By Connie Kelly
Cork overpowered Kerry with a very convincing 0-18 to 1-9 win in the first senior semi-final game at Gaelic Park in Canton.
Kerry were first on the board with a point by Pat Ahearn after just one minute of play but this was their only lead of the game as Cork took full advantage of an injury-ridden Kerry side.
Frank Delaney and Tadgh Deasy completely dominated at midfield and the Cork forwards had a field day with Brendan Jer Sullivan doing most of the damage with frees and from play. The lightning speed of Richie Fleming and Robert O’Mahoney in the corners gave Brian Gerathy and Dermot Sheehy of Kerry more than they could handle, racking up 10 points to Kerry’s five at half-time.
Kerry regrouped somewhat at the start of the second half and Mark O’Brien tapped over a free. Pat Ahearn added a Kerry point and Brendan Jer Sullivan had three rapid points for Cork.
Robert O’Mahony made a run up the side and stuck over a beauty to extend Cork’s lead. Even a late goal by Kerry only helped to make the scoreline respectable.
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Cork will now face off with McAnespies in the final on Aug. 27.
In ladies football, Roscommon rolled over Tir na nOg and they now go on to meet the Boston Shamrocks in the final. A top class game is expected.
Killes meet Notre Dame in the intermediate final.
McAnespies 1-9, Connemara Gaels 2-5
Mark Lewis opened the Gaels account with a point from a free after two minutes and for the next 10 minutes neither side could score.
Ollie Murphy collected a pass from Ross Hainsworth after 12 minutes to register McAnespies first point. This was quickly followed by Barry Fay’s point for a two to one McAnespies lead.
Mark Lewis had the side level on the next play from a free. Greg McCartan and Kevin Heaney were wide of the mark for McAnespies. The Gaels were back on the attack with Mark Lewis’s shot which Mike Sullivan got a fist to and he beat Eugene McKenna for the first goal of the game and a mighty roar from the crowd. Up at the other end Gaels’ goalie John Flaherty was put to the test when his save sailed over the bar and after 20 minutes of play Gaels 1-2 to 0-3.
Tempers flared again and Kevin Heaney got sent off. Lewis tapped over the resulting free and there was a goal between the sides. The Gaels next two attacks were off the mark and with just four minutes to the half, McAnespies mounted two attacks which resulted in a goal and a point by Nigel Regan and the first lead in the game for McAnespies, 1-4 to 1-3 at the half.
The second half saw the Gaels completely dominate the game with points by Mark Lukeman and Mark Lewis but poor shooting from long range cost them dearly.
McAnespies, with a man short were under a lot of pressure. The Gaels continued to attack. Bosco O’Halloran tore through the middle of the field passing off to Mark Lewis near the square and he just punched it to the back of the net. Another mighty roar from the crowd and a four point lead for the Gaels.
But right back came Conor McKeever with one of his many long runs to get McAnespies back on track. The Gaels were forced to foul and Regan put it over. Regan added a second point from a free. The Gaels next attack amounted to nothing. McKeever broke away from his man on the next play passing off to Regan and there was only a point between the sides.
The Gaels were beginning to feel the heat and under severe pressure sent several balls wide. Steven McGill broke out of his back line with a 50 yard run and he had the sides level with 12 minutes on the clock, 2-5 to 0-11. Things started to boil over again, more names were taken, fresh legs were introduced but the Gaels continued to kick wide.
Ollie Murphy had a chance to put McAnespies ahead but he failed, and a draw looked likely. But three minutes into injury time the Gaels were forced to foul inside the box and Regan tapped over the penalty. Heartbreak for the Gaels.
McAnespies go on to face Cork in the final.
Senior Hurling semifinal
Tipperary 0-16, Fr. Tom Burkes 0-12
A much improved Fr. Tom Burkes team failed in their attempt to reach this year’s final with Tipperary holding on to a four point margin in a very average game of hurling. Tipp will now face Galway in the final.
In Junior hurling, Cork put on a late rally coming from five points down to Fr. Toms and winning by the bare minimum in a thrilling finish. Cork 2-10 Fr. Toms 1-12.
In Junior football, Donegal 2-11 St. Pats 1-10, with a young St. Pats team putting it up to Donegal right to the very end. Donegal will have to improve on this performance in their game with McAnespies if they are to reach the final with Wolfe Tones. That game is scheduled for Tuesday.
St. Columbkilles defeated St Christophers in Intermediate, 1-18 to 1-4.