Browne strike inspires Tipp

Tipperary 1-10 Kerry 0-8

But the victory has to be put into context, with Kerry only parading three of their All-Ireland winning side.

This quarter-final tie was just a minute old when Browne conjured up his moment of magic, running on to a through ball from Fergal O’Callaghan before leaving Kerry keeper Kieran Cremin rooted to the spot.

That goal gave the home side the perfect start and the 850 spectators who paid €5,000 - to be donated to the Asian Tsunami Disaster Fund - were given plenty to enthuse about as they watched their side produce a battling display that delighted new manager Seamus McCarthy.

“It’s been 35 weeks since we played a competitive match and it was important to get the new season off to a winning start”, he said.

“It would be foolish of me to read too much into the result as Kerry were very much under-strength, but there are a number of positives we can take - especially the way we defended without giving away frees late in the game. The win gives us another competitive tie at home in Sunday’s semi-final against the winners of today’s UCC/CIT game.”

The game marked the return to competitive football for Kerry’s Noel Kennelly, and while he was very involved in the opening 20 minutes, he eventually ran out of steam.

All-Ireland winners, Aidan O’Mahony and Marc Ó Sé started the game, while Eoin Brosnan was introduced for Kennelly. Those apart, only Paddy Kelly and Declan Quill were recognisable to the home following.

Selector Ger O’Keeffe accepted the squad lacked match sharpness following their return last week from Mexico. “It’s time to knuckle down to some serious training from here on. We won’t have any more competitive games before the league, which is a pity.

“We are confined to 24 players for the league and we have a bit of weeding out to do before we get underway in a fortnight’s time. I expect to see Seamus Moynihan and Darragh Ó Sé back for the league, but we’ll be without John Sheehan and John Cronin, who are facing operations, while Declan O’Sullivan will also miss out because of injury.”

Tipperary elected to play with the strong wind in the opening half and after Browne got his side off to the perfect start, they proceeded to play some excellent football and were full value for their 1-6 to 0-2 half time lead.

Kerry struggled for scores against a very determined Tipp defence in which Damien Byrne and Niall Curran were superb, but it took a great save by keeper Brian Enright to deny Eoin Brosnan a goal just before the break.

With wind advantage in the second half Kerry were expected to control matters and it appeared to be going to script after they knocked over four points in eight minutes, three by the impressive Quill.

However they failed to maintain the pressure and with Eamon Hanrahan hugely influential for Tipp in midfield, the home side were denied what looked to be a legitimate goal when a Damien O’Brien effort was ruled out.

However it mattered little as the Kerry defenders began to concede frees under pressure which Declan Browne punished clinically and at the finish Tipperary were well worth their five point victory.

In a sporting contest, there was only one player sent to the sin-bin - and Kerry’s Brendan Guiney can even count himself a little unlucky.

Scorers: Tipperary: D. Browne 1-5 (0-3 frees, 0-1 45); D. O’Brien, P. Morrissey, E. Hanrahan, J. Shanahan, P. Cahill 0-1 each. Kerry: D. Quill 0-4 (0-2 frees); R. O’Connor, M. O Se, A. O’Mahony, P. Kelly 0-1 each.

TIPPERARY: B. Enright; D. Byrne, N. Curran, P. King; P. Morrissey, N. Fitzgerald, R. Costigan; E. Hanrahan, K. Mulryan; A. Fitzgerald, F. O’Callaghan, P. Cahill; J. Shanahan, D. Browne, D. O’Brien.

Subs: T. Doyle for O’Brien; L. England for Cahill; S. Collum for Fitzgerald; B. Hahessy for Costigan.

KERRY: K. Cremin; P. Reidy, S. O’Sullivan, M. Lyons; B. Guiney, A. O’Mahony, M. O Se; S. Scanlon, K. Donaghy; P. Kelly, N. Kennelly, D. O’Dwyer; D. Quill, R. O’Connor, D. Doona.

Subs: E. Brosnan for Scanlon; D. O’Sullivan for D. O’Dwyer; A. O’Sullivan for Kennelly; A. O’Connell for S. O’Sullivan; D. Daly for Donaghy.

Referee: Martin Collins (Cork).

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