21:09, 28 Jul 2012
Kerry 2-22 Clare 1-6
Kerry eased through to the All-Ireland SFC quarter-finals with a 2-22 to 1-6 hammering of Clare on a night when Colm Cooper and Tomás Ó Sé both set new Championship records.
Cooper hit 1-4 to end Mikey Sheehy's 25-year reign as the Championship's all-time top scorer, while Ó Sé's 82nd outing at this level has him top of the appearances list.
Clare were 0-12 to 0-3 behind at half-time in the Gaelic Grounds and their only second half highlight was substitute David Russell's haul of 1-1.
James O'Donoghue and Cooper both netted for the Kingdom, whose only blot on their copy book was Paul Galvin's sending-off for two bookable offences.
Galvin's dismissal, midway through the second half, invited Clare forward and Russell managed to lift them briefly with a much-needed goal.
But Kerry outscored them by five points to one over the remainder of this fourth round qualifier, with substitutes Kieran O'Leary and Barry John Keane showing some nice touches.
Clare had the benefit of a slight breeze from the off but Kerry nipped ahead, corner back Marc Ó Sé scooping over from close to the right sideline after some patient build-up play.
Rory Donnelly and David Tubridy hit wides at the other end and Clare goalkeeper Joe Hayes came to his side's rescue when he intercepted a Kieran Donaghy hand pass that was destined for James O'Donoghue, who would have had a simple finish to the net.
The Banner men soon countered from deep to set up midfielder Ger Quinlan for a levelling point, yet Kerry broke 0-03 to 0-01 ahead after Bryan Sheehan landed a free and Declan O'Sullivan lofted over a fine left-footed effort.
Tubridy answered back for the underdogs with a well-struck free, with Clare showing few signs of being overawed. Quinlan got loose to fire over his second point in response to another Sheehan free.
Sheehan turned provider to play in Cooper for a fisted point and Kerry, struggling to beat the swarming defence at times, opened up a 0-6 to 0-3 lead after Donnachadh Walsh pointed from close range.
O'Donoghue added his name to the scoresheet in the 25th minute and as Kerry continued to improve, a very good fetch from Anthony Maher kickstarted a move which ended with Sheehan converting his third free.
Cooper played a return ball to Kieran Donaghy whose curling shot put six points between the sides. The Kingdom were suddenly ruthless in their pursuit of scores, a clever break slicing open the defence for O'Donoghue to point when a goal was on the cards. Maher made it 0-11 to 0-3 after being fed by the lively Walsh.
Tomás Ó Sé made one of his trademark bursts forward to create the opening for Donaghy's second point, while Clare's woes were compounded by a late wide from free-taker Tubridy.
It was a devastating run of eight points without reply from Jack O'Connor's men and Clare needed a miracle to get back into the game. The second half opened in familiar fashion with O'Donoghue's dinked pass teeing up Cooper for a point after just 14 seconds.
Donaghy then hoovered up a ball into him and offloaded for Paul Galvin to land a point and become the last of the Kerry forwards to score. The increasingly influential Sheehan, who caught some fine balls in centre-field, followed up with a monster free for a 0-15 to 0-3 scoreline.
The Kingdom showed no mercy and picked off the opening goal in the 42nd minute, a great move sparked by Galvin's incisive pass and Cooper's running off the ball led to O'Donoghue slipping the ball low to the net.
Clare were chasing shadows at this stage and Cooper dummied his way to his third point. It may not be the most important score in the current Kerry captain's career but it saw Cooper break Kerry legend Sheehy's all-time Championship scoring record of 292 points (29-205).
It took the 'Gooch's Championship career tally to 293 points (18-239) and the margin was out to 18 points when O'Donoghue and Declan O'Sullivan sent over two more sure-footed strikes.
Clare broke their dismal run with a free from Tubridy and two yellow cards for Galvin left Kerry a player short for the final 20 minutes.
Despite the huge gap on the scoreboard, Galvin had a rush of blood to the head and was dismissed for a high challenge on Clare defender John Hayes.
The only saving grace is that the Finuge clubman received a second yellow and will not be at the risk of a suspension.
When play resumed, Michael McDermott's charges worked a gilt-edged change for substitute David Russell who turned and managed to get past goalkeeper Brendan Kealy and slot the ball home for his goal. He added a point shortly afterwards, combining well with Rory Donnelly.
Some sloppiness had crept into Kerry's game but they quickly cleaned up their act. Donaghy provided the assist for Cooper's goal and Kieran O'Leary, who was sprung from the bench, soon set up a point for his captain.
Tubridy fired over a free in response but Clare were out for the count at that stage and Kerry completed a resounding win with final points from O'Leary (0-2) and Donaghy.
Kerry: C Cooper 1-4, J O'Donoghue 1-3, B Sheehan 0-4 (0-4f), K Donaghy 0-3, Declan O'Sullivan, K O'Leary 0-2 each, M Ó Sé, D Walsh, A Maher, P Galvin 0-1 each
Clare: D Russell 1-1, D Tubridy 0-03 (0-3f), G Quinlan 0-2
KERRY: Brendan Kealy; Marc Ó Sé, Aidan O'Mahony, Shane Enright; Tomás Ó Sé, Eoin Brosnan, Killian Young; Anthony Maher, Bryan Sheehan; Paul Galvin, Declan O'Sullivan, Donnchadh Walsh; James O'Donoghue, Colm Cooper (capt), Kieran Donaghy.
Subs used: Kieran O'Leary for Declan O'Sullivan, Darran O'Sullivan for Walsh (both 50 mins), Johnny Buckley for Maher (53), Jonathan Lyne for O'Donoghue, Barry John Keane for Young (both 61).
CLARE: Joe Hayes; Kevin Harnett, Barry Duggan, Laurence Healy; Enda Coughlan, Gordon Kelly, John Hayes; Gary Brennan, Ger Quinlan; Shane Brennan, Shane McGrath, Alan Clohessy (capt); Rory Donnelly, David Tubridy, Michael O'Shea.
Subs used: Graham Kelly for McGrath (33 mins), Niall Browne for O'Shea (half-time), David Russell for Clohessy (50), Conor Talty for Browne (53)
Referee: Maurice Deegan (Laois).