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Kerry's David Clifford and Clare's Cillian Brennan. Bryan Keane/INPHO
Kingdom Rule

David Clifford scores 2-6 as Kerry cruise past Clare to win 84th Munster senior title

12.499 attended the provincial decider at the Limerick venue.

Kerry 5-14

Clare 0-15

PLAY, WIN AND repeat – the Kerry Munster football philosophy.

Senior title number 84 in the province arrived in a comfortable fashion this afternoon, they crashed home five goals and quenched any flare of hope in Clare of reprising their famous 1992 triumph at this Limerick venue.

The Clifford brothers raised three of the green flags, David smashing to the net twice and Paudie on target after the break. The pair lined out on a weekend of sadness after their mother Ellen passed away yesterday following a battle with illness.

The Kerry fans amongst the crowd of 12,499 reserved their biggest cheers for the contributions of the duo, acclaiming the team annnouncements that confirmed they would start and then rising for the three shots that found the net. David amassed 2-6, impressively captaining Kerry to victory.

The game was essentially settled in the opening period. Conceding three goals in a first half to Kerry will damage any chances a Munster final underdog has of springing an upset. 

Tony Brosnan rifled home the first in the 15th minute, a pop pass to Dylan Casey  and a surging run to collect the return, paved the way for the Dr Crokes man to finish.

Four  minutes later another Killarney native had netted, Spa’s Dara Moynihan banging home after a move that saw Brosnan and Paul Geaney stretch the Clare defence with kickpasses from right to left to middle.

dara-moynihan-scores-a-goal Dara Moynihan fired home Kerry's second goal. Bryan Keane / INPHO Bryan Keane / INPHO / INPHO

And then the third, given the protagonists involved, understandably sparked the loudest cheer of the half. It was a Clifford goal three minutes before the break, both in creation and execution, as  Paudie pointed for David to double back on his run, lofted in a delivery for his younger brother to fetch ahead of the advancing Stephen Ryan, before he landed and steadied to simply roll home his shot.

For Clare it was a nervy, error-strewn opening half performance. They coughed up possession six times in attacking scenarios in the first quarter, reeled off five wides in the half and dropped two harmlessly short into the arms of Shane Ryan. 

Keelan Sexton (23 minutes) and Emmet McMahon (36) clipped over stylish points, but that was the sum total of the Banner’s scoring output from play. Such a productivity rate was never going to be sufficient. 

It was 3-8 to 0-7 in favour of Kerry at the interval and they accelerated clear with two quick-fire goals in the third quarter. David rocketed home a ferocious shot after being fed by Tom O’Sullivan, then Paudie planted the ball in the net as Sean O’Shea did the supply work.

After the game was only about adding a few more details. Shane Ryan did well in the Kerry goal to scramble away a palmed effort by Ronan Lanigan and did better to beat away a Podge Collins piledriver. Eoin Cleary, Emmet McMahon and Keelan Sexton kept the scoreboard ticking over for Clare, finishing with 0-12 between them as Cleary spearheaded their drive with six scores overall. Ciaran Russell was a towering presence in defence for Clare, rampaging forward on the right flank until the finish.

The All-Ireland group stages now beckon both in a fortnight, Kerry starting out at home to Mayo and Clare hosting Donegal.

Provincial business completed, the national focus now begins.

Scorers for Kerry: David Clifford 2-6 (0-4f), Dara Moynihan 1-1, Tony Brosnan 1-1, Paudie Clifford 1-0, Sean O’Shea 0-2 (0-1 ’45), Dylan Casey 0-1, Gavin White 0-1, Paul Geaney 0-1, Killian Spillane 0-1.

Scorers for Clare: Eoin Cleary 0-6 (0-4f), Emmet McMahon 0-4 (0-2f), Keelan Sexton 0-2, Stephen Ryan 0-2 (0-2f), Ciaran Russell 0-1.


1. Shane Ryan (Rathmore)

4. Tom O’Sullivan (Dingle), 3. Jason Foley (Ballydonoghue), 2. Dylan Casey (Austin Stacks), 

5. Graham O’Sullivan (Dromid Pearses), 6. Tadhg Morley (Templenoe), 7. Gavin White (Dr Crokes)

8. Diarmuid O’Connor (Na Gaeil), 9. Jack Barry (Na Gaeil)

10. Dara Moynihan (Spa), 11. Seán O’Shea (Kenmare Shamrocks), 12. Paudie Clifford (Fossa)

13. Tony Brosnan (Dr Crokes), 14. David Clifford (Fossa – captain), 15. Paul Geaney (Dingle)


  • 21. Killian Spillane (Templenoe) for Geaney (50)
  • 17. Brian Ó Beaglaoich  (An Ghaeltacht) for Tom O’Sullivan (50)
  • 24. Stephen O’Brien (Kenmare) for Moynihan (50)
  • 19. Barry Dan O’Sullivan (Dingle) for Barry (60)
  • 23. Mike Breen (Beaufort) for Graham O’Sullivan (60)


1. Stephen Ryan (Kilrush)

4. Cillian Rouine (Ennistymon), 3. Cillian Brennan (Clondegad), 2. Manus Doherty (Éire Óg)

5. Ciarán Russell (Éire Óg), 6. Jamie Malone (Corofin), 7. Daniel Walsh (Kilmurry-Ibrickane)

8. Cathal O’Connor (Coolmeen), 9. Darren O’Neill (Éire Óg)

10. Pearse Lillis (Cooraclare), 11. Emmet McMahon (Kildysart), 12. Dermot Coughlan (Kilmurry-Ibrickane)

13. Eoin Cleary (St Joseph’s Miltown Malbay), 14. Keelan Sexton (Kilmurry-Ibrickane), 15. Pádraic Collins (Cratloe)


  • 20. Ronan Lanigan (Éire Óg) for Doherty (half-time)
  • 21. Brian McNamara (Cooraclare) for O’Connor (half-time)
  • 17. Gavin Cooney (Éire Óg) for Coughlan (48)
  • 26. Ikem Ugwueru (Éire Óg) for O’Neill (57)
  • 24. Cian O’Dea (Kilfenora) for Collins (57)

Referee: Jerome Henry (Mayo)

Written by Fintan O’Toole and posted on

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