Kerry find shooting boots in second-half

KERRY cruised into a Munster JFC semi-final after a fine second-half display against Tipperary at Fitzgerald Stadium yesterday.

The sides were level at the break (1-7 apiece) but the hosts were transformed on the restart, rattling off 1-8 without reply in a devastating third-quarter. The impressive Gary Sayers kicked Kerry into the lead inside the opening minute of the second period before the floodgates opened. The clinical Alan Fitzgerald hit 1-2, punching home a Gavin O’Grady centre, while further points flowed from Sayers, James Walsh, Brendan Poff and Brian Costello, as Kerry surged 2-15 to 1-7 ahead by the 44th minute.

Tipperary, who impressed in the opening half, managed just one score in the second-half, with Gavin Ryan landing a point three minutes remaining

But it was fitting that Kerry’s man-of-the-match Brian McGuire had the final say, lofting over a late point to complete the rout.

It was only when the Listowel man was shifted to centre-back midway through the first-half that Kerry began to find their feet after Tipperary raced 1-4 to 0-1 clear, thanks in the main to the efforts of centre-forward Alan Moloney.

But with Moloney’s influence curtailed by McGuire, Kerry began to take charge. Andrew Garnett and Brian Costello took control in midfield while JB Spillane, Michael Murphy and Gary Sayers began to reap the rewards in attack.

Fitzgerald shone from placed balls and open play while Gavin O’Grady — he scored an excellent first half goal, with his sharp turn particularly memorable — looks a real prospect.

Scorers for Kerry: A Fitzgerald (2f) 1-4, G O’Grady 1-1 (1f), G Sayers 0-4, B Poff 0-2, E Hickson, JB Spillane, J Walsh, B Costello, B Maguire 0-1 each.

Scorers for Tipperary: A Moloney 1-3 (2f), G Ryan 0-3, J Egan, D Butler 0-1 each.

KERRY: S Óg Ó Ciardubháin; K O’Dwyer, S Brosnan, B Maguire; E Hickson, A Greaney, J Walsh; A Garnett, B Costello; G Sayers, M Murphy, JB Spillane; G O’Grady, B Poff, A Fitzgerald.

Subs: F Courtney for B Costello (48); M Brennan for A Greaney (48); T McGoldrick for A Fitzgerald (53); P Kennelly for G O’Grady (53); P Kilkenny for J Walsh (57).

TIPPERARY: J English; D O’Sullivan, D Lynch, R Kiely; D Leahy, J O’Callaghan, M O’Sullivan; D Heffernan, E Kendrick; B Hewitt, A Moloney, G Ryan; J Egan, D Butler, A Walsh.

Subs: M O’Dwyer for J O’Callaghan (24); T Hanley for D Heffernan (40); G Quinn for M O’Sullivan (50); S O’Connor for D Butler (50); A Hannigan for B Hewitt (57).

Referee: Conor Lane (Cork).

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Join us for a special evening of Cheltenham chat on Friday March 12 at 6.30pm with racing legend and Irish Examiner columnist Ruby Walsh, Irish Examiner racing correspondent Tommy Lyons, and former champion jockey and tv presenter Mick Fitzgerald, author of Better than Sex.

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