HomeFootballKerry minors come good in final quarter against Tipperary to set up...

Kerry minors come good in final quarter against Tipperary to set up Munster final against Cork


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Wayne Quillinan’s team only pulled away from Tipperary in the fourth quarter in Thurles and will face a rematch against Cork in the final next Monday

Tipperary 2-5

Kerry 2-19

Kerry got over the line against a dogged Tipperary to qualify for the Munster Final against Cork next week, but despite the winning margin of 14 points this was anything but a polished performance from the Kingdom.

For three-quarters of this semi-final at Semple Stadium, the Kingdom laboured against a Tipperary that deserved huge credit for how they set up, how they curtailed Kerry and how they played.

Kerry beat Cork last week by two points but it might be fair to say that a repeat performance as they gave in Thurles on Tuesday evening wouldn’t be good for a repeat win over the Rebels.

Indeed, Cork’s 1-13 to 0-8 semi-final win over Clare in Quilty could be said to have been an awful lot more convincing Kerry’s victory over the Premier county

Oisín Fleming opened Kerry’s account and Ronan Carroll added a free before Charlie Walsh pointed for Tipperary from a free won by Oran Gahan. By the 17th minute the scoreline was a dismal 0-3 to 0-1 with both sides guilty of poor wides and some worse turnovers.

The referee gave Gearóid White what looked like a very soft free to put Kerry three up, but deemed him to have over-carried when he pointed from play a minute later. Kerry captain Ben Murphy rifled an effort at goal over the crossbar soon after. 0-5 to 0-1.

Dylan Cotter had been Tipperary’s top scorer in their previous four games and he notched their first score from play in the 26th minute, with Joey McCarthy instantly replying after good work by Ruadhan Donovan.

Then came the first real moment of drama, as Charlie Walsh rose high to fist home Dylan Cotter’s long ball towards the goal. That certainly put a cheer into the home supporters, which was the first in what was a poor first half overall, with Kerry leading 0-6 to 1-2 at the interval.

Tipperary emerged in equally determined fashion and Charlie Walsh soon had them on level terms after Patrick McDonagh was fouled. A foil on Oisín Murphy saw Gearóid White reply in kind for the visitors. Both sides looked much livelier now, but turnovers were still the big sellers on the menu.

Games sometimes have a very clear turning point, and it most certainly arrived in the 42nd minute here. Gavin O’Keeffe cleared well for Kerry and Ruairí O’Connell laid off to Jack Joy, who jinked at the back post and cleverly tucked home.

To say that it opened the floodgates would almost be an understatement. A suddenly confident Kerry cast off every shackle and played like a whirlwind, reeling off seven points on-the-trot.

Part of the credit has to go to Kerry management, with their substitutions having a huge impact. Ben Murphy and Joey McCarthy notched their second points and White his third. Killian Dennehy made it 1-14 to 1-3.

Jack Garrett did finally interrupt Kerry’s scoring spree with a converted free for Tipperary. At that stage, it may have been like poking a bear, as Kerry’s response was a goal by Éanna Murphy with his first touch after being introduced.

Charlie Walsh did get a Tipperary goal and added a point from a free, but the contest was long over, with McCarthy and Michael Horan (2) splitting the posts before man of the match Jack Joy closed out the scoring to leave Kerry 14 points clear of their opponents.

It has to be said that the final score wasn’t any fair reflection of the contest. A dogged Tipperary had Kerry labouring badly for much of this game and it was only in the last quarter that Kerry’s undoubted quality finally came to the fore.

If Kerry are to retain their provincial title next Monday night it will require the lively performance from the final 15 minutes in Thurles, not the lethargic 45 minutes that went before.

KERRY: Kacper Robak, Fionnán Ryan, Michael Lynch, Ruadhan Donovan, Sean Ó Cuinn, Aodhna Ó Beaglaoich, Gavin O’Keeffe, Ben Murphy (0-2), Killian Dennehy (0-1), Gearóid White 0-4 (3f), Joey McCarthy 0-4 (2f), Jack Joy (1-3), Oisín Fleming (0-1), Ronan Carroll 0-1 (1f), Michael Horan (0-3). Subs: Cian Mac Gearailt 0-1 (1f) for R Carroll (38), Ruairí O’Connell for O Murphy (40), Eoin O’Flaherty for F Ryan (47), Éanna Murphy 1-0 for K Dennehy (51), Gavin Casey for S Ó Cuinn (53)

TIPPERARY: Mark Conroy, Noah O’Flynn, Ronan Myles, Gavin Neville, Danny Morris, Tom Corcoran, Jack McGonigle, Dylan Cotter (0-1), Oran Gahan, Cillian Healy, Patrick McDonagh, Seán Griffin, Jack Garrett 0-1 (1f), Charlie Walsh 2-3 (0-3f), Cian Collins. Subs: Ciarán Kelly for C Collins (37), Jamal Yousif for C Healy (45), Alex Coppinger for J McGonigle (52), Dayle Hogan for S Griffin (52)

REFEREE: James Regan (Cork)

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