Electric Ireland All-Ireland Minor Football Final
Kerry swept aside the challenge of Derry to make it four Minor titles in a row at Croke Park on Sunday, with star man David Clifford contributing 4-4, all from play.
The Fossa teenager was a class apart and the pundits are already waxing lyrical over his future at senior level.
He needed just 12 seconds to make an impact on this final, as he jinxed inside onto his left foot and guided a lovely finish to the bottom left-hand corner of the net.
But credit to Derry, as their reaction to Clifford’s early goal was impressive with midfielder Oisin McWilliams flighting over a fine-point.
They followed that up with three more points in a row, from Mark McGrogan and Lorcan McWilliams (2), to leave just a point between the teams, 1-2 to 0-4.
It was then that Clifford and Kerry shifted through the gears. Clifford scored his second goal and then set up his name-sake, Fiachra Clifford, for Kerry’s third with an outrageous cross-field defence-splitting pass.
By the 25th minute Kerry had moved 3-7 to 0-4 ahead having scored an unanswered salvo of 2-5, and the match was effectively over.
Derry kept plugging away and scored a goal of their own in the second-half when impressive substitute Callum Brown scored a penalty that Patrick Quigg converted, but it was still mainly one-way traffic.
Clifford struck for two more goals in the space of a couple of minutes to push Kerry 6-10 to 1-7 ahead, and from there they coasted to the final whistle.
SCORERS FOR KERRY: David Clifford 4-4, Fiachra Clifford 2-0, Brian Friel 0-5 (1f), Jack Griffin 0-2, Adam Donoghue 0-2, Donal O’Sullivan 0-2, Donnchadh O’Sullivan 0-1, Eddie Horan 0- 1. SCORERS FOR DERRY: Patrick Quigg 1-1 (pen), Lorcan McWilliams 0-3 (1f), Oisin McWilliams 0-2, Richie Mullan 0-1, Mark McGrogan 0-1.
KERRY: DeividasUosis; Sean O’Leary, Chris O’Donogue, Cian Gammell; Patrick Warren, Michael Potts, Niall Donohue; Barry Mahony, Diarmuid O’Connor; Adam Donoghue, David Clifford, Donial O’Sullivan; Fiachra Clifford, Jack Griffin, Brian Friel. SUBS: Eddie Horan for Jack Griffin (44), Donnchadh O’Sullivan for Donal O’Sullivan (49), Ciaran O’Reilly for Fiachra Clifford (53), Michael O’Leary for Cian Gammell (56), Ryan O’Neill for Niall Donohue (57), Michale Slatttery for Adam Donoghue (59).
DERRY: Oran Martin; Oran McGill, Conor McCluskey, Sean McKeever; Simon McErlain, Padraig McGrogan, Conleth McShane; Oisin McWilliams, Dara Rafferty; Patrick Quigg, Richie Mullan, Martin Bradley; Ben McCarron, Lorcan McWilliams, Mark McGrogan. SUBS: Conor Quinn for Conor McCluskey, Callum Brown for Dara Rafferty, Declan Cassidy for Ben McCarron (all ht), Odhran Quinn for Conleth McShane (40), Tiarnan McHugh for Richie Mullan, John Paul Devlin for Mark McGrogan (both 42).