Kennedy sets up rare win

All-Ireland minor football champions Tipperary recorded their first win on Kerry soil since 1984 in the Munster MFC on Saturday night.

After a poor first-half that saw Kerry lead 0-4 to 0-2 at Austin Stack Park in Tralee, a physically powerful and more experienced Tipperary blitzed the hosts in the second period, with Colman Kennedy grabbing a brace of goals to set-up a provincial semi-final against Cork next month.

Tipperary manager David Power said: “We have a very daunting task now to go down to Cork to play them on May 16. But it’s great for confidence to get a win down here in Kerry, our first here since 1984.

“We are happy with the second-half performance. In the first half we were playing well up to the final third but we just weren’t showing our dominance on the scoreboard.”

Colman Kennedy’s first goal came eight minutes into the second half,following good build-up play from Philip Quirke and Jason Lonergan, to push Tipperary ahead for the first-time (1-4 to 0-6).

By the time Kennedy bagged his second goal with 10 minutes left,Tipperary — dominant in midfield thanks to Quirke and Stephen O’Brien — had added points through Lonergan, impressive wing-back Bill Maher and Kennedy again to lead 2-7 to 0-6, while a disappointing Kerry struggled to make any impact.

A low-point saw Tipp defender Kevin Fahey sent off midway through the second half after picking up two yellow cards.

Kerry goalkeeper Stephen Cahillane saved a fourth-minute penalty from Tipp keeper Evan Comerford, while Kerry manager Mickey Ned O’Sullivan has promised to ring the changes for tomorrow night’s semi-final play-off away to Waterford (Fraher Field Dungarvan, 7pm).

Scorers for Kerry: N Sheehy (1f), D Ó Sé (1f) 0-2, E Ó Conchúir, K Murphy (1 45), A Barry, S Moloney 0-1 each

Scorers for Tipperary: C Kennedy (2f) 2-2, B Maher, TJ Ryan (1f) 0-2 each, J Longeran, I Fahey, S O’Brien 0-1 each.

KERRY: S Cahillane; C Ó Lúing, G Crowley, S O’Connor; B Crowley, R Murphy, G Horan; E Doyle, G O’Sullivan; S Moloney, D Ó Sé, E Ó Conchúir; N Sheehy, D Daly, C Keane.

Subs: K Murphy for G O’Sullivan (18); C Fitzgerald for D Daly (30); A Spillane for E Doyle (41); A Barry for N Sheehy (46); J Savage for D Ó Sé (58).

TIPPERARY: E Comerford; T O’Donoghue, J Feehan, L Egan; K Fahey, D Fitzelle, B Maher; S O’Brien, P Quirke; J Lonergan, J McGrath, G Henry; J Shelly, I Fahey, C Kennedy.

Subs: D Cass for T O’Donoghue (36); J Maher for G Henry (52); T Kirwan for J McGrath (56); TJ Ryan for J Shelly (58).

Referee: James Bermingham (Cork).

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