Kingdom show their class as Tipperary blown away

Kerry 1-13 Tipperary 1-5

Apart from a brief spell late in the first-half, when Tipperary scored 1-1 without reply, the defending champions were never in any real danger.

There is no substitute for skill and Kerry had it in abundance. Their handling was superb and their pace, particularly in attack, regularly stretched the Tipperary defence.

Kerry had a number of outstanding individual performers. In defence Killian Young and Padraigh Reidy conceded little; the excellent handling of Brian Moran and Rory Keating gave them a grip at midfield, but it was in attack where Kerry really excelled.

Darren O’Sullivan, Shane Murphy, Billy Dennehy and John Buckley were in sparkling form.

After their crushing victory over Limerick, Tipperary were expected to provide Kerry with a severe test. But they lacked the finesse of their opponents and only Brian Mulvihill and Darragh Egan and Ian Murphy were up to the mark.

Kerry, aided by the breeze, led after a minute through a Billy Dennehy point and the game was level for the only time after Brian Mulvihill pointed in the fourth minute.

Tipp were more than holding their own in the early minutes but Kerry’s class was very apparent and in the space of six minutes they kicked over five points without reply.

The pacey Darren O'Sullivan at centre-forward and Shane Murphy at full forward, posed endless problems for the Tipperary defence and when Murphy slipped home a goal in the 18th minute, it looked a case of how much Kerry would win by.

Brian Moran’s aerial dominance at midfield maintained the pressure on the Tipp defence and after 25 minutes Kerry had stretched their lead to 1-8 to 1-2 before Tipperary, who hadn’t scored for 14 minutes, finally got through for a point which sparked off a mini revival.

A splendid move initiated by Shane O'Brien, now operating around midfield, and carried on by Shane Murphy put Brian Mulvihill in the clear and he shot low to the Kerry net for a badly needed goal. Mulvihill added a point from a free soon after and the gap was down to four points at the interval as Tipp turned to play with the wind.

However, while they continued to enjoy a lot of possession on the changeover, Tipp couldn’t convert it into scores due to a combination of poor finishing and great defending by Killian Young and Padraigh Reidy.

Tipp went 18 minutes into the second half before registering their first score with a Brian Mulvihill point but they weren’t to score again for the remainder of the game.

Kerry, on the other hand made it look far easier, creating and finishing the chances and with Darragh O’Sullivan using his electrifying pace to great effect, Kerry ran out comfortable winners at the finish adding five points, the best of them a superb effort by Billy Dennehy from out near the sideline.

Scorers: Kerry: B Dennehy 0-5 (0-3 frees); S Murphy 1-0; J Buckley, D O'Sullivan 0-2 each; D Doyle, P Curran, M O'Donoghue, B Moran 0-1 each. Tipperary: B Mulvihill 1-3 (0-3 frees); T Dalton (free); S Murphy 0-1 each.

KERRY: B Kealy, P Reidy, L Quinn, K Young, D Doyle, C Kelliher, D O’Connor, B Moran, R Keating, A Kennelly, D O’Sullivan, P Curran, B Dennehy, S Murphy, J Buckley. subs. M Evans for Kennelly, M O'Donoghue for Curran, A O'Sullivan for Moran.

TIPPERARY: M McKeogh, L Coskeran, I Murphy, C Morrissey, T Barry, C McGrath, K Harney, D Egan, G Hannigan, P Austin, S O’Brien, D Lyne, T Dalton, S Murphy, B Mulvihill. Subs. R O'Dwyer for Dalton, B Grogan for Austin, S Walsh for McGrath.

Referee: T O’Sullivan (Waterford).

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