Kerry are Munster champions for the 81st time but Peter Keane’s team left Pairc Ui Chaoimh with at least as many questions as answers.
In front of just 18,265, one of the poorest crowds to watch a Munster SFC final in the last 40 years, Cork came to within a whisker of puling off a major shock. As it was Kerry did just enough to get by.
They roll into the ‘Super 8s’ as Munster champions as was widely expected but only after the Rebels delivered a much more stern examination than they had been expected to.
The Rebels had four clear cut opportunities to raise green flags in the first half. Luke Connolly pulled his shot wide from a tight angle after 16 minutes before Kerry goalkeeper Shane Ryan denied Ruairi Deane after he tore through the middle of the Kerry defence.
It wouldn’t be the first time the Kingdom would look vulnerable at the back.
The second half went along similar lines. Kerry looked good going forward but the looked vulnerable at the back with Cork seemingly convinced a goal was on every time they moved forward.
Cork’s wastefulness in front of goal was to be their downfall on the evening, especially considering that the Kingdom played more than 15 minutes with 14 men following Paul Geaney’s sending off as Kerry held on to win on a 3-10 to 1-19 scoreline. There is hope for the future for Cork football after this performance though.