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Munster U21FC final: Rebels prevail after extra-time

12 April 2012

Cork's Donal Og Hodnett scores the opening goal against Kerry in the Munster final.
Cork 2-12
Kerry 1-14 aet

Cork retained their Cadbury Munster U21FC crown following an extra-time thriller against old rivals Kerry at Tralee's Austin Stack Park last night.

The visitors led for most of the 80 minutes-plus, but found Eamonn Fitzmaurice's Kerry side difficult to shake off and were very relieved to have their noses in front at the end. Played before a crowd of 5,318, the game started with Cork racing into a 0-4 to 0-0 lead thanks to a brace of points from Brian Hurley and one each from Luke Connolly and corner back Alan Cronin.

However, the hosts had levelled by the 20th minute courtesy of three points (two frees) from Conor Cox and another from Kieran Hurley. Cork regained the initiative two minutes before half-time, though, when Donal Og Hodnett fired a loose ball to the net to give them a 1-5 to 0-5 advantage at the break.

With James Walsh in superb form at midfield, the Kingdom fought back again and they trailed by just the minimum with seven minutes remaining thanks to three more Cox points and one from Shane O'Carroll. Brian Hurley put the visitors two clear again before late efforts from Cox and O'Carroll forced extra-time.

Cork looked to have finally broken Kerry's resistance when they scored 1-3 without reply in the first period of extra-time - Luke Connolly accounting for the goal. But a Chris Brady penalty threw the hosts a lifeline and further points from substitutes Eanna O'Connor and Gavin O'Grady left the Rebels hanging on for the narrowest of victories.

Cork - J Mellet; D ODonovan, D Cahalane, A Cronin (0-1); J Cronin, T Clancy, J Wall (0-1); R Deane (0-1), E Healy; K Hallissey, D Óg Hodnett (1-1), J O'Rourke (0-1); L Connolly, M Sugrue, B Hurley (0-4). Subs - D Nation for Healy, C O'Sullivan for Clancy, A Cadogan for Sugrue, D McEoin (0-2) for Hallissey, D Drake for ORourke, B O'Driscoll for Wall.

Kerry - P O'Sullivan; M Galvin, M Griffin, F McNamara; P Kilkenny, J Sherwood; P Murphy, D O'Sullivan, J Walsh; S O'Carroll (0-2), C Brady (1-0), S O'Brien, I Galvin, C Cox (0-8), K Hurley (0-1). Subs - M Reen for M Galvin, N O'Shea for Hurley, D Culhane for I Galvin, T Morley for Sherwood, G O'Grady (0-2) for Cox, E O'Connor (0-1) for O'Carroll.

Ref - K O'Brien (Tipperary).

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