Kingdom lay down early marker

Tipperary 0-13 Kerry 2-22

Mike Frank Russell, Colm Cooper and Eoin Brosnan led the charge with some breathtaking finishing and there was never any doubt about the outcome after Eoin Brosnan goaled just after half-time. The winning margin might have been even a lot bigger were it not for some outstanding goalkeeping by Paul Fitzgerald, who saved at least three certain goals.

Tipperary were simply not good enough to offer a significant challenge to Kerry, although Declan Browne, Brian Lacey and Brian Mulvihill did their best to made things difficult for the Kingdom.

Kerry lined out without centre-back Seamus Moynihan, who cried off with a calf injury, but Eamonn Fitzmaurice was an able deputy.

The champions were quickly into their stride and led 0-3 to 0-0 after five minutes, two of those points coming from the impressive Russell.

There was an air of inevitability about the outcome even at that early stage.

Unlike Kerry, whose fluency was superb, Tipperary struggled to string any passing movements together and when they did, Kerry had players behind the ball to close out the danger.

Tipperary struggled in every area of the pitch, particularly in defence where they gave the Kerry forwards far too much latitude. It allowed Russell, Cooper, Brosnan and Liam Hassett the opportunity to display their full repertoire of skills.

After Declan Browne opened Tipp’s account with a point in the 20th minute, the champions kicked over five points in-a-row, one better than the other, to lead 0-11 to 0-1 after 30 minutes.

One of those points should have been a goal when, following in a superb three-man move, Brosnan, with only the keeper to beat, blazed over the bar from five metres.

Tipperary’s tactic of playing every ball into Declan Browne did not pay off in the first-half, with Mike McCarthy completely blotting out the Tipp captain.

However, the Moyle Rovers man fared far better in the second half with quality ball.

Browne’s accuracy from frees earned his side two successive points but they were merely blips on the scoreboard as Kerry controlled the game and scored with consummate ease to lead 0-12 to 0-3 at the interval.

There was no respite for Tipperary on the changeover as Kerry continued to toy with them.

Finally, the goal their approach work deserved came when Brosnan finished the rebound to the net after Russell’s effort rebounded off the Tipperary keeper.

The quality of ball into Browne improved greatly in the second-half and he got the better of McCarthy rather easily to land four points, interspersed with two from Colm Cooper, to put a little bit of respectability on the scoreboard.

It matter little, however, as Kerry grabbed their second goal.

Tipperary corner-back Peter King completely misjudged the hop of the ball and the magnificent Cooper swept it home with ease.

The esteem in which the Dr. Crokes player is held by the Kerry supporters was illustrated by the thunderous applause he received after he was substituted.

Kerry could even afford the luxury of taking off five players without weakening their side and the points continued to flow for a facile victory and a place in the semi-final against Limerick at the Gaelic Grounds in three weeks time.

Scorers: Kerry: M. F. Russell 0-8 (0-3 frees, 0-1 45); C. Cooper 1-5; E. Brosnan 1-4; L. Hassett 0-3; M. Ó Sé, B. Sheehan 0-1 each.

Tipperary: D. Browne 0-9 (0-7 frees); F. O’Callaghan, K. Mulryan, P. Morrissey, B. Hickey 0-1 each.

KERRY: D. Murphy; A. O’Mahony, M. McCarthy, T. O’Sullivan; T. Ó Sé, E. Fitzmaurice, M. Ó Sé; D. Ó Sé, W. Kirby; P. Galvin, E. Brosnan, L. Hassett; C. Copper, D. O’Sullivan, MF Russell.

Subs: P. Kelly for Kirby; B. Sheehan for Galvin; D. Ó Cinneide for O’Sullivan; D. Quill for Cooper; B. Guiney for T. Ó Sé.

TIPPERARY: P. Fitzgerald; D. Byrne, N. Curran, P. King; P. Morrissey, B. Lacey, R. Costigan; K. Mulryan, F. O’Callaghan; G. Burke, L., England, P. Cahill; B. Hickey, D. Browne, B., Mulvihill.

Subs. N. Fitzgerald for Burke; D. O’Brien for Cahill; E. Hanrahan for England.

Referee: D. Fahy (Longford)

Attendance: 4,851

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