Details

Date Time League Season
5 February 2024 2:00 pm Munster Senior Cup 2023/24

Match Report

Kerry FC Make Last Four Of Munster Senior Cup

A second half strike from debutant Victor Udeze gave Kerry FC another historic win in their short history as they knocked holders Cobh Ramblers out of the Munster Senior Cup. 

We will have a new name engraved on the Munster Senior Cup this year following this result, Kerry into the hat for the final four joining Waterford, Treaty United and Rockmount in the semi-finals. A big win for Kerry, their first on home soil against a League of Ireland club.

On his debut and first senior start Udeze pounced from close range to strike the only goal of an entertaining contest in Mounthawk Park. Kerry do look very sharp in what remains of their preseason preparations ahead of the opener with Cork City in two weeks.

Plenty of new faces in the Kerry side this year, Andy Spain again taking the armband a commanding figure at the back, while Antonio Tuta who made his debut for the Kingdom since arriving from Finn Harps was a calming presence in net.

Cobh did bring a serious threat, missing the likes of Jack Doherty, Charlie Lyons and Wilson Waweru who were all top performers last season, they fielded just five players who lined out when the pair met on the final day last season. The visitors had the impressive Darragh Burke to thank for some quality saves, notably denying Daniel Okwute with his legs from a penalty early in the second half.

Kerry have learned well from last year, with the new additions they look a lot more determined and certainly will aim to be more competitive and at times showed incredible signs for the season. Missing Ryan Kelliher and the newest addition Valerii Dolia with knocks, those names will further increase their squad for the opener with Cork.

It was a cagey enough opening, the visitors did almost break the deadlock in the opening minutes. Sean McGrath fouled Liam Kervick outside the area, Tuta needed to be alert to get down quick to his bottom left corner and palm away the curling effort from Jason Abbott.

Kerry started to knock the ball around well and their first chance arrived after 15 minutes, Nathan Gleeson running down the left wing, getting the ball to Sean McGrath in the middle but his strike from range landed in the stand behind the goal.

As we ticked toward the midway point, Kerry were playing with a lot more confidence. Jack Kavanagh with an inswinging free kick, the danger was cleared only as far as Ronan Teahan on the edge of the area, his strike deflected out for a corner. Pressure stayed on Cobh, Gleeson minutes later down the left wing crossed to the area Teahan with the effort from close range denied by Darragh Burke for the first shot on target for the hosts.

Cobh came close to netting the opener after 23 minutes, Matthew McKevitt capitalising on an error from Steven Healy, the forward with space to run toward the area, the effort to the left and wide of Tuta’s goal. At the other end Kavanagh almost found the bottom corner from a long range free kick, just whizzing past Burke at the near post.

On the stroke of half-time Kerry almost took a lead to the break. Healy with an inch perfect long pass for Daniel Okwute on the right wing, he cut inside to unleash an effort, Justin Eguaibor blocked the strike. Gleeson regained possession on the left channel, he swung toward the back post but Burke was out to gather the cross.

With five minutes elapsed in the second half Kerry were awarded a penalty as Victor Udeze was brought down in the area by Brendan Frahill. Okwute stepped up and struck down the middle, Burke guessed correctly and Cobh cleared the danger.

A frantic start to the second half, Liam Kervick had a chance which Kevin Williams blocked on the line, from the counter Okwute raced down the wing to cut inside the area, again finding Burke tough to beat from close range.

Chances came and went for both sides, on 68 minutes the deadlock would be broken, Kerry playing the ball well around the midfield, Okwute with fancy footwork to take the ball inside the area, whipping a sublime cross across the face of goal where debutant Udeze fired home from close range.

Cobh pressed for the equaliser and with 85 minutes elapsed, Charlie O’Brien almost found the Kerry net, his strike from inside the area flying high over the Kerry crossbar. Kerry held firm for the final minutes, their defence looking a real calming presence, shepherded by the skipper Spain, while Sam Aladesanusi, Kevin Williams and Jack Kavanagh all looked in a cohesive shape in those final minutes.

Kerry FC

1Antonio Tuta Goalkeeper
4Jack Kavanagh Defender
5Andy Spain Defender
7Seán McGrath 21 Forward 4'
8Ronan Teahan Midfielder
11Daniel Okwute 12 Forward
13Nathan Gleeson Forward
14Steven Healy Midfielder
15Kevin Williams Defender 29'
18Samuel Aladesanusi Defender
22Victor Udeze 28 Forward 68'
16Lee Axworthy Goalkeeper
3Sean O’Connell Defender
6Ethan Kos Defender
12Kennedy Amechi 11 Forward
21Daire McCarthy 7 Midfielder
25Graham O’Reilly Midfielder
28Cian Brosnan 22 Forward

Cobh Ramblers

30Darragh Burke Goalkeeper
2Michael McCarthy 34 Defender
3Cian Browne 16 Defender 22'
4Justin Eguaibor Defender
5Breandan Frahill Defender
8Pierce Phillips 28 Midfielder
11Jack Larkin Midfielder
18Matthew McKevitt Defender 89'
20Charlie O’Brien Defender
21Liam Kervick Midfielder
39Jason Abbott Midfielder
22Senan Dorgan Goalkeeper
12Darragh O’Sullivan Connell Defender
15David Eguaibor Forward
16Luka le Bervet Bardsley 3 Defender
28Dale Holland 8 Midfielder 89'
34James O’Leary 2 Defender
77Dan Ryan Forward

Past Meetings

(Round 36)
1 - 1
LOI Men's First Division
St. Colman's Park

Cobh Ramblers FC 1-1 Kerry FC

(Round 26)
2 - 2
LOI Men's First Division
Mounthawk Park

Kerry FC 2-2 Cobh Ramblers FC

(Round 12)
4 - 1
LOI Men's First Division
St. Colman's Park

Cobh Ramblers FC 4-1 Kerry FC

(Round 1)
0 - 2
LOI Men's First Division
Mounthawk Park

Kerry FC 0-2 Cobh Ramblers FC

Ground

Mounthawk Park
Mounthawk Park, Tralee Rural ED, Tralee, County Kerry, Munster, Ireland

Diarmuid Kearney is a freelance Sports Journalist based in Co Kerry. He has more than 5 years experience covering domestic and international soccer for different media organisations, while also working for local and national print and digital organisations covering GAA.