Cork Imposes Fiery Baptism on Kerry Senior Team Aspirants in McGrath Cup

Kerry wing forward, Adam Donoghue showing poise and balance as he controls this ball over Cork wing back, Kevin Crowley during the McGrath Cup Group B game in Austin Stack Park on Sunday. ©Photograph: John Reidy

Castleisland Desmonds duo Adam Donoghue and Luka Brosnan, along with livewire Brosna attacker Paul Walsh, played key roles for Kerry in their McGrath Cup opener at Austin Stack Park, Tralee on Sunday.

By John O’Mahony,

The Kingdom, without the entire first team county squad – they are enjoying the sun and fun in Thailand – under 20 manager John Sugrue took hold of the reigns and he relied, mainly but not exclusively, on his under 20 charges to try to eek out a respectable result.

Vastly Experienced Cork

It didn’t quite work out that way, however, as a far more physical and vastly more experienced Cork side completely bossed proceedings and won with a whopping 22 points to spare.

Brosnan, Donoghue and, in particular, the impressive Walsh battled tirelessly but they couldn’t cope with the sheer power and pace of Ronan McCarthy’s men who led 1-15 to 0-5 at half time, the goal coming from Cathal O’Mahony.

Late Consolation Goals

The Rebels blitzed Sugrue’s young charges in the second half, registering five more goals, including a Damien Gore hat-trick and finishes from Sean Powter and Shane Power.

Kerry, who were almost cleaned out around the middle of the park, had two late consolation goals, from Brosna star Walsh and Austin Stacks attacker Seán Quilter.

Emphatic Cork Victory

However, Cork handed them a footballing lesson with a truly emphatic 6-19 to 2-9 victory.

It was, at best, a useful workout for the youthful Kerry side as they prepare for the under 20 action but a hammering of this nature can also have a very negative impact.

The turnout in Tralee on a lovely crisp afternoon for football was a very disappointing 1,585.