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Cork and Kerry set to meet again

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Irish Sports News Discussion:     Cork and Kerry set to meet again

The Munster SFC final has gone to a replay after James Masters landed a 70th-minute free in Killarney to leave the scores at 0-10 apiece.

RTE report Cork and Kerry set to meet again

Seamus Moynihan in action for Kerry in this afternoon's Munster SFC final

The Munster SFC final will be replayed next Sunday after James Masters landed a 70th-minute free to earn Cork a 0-10 to 0-10 draw with Kerry in Killarney.

Cork led the defending champions by 0-07 to 0-01 after the first half hour, with Masters pointing four times. But the Rebels had defender Anthony Lynch red-carded on 32 minutes for an elbow on Kieran Donaghy. Kerry took full advantage to close up the gap to 0-04 to 0-07 by the interval. Donaghy was then dismissed, 19 minutes in the second half, for his second bookable offence. A Bryan Sheehan point looked like winning it as Kerry came from behind, but Masters' seventh score sealed a draw.

The replay has been set for Páirc Uí Chaoimh next Sunday with a 3.30pm throw-in time.

Bidding to win their third successive Munster title and 71st in all, Kerry should have got off to a confidence-building start but full-forward Sheehan scooped a first-minute free badly wide.

Backed by the wind, Cork soon got about rubbishing the Kingdom's heavy favourites tag with points from Kevin McMahon and the ever-accurate Masters.

Nemo marksman Masters was a key figure in Cork's initial period of dominance - he pointed twice before Colm 'Gooch' Cooper belatedly opened Kerry's account from a tenth-minute free.

The Rebels upped the tempo in brilliant sunshine with Fintan Goold and Masters (free) putting them 0-04 to 0-01 clear. The Kerry goal led a charmed life on 20 minutes when Ballydesmond clubman Donnacha O'Connor's drilled shot cannoned back off the foot of the post.

A Cooper free hit an upright at the other end before Masters bagged his fourth point (free). McMahon followed that with his second point of the afternoon and manager Billy Morgan, who presided over seven Munster final wins for Cork teams between 1987 and 1995, must have been wondering if he was having a dream. His side were 0-07 to 0-01 in front.

Disaster struck however, three minutes before the break, when Lynch, totally out of character, was seen to raise his right elbow and strike out at the face of Kerry midfielder Donaghy on the right touchline.

Cavan referee Joe McQuillan consulted with his linesman before banishing Lynch to the bench. Kerry had a lifeline and they used it, making a quick dent in Cork's lead before the half time whistle with two frees from Sheehan and a classy score from skipper Declan O'Sullivan.

Psychologically Kerry were now on top, but Morgan rallied his troops during the interval. At one stage in the second half, 14-man Cork had the gap back out to four points, but the champions began to make the most of their scoring opportunities and fought back to lead by the 65th-minute.

The start of the second half saw Sheehan add a free to Kerry's tally. Masters, who was only just crowded out for a goal chance, replied with two frees of his own.

Sheehan and substitute Darren O'Sullivan then banged over a brace for the Kingdom, who trailed by 0-07 to 0-09 with 15 minutes remaining.

An off-colour Cooper whacked a free wide and Donaghy got his marching orders when he garnered a second yellow in the 54th-minute. The game was on a tightrope with both sides down to 14.

Kerry responded with perhaps their best spell of the game with Paul Galvin sending over a towering point, Eoin Brosnan almost getting in for a goal - Cork centre back Ger Spillane did brilliantly to get across and block Brosnan's shot - Sheehan powered over the resultant '45 to square up the final at 0-09 apiece.

The St Mary's man turned villain on 64 minutes when he missed an easy looking free, flicking it wide off a post, but he made amends with undoubtedly the point of the afternoon.

Aidan O'Mahony roared up the left flank on an inspirational run, he offloaded for Cooper who fed Sheehan, and from 50 metres out, he rasped over a stunning strike to put Kerry in front for the first time.

A free from Masters tied up the game and drama followed in injury-time when the same player had a point disallowed as one of the umpires raised a white flag and the other signalled a wide. Referee McQuillan stepped in to quickly disallow it and the old rivals must do it all again next weekend.

Cork: A Quirke; M Prout, G Canty, K O'Connor; M Shields, G Spillane, A Lynch; D Kavanagh (capt), N Murphy; S O'Brien, P O'Neill; K McMahon; J Masters, F Goold, D O'Connor.

Subs used: Darren O'Sullivan (0-01)

Kerry: D Murphy; A O'Mahony, M McCarthy, M O'Se; T O'Se, S Moynihan, M Lyons; D O'Se, K Donaghy; P Galvin, Declan O'Sullivan (capt), E Brosnan; C Cooper, B Sheehan, P O'Connor.

Subs used: E Sexton, K O'Sullivan

Referee: Joe McQuillan (Cavan)

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