Kerry 0-18 Limerick 0-03

Kerry's U20 footballers remain on course for a third provincial title in succession after a comfortable and expected win over Limerick in Tralee, which sets them up for a Munster final against Cork or Waterford a week from tonight.

From the start Kerry were in full total, and where never behind in a tame enough contest once Donal O'Sullivan converted a second minute free kick Kerry. O'Sullivan was excellent at full forward - the Kilgarvan man kicked four points from play in the first half and another four in total after the interval - but Kerry were simply better, sharper and stronger in every position.

Kerry were three points to the good when James Molyneaux got Limerick's first score in the eighth minute, but two more O'Sullivan points and an assist for Killian Falvey kept Kerry a comfortable distance ahead by the quarter hour mark.

Limerick midfielder Jack Downey launched a 50-metre free over the bar with the aid of a stiffish breeze but the Shannonsiders, in their efforts to drop back and crowd the middle third, left a two-man full forward line far too isolated when they did manage launch sporadic attacks.

Points from Fiachra Clifford (2), Cathal Ferriter and O'Sullivan saw Kerry lead 0-10 to 0-2 at half time.

O'Sullivan took up where he left off with a point but then, after John Hayes had scored Limerick's third point, the same player underhit another free kick, which was met by Molyneaux's fist to take it past goalkeeper Brian Lonergan for the game's only goal.

It was no more than Limerick deserved for their perseverance but they simply didn't have the class to build on it. Indeed, they didn't score again for the remaining 24 minutes of a pedestrian contest.

Kerry wing back Cian Gammell came closest to a goal for the defending Munster champions, but his shot was smothered by Cian Walsh, but points from O'Sullivan (2), Ferriter and substitutes Paul O'Shea and Eddie Horan saw Kerry qualify for next week's final without ever leaving second gear.

Kerry manager Jack O'Connor will surely find plenty to be critical about in this performance, not least the concession of that goal, but this was a game to be negotiated without fuss and Kerry did that.

A likely Munster final next week against Cork will examine Kerry infinitely more, but that's for another day.

For now the Kingdom still have designs on that elusive All-Ireland title despite having to play this championship without David Clifford and Diarmuid O'Connor who have graduated to the senior team though still eligible for this grade.

Kerry: B Lonergan, D McCarthy, D Casey, M Potts, C Gammell, P Warren, S O'Leary, J O'Connor 0-01, B Mahony, K Falvey 0-01, S Horan, A O'Donoghue, F Clifford 0-03, D O'Sullivan0-09 (0-03f), C Ferriter 0-02. Subs: Subs: P Walsh for S Horan (ht), E Horan 0-01 for K Falvey (46), B Friel for F Clifford (54), C O'Donoghue for D McCarthy (55), N Donohue for P Warren (55), P O'Shea 0-01 for J O'Connor (57)

Limerick: C Walsh, Jack Fitzgerald, Jamie Fitzgerald, K Moloney, D O'Grady, A Shanagher, R McCarthy, J Coyne, J Downey, L Woulfe, B Coleman, J Hayes, N Callanan, J Molyneaux, J Cummins. Subs: D Lane for J Downey (ht), B Foley for J Hayes (45), N McAuliffe for Jamie Fitzgerald (46), S Barry for J Coyne (55), D Quirke for R McCarthy (55), DJ Stack for J Cummins (60)

Referee: David Murnane (Cork)