Champions Kerry made light work of a very defensive but outclassed Limerick side in this EirGrid Munster U-20 Football Championship semi-final at Austin Stack Park, Tralee last evening.
Kerry dominated the opening half, against the wind, as Limerick played with a massed defence, with only one player in their full-forward line.
Last year’s Munster final-winning captain Donal ‘Down’ O’Sullivan was unstoppable for the Kingdom in the opening half after opening the scoring when Cathal Ferriter was fouled. He then added another from play as Kerry moved 0-3 to 0-0 in front.
Limerick replied in a rare foray into Kerry’s half with a fine point from full-forward James Molyneaux, but they only troubled the scoreboard operator once more in the opening half when Jack Downey kicked over a monster free from 50metres.
Meanwhile Kerry, with O’Sullivan in superb form, added 0-7 before the break, with O’Sullivan bringing his first-half tally to 0-5. Both corner-forwards Fiachra Clifford (2) and Cathal Ferriter also registered scores, while Killian Falvey and the impressive O’Connor completed Kerry’s first-half haul as they went in 0-10 to 0-2 in front at the interval.
Kerry failed to kick on in the second half as Limerick worked hard and were boosted by an early goal when a John Hayes free was met by James Molyneaux who rose highest to finish to the Kerry net to close the gap to five ( 0-11 to 1-3).
But Limerick’s challenge faded and they failed to score for the final 26 six minutes as Kerry added seven more points, Donal O’Sullivan contributing four more points while substitutes Eddie Horan and Paul O’Shea also scored superb points as Kerry cruised to a bloodless victory.
Kerry manager Jack O’Connor was happy with the result but not the performance: “Look the aim was to get the result and prepare for next week but we obviously have improving to do.
“Limerick were very defensive and it wasn’t that easy for our forwards because they parked the bus, and at times maybe two buses. It will probably be a different game in the final whoever it is.”
Scorers for Kerry: D O’Sullivan (0-9, 0-3 frees), F Clifford (0-3), C Ferriter (0-2), J O’Connor, K Falvey, E Horan and P O’Shea (0-1 each
Limerick: J Molyneaux (1-1), J Downey and J Hayes (0-1 free each).
KERRY: B Lonergan ( Ballymacelligott ); D McCarthy (Kenmare), D Casey ( Austin Stacks), M Potts ( Dr Crokes); CGammell ( Legion), P Warren ( Gneeveguilla), S O’Leary ( Kilcummin); J O’Connor ( Austin Stacks), B O’Mahony (St Senan’s); K Falvey (Annascaul), S Horan (Scartaglen), A Donoghue ( Castleisland Desmonds); F Clifford ( Laune Rangers), D O’Sullivan (Kilgarvan), C Ferriter(Annascaul)
Subs: P Walsh (Brosna) for S Horan ( h/t), E Horan ( Scartaglen) for K Falvey (46), N Donohue ( Firies) for P Warren ( 54), C O’Donoghue (Glenflesk ) for D McCarthy ( 54), P O’Shea (Kilcummin ) for J O’Connor ( 54), B Friel ( Rathmore ) for F Clifford ( 54)
LIMERICK: C Walsh (St Senans); Jack Fitzgerald (Adare), Jamie Fitzgerald (Glin), K Moloney (Crecora-Manister); D O’Grady (Oola), A Shanagher(Rathkeale), R McCarthy (Na Piarsaigh); J Coyne (Mungret St Pauls), J Downey (Oola); L Woulfe ( Newcastle West) , B Coleman (Rathkeale), J Hayes (St Kierans); N Callanan (St Kierans), J Molyneaux (Dromcollogher-Broadford) , J Cummins (Galbally)
Subs: D Lane ( Adare) for J Downey ( h/t), B Foley (Newcastle West) for J Hayes ( 42), N McAuliffe ( Newcastle West ) for Jamie Fitzgerald ( 45), D Quirke (Fr Caseys) for R McCarthy ( 54), S Barry (Mungret St Pauls) for J Coyne ( 56), D J Stack (Fr Caseys) for J Cummins ( 59)
Referee: D Murnane (Cork)