McGrath Cup: Young Kerry thrash Tipperary in opener

Éamonn Fitzmaurice decision to play Kingdom Under-21s proves inspired in Tralee

Kerry 3-11 Tipperary 1-3

Éamonn Fitzmaurice’s gamble to send Jack O’Connor and his U-21 team out to face Tipperary in the McGrath Cup first round proved an inspired move.

A young and eager to impress Kerry outfit cruised to a 14 point win at the Austin Stack Park, as Tipperary boss Liam Kerins admitted, “We got our backsides spanked.”

Just one player on either side, Kerry’s Brian Ó Beaglaoich and Tipperary forward Josh Keane, featured in last year’s Munster football final as both managers tried fresh faces in Tralee but Tipperary ended the game with five or six regulars and in truth were beaten by a side who were at championship pace.

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The home side made the early running with three Dingle players adding 0-4 before Tipperary’s Diarmuid Foley raised a green flag to bring the Premier County back to within a point

A penalty from Dingle’s Cathal Bambury after big full-forward was fouled by Paddy Codd helped Kerry to a 1-08 to 1-02 interval lead and they never looked likely to be caught after the break, with Matthew O’Sullivan added two further goals on their way to a 14-point win.

Kerry looked very impressive with Jason Foley, Brian Ó Beaglaoich, Man of the Match Andrew Barry and Sean O’Shea to the fore and Eamonn Fitzmaurice who was watching from Terrace side of the ground, must have been impressed.

One mark from Alan Moloney appears to indicate that it will not be a factor come Championship time.

Kerry: S Ryan; TL O'Sullivan, J Foley, T O'Sullivan ( 0-2) ; B Ó Beaglaoich, A Barry, D O'Brien; B O'Sullivan ( 0-1) , B Ó Seanacháin; B Barrett, S O'Shea ( 0-3,0-1 f, 0-1'45), L O'Donoghue; C Geaney ( 0-2, 0-1 free) M O'Sullivan ( 2-0) , C Bambury ( 1-1, 1-0 pen). Subs: M Flaherty (0-1) for L O'Donoghue (HT); B Sugrue for O'Brien (57); L Carey for Geaney (59); L Kearney for B O'Sullivan, I Parker for Bambury (both 64); C Coffey (0-1) for T O'Sullivan (68)

Tipperary: E Comerford; C O'Shaughnessy, P Codd, R Kiely; E Moloney, J Feehan, K Fahey ( 0-2) ; L Casey, M Dunne; J Keane, L Treacy, B Fox; J Lonergan, D Foley ( 1-0) , L Boland. Subs: P Austin for O'Shaughnessy (seven mins); A Moloney for Dunne (29); J Kennedy (0-1) for Lonergan, C Sweeney for Treacy (both HT); J Hennessy for Codd (49); C Stapleton for Casey (59).

Referee: C Lane (Cork).

Clare 1-10 Waterford 0-8

Clare started 2017 with a win, defeating Waterford in the McGrath Cup at Meelick on Sunday.

But it was the visitors who began brightly leading by two points to nothing by the tenth minute. Both scores came from the boot of free-taker Paul Whyte.

Clare for their part didn’t score until the nineteenth minute when Eoin Cleary found the net. The Banner shot seven wides up to that point and eleven in all in the opening half. Another Whyte free levelled matters before a trio of Clare points by Cleary, David Tubridy and Jamie Malone nosed their side in front. A Feargheal Ó Cuirrin point for Waterford made it 1-3 to 0-4 in favour of Clare at the break.

Unlike the first half, Clare exhibited a hunger and sharpness in the second and ran out deserved winners in the end, though keeper Joe Hayes had to pull off a good save from Whyte, preventing a certain goal.

Clare: Joe Hayes, E Collins, K Harnett, John Hayes, K Malone, G Kelly (Capt.), C Russell (0-1), J O'Dea, C O'Connor, M O'Neill (0-1), S Collins, J Malone (0-2), E Cleary (1-4) 0-2 f's,, D Tubridy (0-1), S Malone. Subs: S McGrath for O'Dea (h/t), D Egan (0-1) for S Malone (44), C O'Dea for O'Neill (53), L Markham for Tubridy (57), D Bolton for Russell (63).

Waterford: S Enright, T Ó hUallacháin, T O'Gorman, S Dalton, B Looby, S Prendergast, R O'Ceallaigh, T Prendergast, Michael Curry (0-1), C Murray(0-1), M O'Halloran, P Hurney, P Whyte (Capt.) (0-5) 4 f's, J Veale, F Ó'Cuirrín (0-1). Subs: D Guiry for O'Halloran (47), F Galvin for O'Ceallaigh (61), K Murphy for Dalton (65), C Maguire for Dalton (65), A Trihy for Looby (69).

Referee: S Lonergan (Tipperary).