Kerry's half-forward line steer Kingdom to second final in a row

Kerry's half-forward line steer Kingdom to second final in a row

By John Fogarty

Kerry 0-18 Tyrone 1-11

A monkey off the back or simply another final reached?

Kerry bounced back in style from a dubious Peter Harte penalty goal to secure their second successive All-Ireland decider, in doing so beating Tyrone in Croke Park for the first time here in 29 years.

The reigning champions looked comfortable for so much of the second half until Maurice Deegan awarded Barry Cassidy a penalty although there didn't appear to be any foul committed.

Kerry's half-forward line steer Kingdom to second final in a row

In front of a 53,044 crowd, Mark Bradley then equalised in the 62nd minute but Tyrone scored no more.

Anthony Maher restored Kerry's lead a minute later and further points followed from substitutes Paul Geaney, two including a free, and Barry John Keane.

Kerry were fortunate with two black card decisions, though. Ronan McNamee was unfairly black carded in the 55th minute while Shane Enright escaped a stonewall automatic substitution three minutes later.

However, those incidents hardly tainted a game where Kerry were clearly the better team and their half-forward line of Johnny Buckley, Stephen O'Brien and Donnchadh Walsh the outstanding players.

A word of praise for James O'Donoghue's unselfish play too. Tyrone's poor short kick-outs in the third quarter were pounced on with aplomb.

Buckley was the stand-out performer in the early stages, kicking over two points within seconds of each other in the fourth minute. He added a third in the 10th minute but it was his tackling that was just as effective in the opening half. On four occasions, his excellent execution without the ball saw Tyrone cough up the ball.

Tyrone were brilliant themselves in isolating Kerry players and turning over the ball although both sides were helped by the poor conditions.

Yet the total of 15 points scored between the sides in the first half - Kerry's eight to Tyrone's seven - was an impressive return in the incessant drizzle on the slick surface.

Kerry's half-forward line steer Kingdom to second final in a row

The affair was relatively clean too, Marc Ó Sé picking up a deserved black card in the 16th minute when he brought down his marker Connor McAliskey. Niall Morgan booted over the resultant free from distance and Tyrone cut the margin to one.

That was the margin at the break with the penultimate piece of action being Kieran Donaghy's fetch and turn from a Paul Murphy ball across the goal.

It was the first time Kerry got any change from their inside line as they were made to rely on scores from around the 40, O'Donoghue showing his worth as a linkman once more.

Tyrone were incredibly dangerous when catching Kerry on the break as did on a few occasions, Ronan McNabb's purposeful running through the middle a key characteristic of the half.

Kerry's half-forward line steer Kingdom to second final in a row

But like Kerry they too weren't making too many inroads closer to goal in a period defined by retaining shape and avoiding unnecessary fouls.

Scorers for Kerry: J O'Donoghue (0-4, 3 frees, 1 45), J Buckley, P Geaney (1 free) (0-3 each); S O'Brien, C Cooper (1 free) (0-2 each); K Donaghy, D Walsh, A Maher, BJ Keane (0-1 each).

Scorers for Tyrone: D McCurry (0-3, 1 free); P Harte (1-0, pen); C McAliskey, M Bradley (0-2 each); R McNabb, N Morgan (free), M Donnelly, C Cavanagh (0-1 each).

Subs for Kerry: F Fitzgerald for M Ó Sé (black card, 16); P Geaney for K Donaghy (h-t); B Sheehan for D Moran (55); D O'Sullivan for S O'Brien (61); A O'Mahony for P Crowley (62); BJ Keane for D Walsh (70+2).

Subs for Tyrone: P McNulty for C Meyler (47); B Tierney for A McCrory (55); C Clarke for R McNamee (black card, 56); R O'Neill for D McCurry (67).

KERRY: B Kealy; P Murphy, M Ó Sé, P Crowley; J Lyne, S Enright, K Young; A Maher, D Moran; D Walsh, J Buckley, S O'Brien; C Cooper, K Donaghy, J O'Donoghue.

TYRONE: N Morgan; R McNamee, Justin McMahon, C McCarron; T McCann, R McNabb, A McCrory; C Cavanagh, M Donnelly; P Harte, D McCurry, C Meyler; S Cavanagh, C McAliskey, S Cavanagh.

Referee: M Deegan (Laois)


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