Driscoll (56), J Hayes for O’Neill (62), D Goulding for Hurley (62), N Galvin for Tom Clancy (64)
Kerry: B Kealy; P Kilkenny, M Griffin, F Fitzgerald, J Lyne, J Sherwood, P Murphy; A Maher, D Moran; M Geaney, B Sheehan, J Buckley, S O’Brien (0-01), K Donaghy (1-00), BJ Keane (0-05, 0-02f)
Subs used: K Young for Murphy (11, bc), P Crowley (0-01) for Sherwood (20), T Walsh (1-00) for Sheehan (20), A Fitzgerald (0-02) for Maher (35), S Enright for Fitzgerald (41), P O’Donoghue for Moran (63)
Referee: Anthony Nolan (Wicklow).