Kerry too strong for Limerick   05/06/2011

Reigning Munster football champions Kerry advanced to the final of this year's competition as they outclassed Limerick on a 1-26 to 3-9 at Páirc na nGael in Limerick on Saturday evening.

The outcome of this game was never in doubt, the Kingdom always on top as they took control of the game early on and never ceded dominance, though goals from the home sides ensured that they were not embarrassed on their home patch.

Jack O'Connor's side's attacking division was in fine form, with Colm Cooper scoring 0-7 while Darran O'Sullivan notched 1-3 and Kieran Donaghy caused plenty of problems for a Limerick defence that was without the calming presence of Stephen Lucey.

Talismanic John Galvin was another who the Shannonsiders were missing through injury, and that allowed the Kerry midfield of Bryan Sheehan and Anthony Maher to assume superiority in that sector, providing a platform upon which to buil and they did so with relish, Kerry finishing the game with 12 different scorers.

The goal came from Darran O'Sullivan in the 12th minute, and even at that early stage the game looked beyond Limerick, such was Kerry's air of dominance. This was illustrated by the fact that the hosts made three changes before half-time, but as the interval neared they showed some signs of life.

First, Seanie Buckley scored a fine goal, then Ger Collins was unlucky not to get another, the ball going over rather than under the bar, and when corner-back Johnny McCarthy pointed it made it 1-11 to 1-4, a manageable deficit at the break.

Any notions of a real comeback were far-fetched, however, as Kerry turned on the style in the second half, eschewing goal chances for points on more than one occasion and using the large lead as an opportunity to ease Paul Galvin into action for the first time this year.

Limerick never gave up, though, and goals from Ger Collins on 55 and Seanie O'Carroll minutes later gave them some respectability and will no doubt have raised alarm bells in the Kerry defence.

With a month or so until the provincial decider, they will have plenty of time to fine-tune matters, however.