Tipp blown away as Kerry whip up storm

Tipperary 1-10

If football has developed into a 20 man game, then Paídí Ó Sé and his selectors are well served in reserve strength.

Eoin Brosnan, Michael F Russell, Dara Ó Cinnéide and Aodhán MacGearailt all watched from the dugout as Kerry motored to a 0-15 to 0-5 half time lead, and Russell in particular looked appropriately determined to make a point when introduced in the second half.

Little wonder. There are at least 10 Kingdom forwards vying for six starting places ahead of the July 13 Munster final against Limerick, and none of yesterday's starting sextet were offering easy return routes for the sidelined malcontents.

Least of all wing forward Sean O'Sullivan, arguably the game's best player, clearly benefiting from a full season of Championship football behind him.

"We have positions all over the field, including goalkeeper, where the lads are fighting for places and that's always positive," reflected a trimmed-down Páidí Ó Sé afterwards:

"We have been basing our selections on how fellas are going in training, so everyone has a month now to get the bit between their teeth, he said.

"There are county championship matches next weekend so that will give the selectors a further opportunity to go out and study the form," Ó Sé added.

Midfielder Darragh Ó Sé felt that Kerry were "all over the place" for 15 minutes in the second half, an accurate assessment, but greeted with a sense of bewilderment in the Tipperary camp, with coach Tom McGlinchey describing Kerry as "awesome".

"We are very disappointed, because we are better than that," he declared. "We spoke about things at length in training, but they didn't happen for us.

" There was a little bit of inexperience on our part, but everything Kerry kicked seemed to go over the bar. Everything they touched turned to gold and they move the ball so fast from player to player. They burned us today."

Kerry kicked only six wides and had nine forwards, including subs, on the scoresheet. If that suggests they were leaving nothing to chance, then consider that Mike McCarthy was moved in to full back on Declan Browne after only eight minutes.

No reflection on Eamonn Fitzmaurice, Ó Sé stressed. But business is business.

Browne still finished with 1-5, his goal craftily engineered by his own short free to Tony Doyle, and a fly kick to the roof of the net which left Declan O'Keeffe, the Kerry keeper, watching in wonderment like everyone else.

That came four minutes after half time and reduced the half time gap of ten points to six.

Six minutes later, Browne again turned onto his left foot and pointed to make it 0-15 to 1-7. Interesting times ahead?

Sadly not for the neutrals (which included the El Salvador Special Olympics soccer team), because Kerry promptly unleashed Russell and Ó Cinnéide, and Colm Cooper decided to break open his trunk of tricks.

Five points in succession followed, three of them from Cooper, while Russell claimed four before the end.

However, over 70 minutes, Cromane's Sean O'Sullivan was the pick of the attack.

He has harnessed his blinding pace to avoid the pitfalls that can befall a fleetfooted player running into blind alleys, and spoiling the situation he has helped create with a rush of blood.

The wing forward was assured in possession, devastating on the burst, and unselfish in scoring positions. Indeed, though he claimed three points for himself, he was too unselfish on a couple of occasions in the first half when a goal beckoned.

Ditto debutante full-forward Declan O'Sullivan, who set up John Crowley for a possible goal in the 14th minute when he might have been better testing Philly Ryan himself.

Crowley's attempt at goal was deflected over the bar. O'Sullivan, from Dromid Pearses, had a highly impressive first half and would be very unlucky not to start the provincial final in a month's time.

Paídí Ó Sé still suspects that there is some work to be done with the Kerry defence, but most of the struggling backs in Tralee were wearing Tipp colours.

Sean Collum, Niall Kelly and Damian Byrne started in a re-organised full back line, and Kelly was given a torrid first half by Declan O'Sullivan before being replaced on the half hour.

Midfielder Fergal O'Callaghan worked tirelessly for Tipp, and wing forward Aidan Fitzgerald has a bright future ahead of him but the Premier are still short in a number of key areas.

Kerry scorers: C. Cooper (0-5), M.F. Russell (0-4, 1 45), S. O'Sullivan, D. O'Sullivan (0-3 each); D. Quill (0-3, 2 frees), J. Crowley (0-2), L. Hassett, S. Scanlon, E. Brosnan (0-1 each); L. Hassett, D. O Sé (0-1, free each) Tiperary scorers: D. Browne (1-5, 2 frees), F. O'Callaghan, A. Fitzgerald (0-2 each), L. England (0-1)

KERRY: D. O'Keeffe, T. O'Sullivan, E. Fitzmaurice, M. McCarthy; T. O Sé, S. Moynihan, J. Sheehan; D. O Sé, S. Scanlon; D. Quill, L. Hassett, S. O'Sullivan; C. Cooper, D. O'Sullivan, J. Crowley.

Subs: E. Brosnan for L. Hassett (40 mins), M.F. Russell for D. Quill (49); D. O Cinnéide for J. Crowley (52), J. Cahillane for T. O Sé, A. MacGearailt for D. O'Sullivan (60).

TIPPERARY: P. Ryan, S. Collum, N. Kelly, D. Byrne; B. Hahessy, D. Fanning, R. Costigan; F. O'Callaghan, E. Hanrahan; N. Fitzgerald, L. England, A. Fitzgerald; T. Doyle, D. Browne, P. Hally.

Subs: D. O'Brien for B. Hahessy (29 mins); L. Cronin for N. Kelly (30), B. Hickey for D. O'Brien (65).

Attendance: 10,119

Referee: J. McKee (Armagh).

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