By John Fogarty
Tyrone 1-16 Kerry 0-14
Declan McClure’s 67th-minute goal sealed this victory for Tyrone, their first against Kerry since 2010.
A crowd of 6,115 turned up in Healy Park for this dead rubber, where the visitors struggled particularly in the second half where they failed to score from the 44th minute until additional time.
McClure’s score was adjudged to be good although there was a suspicion of square ball after the impressive Peter Harte had hand-passed in his direction after a strong run.
Ronan O’Neill had missed a penalty in the 57th minute after Conor Meyler had been brought down.
Tyrone led for the first time with the final score of the first half, a Lee Brennan free, having trailed Kerry for most of the period.
Kerry were three up on a few occasions, the last of them on the half-hour mark when Micheál Burns sent over a beautiful point.
Indeed, the quality of Kerry’s scores was high and they harnessed the wind advantage well at times, although they kicked three attempts short.
Daithí Casey and Stephen O’Brien were excellent in getting in and around the Tyrone defence, who were lax in their marking, while Mark Griffin looked comfortable sweeping in front of inside forwards Brennan and O’Neill.
The Kerry kick-out, one of the main issues for the county in this campaign, was operating sufficiently until the end of the half where Tyrone’s high press was putting Brian Kelly under pressure.
Tyrone finished out the half with four consecutive points and had two goal opportunities in the space of a couple of minutes, Ronan McNabb shooting poorly and then Cathal McShane blazing over after another Kerry kick-out had been seized.
Scorers for Tyrone: L. Brennan (0-5, 4 frees); R O’Neill (frees), C. McShane (0-3 each); D. McClure (1-1); C. McCann, M. Donnelly, K. McGeary, N. Morgan (free) (0-1 each).
Scorers for Kerry: K. Spillane (0-5, frees); S. O’Brien. J. Buckley (0-2 each); C. Coffey, D. Casey, M. Geaney, M. Burns, M. Flaherty (0-1 each).
TYRONE: N. Morgan; A. McCrory, R. McNamee, C. McCarron; R. McNabb, F. Burns, R. Brennan; C. McShane, D. McClure; M. Donnelly (c), P. Harte, C. McCann; L. Brennan, R. O’Neill, K. McGeary.
Subs for Tyrone: D. Mulgrew for K. McGeary (53); C. Meyler for C. McCann (55); P. Hampsey for A. McCrory (temp, 58); C. McAliskey for C. Meyler (inj 61); M. McKernan for R. Brennan (63); B. McDonnell for R. O’Neill (69); B. Burns for F. Burns (70+1).
KERRY: B. Kelly; B. Ó Beaglaoich, T. O’Sullivan, J. Foley; M. Griffin, C. Coffey, M. Geaney; J. Barry, D. Moran; M. Burns, D. Casey, K. McCarthy; K. Spillane, J. Buckley (c), S. O’Brien.
Subs for Kerry: T. Morley for M. Geaney, E. Ó Conchúir for M. Burns (both h-t); B. O’Sullivan for D. Casey (58); G. Horan for D. Moran, M. Flaherty for J. Buckley (both 69).
Referee: M. Deegan (Laois).