Tipperary dethroned as Kerry dish out latest slice of revenge

Peter Keane’s side march into Munster SFC final after a satisfying afternoon’s work

David Clifford scores Kerry’s goal in their win over Tipperary. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

David Clifford scores Kerry’s goal in their win over Tipperary. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

 

Kerry 1-19 Tipperary 1-8

David Power was caught between the future and the past on Saturday evening in Thurles. His Tipperary footballers had, as expected, lost their historically-won title of last November but after what he conceded had been “a disaster” of a league campaign, he was “very, very proud of this bunch. We could have put up the white flag four weeks ago and we certainly didn’t do that”.

There was no arguing that. Even during the period when they were reduced to 13 - Michael Quinlivan was red-carded for throwing a dig at Gavin Crowley in the 50th minute and shortly afterwards replacement Jason Lonergan was sin-binned - in the 54th minute and yet drew the following 10 minutes 0-1 apiece.

As for the future, Power called on the special congress, which is scheduled to decide on championship reforms, to opt for the league-based championship model.

“I know I’m killing myself saying that because we’re in Division Four next year - but that’s five, possibly six games in Munster, then you’ve another seven games. That’s what we need if we’re really going to promote football in any county and we need to be playing in summer. Look at that pitch. We need to be playing more games like that.”

It was a business-like display by the winners. After last winter’s calamity, Kerry football has become an avenging God and if they didn’t devour the defending champions, as has been their recent practice (11 goals in the last three matches), Tipp quickly found themselves in a python embrace from which there was no prospect of escape.

David Clifford was reasonably well contained - apart from the goal which all but settled the match - and if the leader of the orchestra was muted, his brother Paudie directed the attack to such good effect that he was named the Sky television Man of the Match, having led the possession stakes with 34.

As he acknowledged afterwards, part of Clifford’s role is to take play making off Seán O’Shea’s plate and allow the latter to concentrate on scoring, which he again did from play and frees - missing just one dead-ball kick.

Manager Peter Keane was happy with the boxes ticked. There had been no serious injuries - David Clifford had left early as a precaution - and his defence had conceded only nine scores. David Moran had played a full match and Shane Ryan made his return in goal.

“Like I said, 20 scores is generally in and around the numbers you want to be getting and obviously conceding less, which we’re happy with - the work rate from the boys up front and the boys behind and I think there’s some nice kicking. We put a lot of pressure on their kick-outs tonight and I think we got a bit of success out of it.”

They did. Moran lorded it at centrefield and Tipp goalkeeper Evan Comerford was under huge pressure, not finding his rhythm until the final quarter by which stage the match was over.

Power said that Tipp intended to sit deep and use their powerful ball carriers to hit on the break and Kerry’s very first bout of keep ball ended scoreless when they were turned over in the second minute but a swift counter-attack, which could have made an opening statement, was stifled and the press started again.

Kavin Fahey tackles Tommy Walsh during Tipperary’s defeat to Kerry. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
Kavin Fahey tackles Tommy Walsh during Tipperary’s defeat to Kerry. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

They were set up to make goal scoring difficult. Brian Fox dropped back as sweeper and the measures worked in that they conceded just one goal although Comerford saved point-blank from Stephen O’Brien.

As against that, Kerry didn’t remorselessly hunt for goals and now under-employed corner back Tom O’Sullivan used the opportunity to get forward for two points in quick succession in the first half.

Scores came slowly at first. It was just 0-2 to 0-1 by the 15th minute. What happened next turned the match - not in the sense of tilting the balance but spelling out the inevitability. Power reflected on the fact that it had its origins in a shot dropped short, which was recycled into an attack, driven by Gavin White’s slaloming run down the left.

He picked out David Clifford whose shot boomed into the net and might have killed anyone who got in its way. Kerry scented opportunity and Paul Geaney and Seán O’Shea quickly pointed and the lead had slid within three minutes to 1-4 to 0-1 and with it any notion that Tipp could somehow survive.

They refused all through to lie down and their centrefield, even if struggling to win primary possession, were lively in attack and Jack Kennedy was taken down by White on one such excursion in the 28th minute.

Captain, Conor Sweeney, expertly converted and cut the deficit to 1-3 to 1-7 but unlike their opponents, Tipp didn’t build on the platform and it was Kerry who finished out the half with four unanswered points to lead by eight 1-11 to 1-3.

The replacements rolled after the break. Steven O’Brien gave the champions more presence in the middle whereas Tommy Walsh nearly got under a high ball for Kerry but the attack was cleared. Killian Spillane came on for his usual productive turn and kicked three from play.

Another replacement Tadhg Morley was black-carded in injury time.

Overall it was a satisfying evening’s work for Peter Keane and his team, which featured the return of regular ‘keeper Shane Ryan. They move on to the Munster final against Cork on July 25th.

“We were leaving the field on Tuesday night when we heard about Jimmy O’Connor, the fatal accident off the motorbike at Listry Bridge,” said the manager afterwards. “Then you Vincent Harty, who was a great Kerry supporter . . . in London and he was laid to rest yesterday.

“The funeral of Thomas Healy this morning, who died in the tragic accident on Wednesday night. That’s very difficult - a young 14-year-old playing with his club Beaufort, to die so tragically.

“It’s been a tough week in Kerry and I would hope that we would have brought some bit of entertainment tonight and some bit of joy to people who were able to watch on television or listen on radio or even the people that were here. Because at the end of the day, it’s all about community; it’s all about people coming together. That is ultimately what the GAA is about, looking out for each other.”

TIPPERARY: 1 E Comerford; 4 C O’Shaughnessy, 3 J Feehan, 2 S O’Connell; 5 B Maher, 6 K Fahey (0-1), 7 R Kiely; 8 J Kennedy (0-3, two frees), 9 C Kennedy; 10 E Moloney, 11 C Bowe, 12 P Looram; 13 B Fox, 14 C Sweeney (capt; 1-4, 1-0 penalty, two frees), 15 M Quinlivan. Subs: 22 J Lonergan for Moloney (19 mins), 17 P Feehan for Looram (h-t, 23 S O’Brien for Bowe (52), 19 S Foley for O’Shaughnessy (61), 21 Colman Kennedy for Conal Kennedy (69).

KERRY: 1S Ryan; 2 B Ó Beaglaoich, 3 J Foley, 4 T O’Sullivan (0-2); 5 M Breen, 6 G Crowley, 7 G White; 8 D Moran (0-1), 9 D O’Connor (0-1); 14 M Burns, 11 S O’Shea (0-8, five frees, one 45), 10 S O’Brien; 13 D Clifford (capt; 1-2, one free), 12 P Geaney (0-1), 15 P Clifford (0-1). Subs: 19 P Murphy for Breen (43 mins), 21 T Walsh for Geaney, 20 K Spillane (0-3) for Burns (both 46), 22 J Barry for D Clifford (54), 18 T Morley for Crowley (62).

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.