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Tomás Kennedy goal helps propel Kerry into Munster U20 football final date with Cork


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Undoubtedly, with some stern words from manager Tomás Ó Se reverberating in their ears after a dismal first half, the hosts woke from their slumber thanks to the impact of substitutes Cormac Dillon, Luke Crowley and Eddie Healy on the resumption.

Dual star Crowley, who made his senior hurling championship debut in the Joe McDonagh Cup over the weekend, provided the assist for Kennedy’s clinically-dispatched green flag. That score catapulted Kerry into a seven-point lead, 1-9 to 0-5, and there was no way back for a brave Tipperary.

The opening half was eminently forgettable, with the hosts disappointingly lacklustre. Indeed, were it not for two fine reflex saves from goalkeeper Michael Tansley, Kerry could have trailed at the interval, despite playing with wind advantage.

However, with Tansley preventing Michael Freaney and Shane Ryan from finding the net in the 14th and 25th minutes, the Kingdom eventually took a single point lead, 0-5 to 0-4, to the interval, with only four points from play registered between the two protagonists.

The Kerry replacements notched 0-7 between them, such was the impact of Dillon, Crowley and Healy, who will all return to the starting 15 against Cork next Wednesday.

Tipperary, to be fair, kept fighting to the finish, their own substitute Dáithí Hogan slotting to the net in injury-time.

Scorers – Kerry: T Kennedy 1-2, I O’Sullivan 0-4 (0-3fs), C Dillon 0-4 (0-1f), L Crowley 0-2, D Kirby, O Ferris, E Healy 0-1 each. Tipperary: O Jones 0-4 (0-2fs), D Hogan 1-1, R McGrath 0-2 (‘45s), S Ryan(f), M Freaney, C Smith 0-1 each.

Kerry: M Tansley; M Lynch, R Diggin, G Evans; C Keating, C Lynch, D O’Connor; R Stack, C Brosnan; F Murphy, O Ferris, D Kirby; I O’Sullivan, T Kennedy, P Lane. Subs: L Crowley for Murphy (ht), C Dillon for Lane (ht), E Healy for Brosnan (37), A Crowley for Kirby (42), A Segal for Keating (50).

Tipperary: R McGrath; J O’Neill, E O’Connell, D Spillane; C King, S O’Meara, D O’Brien; J Higgins, E Doocey; T Charles, J Lawrence, M Freaney; O Jones, T O’Connor, S Ryan. Subs: K Butler for O’Meara, inj (11), D Hogan for Ryan (ht), P O’Keeffe for Higgins (44), C Smith for O’Connor (49), N O’Connor for O’Brien (52).

Referee: C Maguire (Clare).

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