Kerry 2-22 Clare 1-6
LAST Saturday evening in Killarney the air crackled with tension as Tyrone travelled down south to renew one of the most intense rivalries in modern-day Gaelic football.
They were duly given a lesson in football and sent homeward with plenty to think about as the Kerry players and supporters celebrated as if they had won an All-Ireland title.
Yesterday evening in Limerick, however, save for a second yellow card for Paul Galvin, there wasn't even a pocket of friction as the Kingdom marched on to their 12th
All-Ireland quarter-final in a row with considerable ease.
Galvin saw red in the 49th minute for a high tackle on JohnHayes (the two famously tangled in 2008 when referee Paddy Russsell's notebook was knocked out of his hand). Two minutes earlier, the Finuge man had been booked and referee Maurice Deegan was left with no choice but to show him the line.
However, in front of a decent crowd of 7,338 there were some records broken -- Tomas O Se made his 82nd championship appearance, surpassing his brother Darragh's record.
And Colm Cooper struck his own bit of history by topping Mikey Sheehy's all-time championship scoring record with a haul of 1-4 at the Gaelic Grounds. Sheehy notched 29 goals and 205 points in his career but Cooper brought his own tally to 19-240 to surpass that 25-year landmark.
The game was wrapped up at the break -- Kerry led 0-12 to 0-3. It was all one-way traffic from the latter stages of the half onwards.
Indeed, the underdogs didn't even manage a shot at the posts from open play. Meanwhile, Kieran Donaghy, James O'Donoghue and Bryan Sheehan all hit a brace of points for Kerry, while Cooper, Maher, Walsh and Marc O Se also found the range.
The game ended as a contest in the 40th minute when Clare coughed up possession to Galvin who found Walsh. Walsh whizzed a lovely foot-pass to Cooper who hand-passed to James O'Donoghue. The Legion man sent a cracking shot past Joe Hayes to widen the lead to 1-15 to 0-3.
From there, an uphill tack became even steeper and Kerry could gently begin their preparations for next weekend's quarter-final.
They had many impressive performers last night, especially O'Donoghue in attack, and while they won't have learned a whole lot it's clear that their swagger is back now and they are a team motoring well again. They could have done without Galvin's second yellow card but he'll be eligible for their last eight clash and that's crucial.
Cooper added a goal and a point late on to put the icing on the win -- only for David Russell's goal and point the outcome would have been even worse for the Clare men.
Scorers -- Kerry: C Cooper 1-4, J O'Donoghue 1-3, B Sheehan 0-4 (3f, 1'45), K Donaghy 0-3, K O'Leary, Declan O'Sullivan 0-2 each, P Galvin, A Maher, M O Se, D Walsh 0-1 each. Clare: D Russell 1-1, D Tubridy 0-3f, G Quinlan 0-2.
Kerry: B Kealy; M O Se, A O'Mahony, S Enright; T O Se, E Brosnan, K Young; A Maher, B Sheehan; P Galvin, Declan O'Sullivan, D Walsh; J O'Donoghue, C Cooper, K Donaghy. Subs: Darran O'Sullivan for D Walsh (46) K O'Leary for Declan O'Sullivan (46), J Buckley for A Maher (52), J Lyne for K Young (58), BJ Keane for J O'Donoghue (52).
Clare: J Hayes; K Harnett, B Duggan, L Healy; E Coughlan, G Kelly, J Hayes; G Brennan, G Quinlan; S Brennan, S McGrath, A Clohessy; R Donnelly, D Tubridy, M O'Shea. Subs: G Kelly for S McGrath (33), N Browne for M O Se (h/t), D Russell for A Clohessy (50), C Talty for G Kelly (51).
Referee: M Deegan (Laois).