Cork and Kerry U-21s set up final date29/03/2012 - 07:32:13
Cork and Kerry will meet in a repeat of last year's Cadbury Munster Under-21 Football Championship final on April 11 in Tralee, following their semi-final wins over Clare and Waterford respectively.
An impressive third quarter display helped Cork qualify for the decider with a 3-15 to 1-6 win over Clare at Pairc Ui Rinn tonight.
John Cleary's Cork side were dealt a major blow before the game with full-forward Donal Óg Hodnett missing out due to a knee injury.
The defending Munster champions were on the rocks early on with Clare holding a 1-2 to 0-2 lead after 13 minutes following a Conor Ryan goal.
Cork stormed back and held the visitors scoreless before the break to take a 1-9 to 1-2 half-time lead.
A Jamie Wall goal had given Cork a 1-3 to 1-2 advantage, with Brian Hurley (0-4) also very effective for the hosts in the opening half.
Two minutes after the restart Cathal McInerney pointed for Clare to cut the deficit to six points, but Cork kicked on over the next 13 minutes.
The hosts led by 3-11 to 1-3 as the game entered the final quarter, with goals from Luke Connolly and Mark Sugrue (1-2) widening the margin out to 14 points.
Sean O'Driscoll pegged a point back for Clare, which was his side's first score in 13 minutes, but Cork had done enough to see them into their seventh final at this grade in nine years.
1,231 spectators watched on at Austin Stack Park in Tralee tonight as hosts Kerry romped to a 4-26 to 1-4 victory over Waterford.
10 different players scored for Kerry in a game where the Kingdom registered 4-24 of their 4-26 tally from open play, with Conor Cox (1-9) leading the charge.
Respective captains Chris Brady and Gavin Nugent traded points in the opening stages, but once Cox put Kerry in front after five minutes Eamon Fitzmaurice's side never trailed.
Kerry led by 0-7 to 0-1 after 19 minutes following a fourth Cox point, and continued to cause havoc for the Waterford defence - they opened up a 14-point lead after Ian Galvin and Cox netted goals.
Waterford pegged a point back through Paul Power to ensure a 2-9 to 0-2 scoreline after 23 minutes, but Kerry finished the opening half in strong fashion.
Stephen O'Brien and Cox added points before late goals from Kieran Hurley and O'Brien saw Kerry lead by 4-12 to 0-2 at the break.
The hosts tagged on eight points without reply in the third quarter with Cox bringing his tally to 1-9 before being substituted.
Power claimed his second pointed free and Waterford's first score of the second half with 12 minutes left on the clock, and although Blake O'Connor registered a 53rd minute goal it was too little, too late as Kerry comfortably booked their final berth.
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