Kerry 3-17 Tipperary 2-10
Éamonn Fitzmaurice made it four Munster Championships from four as Kerry eased to victory in a lacklustre final in Fitzgerald Stadium, writes John Fogarty.
A decent crowd of 21,512 watched on as both teams provided goals galore but little in the way of quality other than the class shown by Paul Geaney in grabbing 2-3 and Paul Murphy with his first-half performance.
Tipperary can take solace from winning the midfield battle for the most part but the return from the forwards was poor and it wasn’t until the 53rd minute that they actually scored a point from play.
Like their opening goal, the second came from a defender in Robbie Kiely, set up by Michael Quinlivan, in the 50th minute but Kerry were 11 up prior to it having found the net for a third time when Geaney turned superbly on gathering a David Moran ball before dashing and firing past Evan Comerford.
Although they trailed 2-7 to 1-4 at half-time, Tipperary couldn’t have dreamed of a better start when Jimmy Feehan, a late replacement for Martin Dunne, ran onto a Philip Austin pass to beat Brian Kelly. Yet it turned out to be the visitors’ only score from play in the first half.
Kery were settled picking up three of the next four scores, Geaney adding a brace although the exit of Colm Cooper with a collarbone injury in the 21st minute was a worrying development for the home crowd.
Tipperary jumped ahead with a couple of Kevin O’Halloran frees but Paul Murphy had Kerry in front for the first time in the 18th minute, finishing off a slick move to the net.
Darran O’Sullivan opened his account six minutes later but Comerford was beaten again seconds later, Aidan O’Mahony and Cooper’s replacement Michael Geaney showing some fine foot-passing to set up Paul Geaney for Kerry’s second goal.
O’Halloran, with his third free, ended a 17-minute barren spell for Tipperary to finish out a first half that was middling in quality.
Scorers for Kerry: P. Geaney (2-3); P. Murphy (1-1); B. Sheehan (frees), J. O’Donoghue (0-3 frees) (0-4 eac); K. Young, D. O’Sullivan, S. O’Brien, M. Geaney, B.J. Keane (0-1 each).
Scorers for Tipperary: K. O’Halloran (0-6, 4 frees, 1 45); J. Feehan, R. Kiely (1-0 each); M. Quinlivan (0-3, 2 frees); A. Moloney (0-1).
KERRY: B. Kelly; S. Enright, M. Griffin, B. Ó Beaglaoich; T. Morley, K. Young, A. O’Mahony; K. Donaghy, B. Sheehan (c); D. Walsh, C. Cooper, P. Murphy; D. O’Sullivan, P. Geaney, S. O’Brien.
Subs for Kerry: M. Geaney for C. Cooper (inj, 21); D. Moran for K. Donaghy, J. Lyne for B Ó Beaglaoich (both 46); B.J. Keane for D. O’Sullivan (49); J. O’Donoghue for S. O’Brien (58); A. Maher for B. Sheehan (66).
TIPPERARY: E. Comerford; C. McDonald, C. O’Shaughnessy, A. Campbell; B. Maher, R. Kiely, J. Feehan; P. Acheson (c), G. Hannigan; J. Keane, P. Austin, B. Fox; K. O’Halloran, M. Quinlivan, C. Sweeney.
Subs for Tipperary: S. O’Connell for J. Keane (black, 58); A. Moloney for P. Austin (62); M. Dunne for G. Hannigan (67); S. Leahy for C. O’Shaughnessy (inj, 70+1).
Referee: D. Gough (Meath)