Cork under-20s run riot to demolish Kerry with dream display in Munster final 11 months ago

Cork under-20s run riot to demolish Kerry with dream display in Munster final

Cork 3-16 Kerry 0-12

Kieth Ricken's pre-match words worked a treat.

The Cork manager was in a relaxed mood prior to the Munster under-20 football final. He talked up his Cork boys, he had a bit of fun talking about the opposition.

"That's as obvious as tits on a bull as the man says," he said, when asked about the danger posed by Kerry.

We're not quite sure what he meant, but it sounded well.

And true to the style of their manager, the Rebel boys went out and played with swagger, care-free abandon and flow in front of 2'758 spectators in Páirc Uí Rinn as they defeated Kerry comfortably to claim a rare Munster underage title. It would be their first at this grade since 2016.

By God was it deserved this time around though. They started off like high speed trains to take any tentativeness out of the air down south. 0-5 0-1 they were leading within ten minutes of the first whistle.

These weren't just your standard scores though, these weren't just frees. Between them, the full forward line of Mark Cronin, Cathal O'Mahony and Damien Gore kicked some frankly outrageous scores from all angles and distances as the Cork youngsters kicked off the shackles and played with the freedom that their senior team has been showing recently.

The only difference was you knew by the looks of these lads that they were going to win.

The Kerry lads couldn't get near them, they couldn't lay a glove on them. Mark Cronin, the Nemo Rangers youngster with his wand of a left boot kicked a pair of bangers to get them going.

He'd end the half with four from play. Four of the finest.

They were coming from everywhere though. O'Mahony, the brilliant full forward couldn't miss if he tried. He kicked three from play in that first half, each of them as audacious as the next.

By half-time, the scoreline read 0-10 to 0-6. Jack O'Connor's lads didn't expect this.

There was more to come in the second. With centre forward Blake Murphy running riot from deep, the Rebels were unstoppable as Hartnett, O'Donovan and Paul Ring all roared into the game. The high-fielding in midfield was a pure joy to watch.

Sub Fionn Herlihy and then that man Cathal O'Mahony made the scoreline even more attractive for Cork eyes with goals late on.

The final whistle arrived and Kerry must have been glad.

The future is bright for Cork.