Kelly hits 1-8 as Tipp take time

Tipperary 2-16 Kerry 0-8

Kelly hits 1-8 as Tipp take time

However, the scoreline was far closer than most of the 357 supporters anticipated.

It was only in the final 15 minutes that Tipperary’s class told, albeit in horrific conditions, with Noel McGrath and Padraic Maher coming off the bench.

The game was played in a downpour but Kerry’s tactics were working early on with corner-forward Paul McGrathplaying as a third midfielder andDaniel Collins dropping back to provide cover.

Tipperary assistant manager Mick Ryan praised Kerry: “Delighted to come out of here with a win.

It was very difficult out there and we were under no illusions but that it was going to be difficult.

“I thought Kerry were very game and I thought they had a very good game plan in the first half.”

Ryan was pleased that star forward Eoin Kelly was back, top scoring with 1-8. “It’s great to have Eoin back, really great but several of the lads did well, because those were very tough conditions on both sets of players.”

For new Kerry boss Eamonn Kelly, a Tipperary native, there was much to admire about the way his inexperienced side battled: “It was a good start, a lot of young lads who made their debuts today played well today.

“Our two corner backs, Dougie Fitzell and Kevin Orpen, were very strong while wing back Seán Weir never stopped attacking and working.”

Tipperary led 0-4 to 0-3 after 21 minutes and while they were never to lose that lead, they required a brace of Michael Cahill points to move 0-9 to 0-3 clear by half-time.

Kerry took the game to Tipperary on the resumption with three unanswered points, one from Philip Lucid, and two Nolan frees, to close the gap to just three points.

That prompted Tipp to introduce the big guns with the likes of Noel McGrath and Padraic Maher coming off the bench, then Michael Cahill goaled in the 50th minute — after which Tipp kicked on to win by 16.

Scorers for Tipperary: E Kelly (1-8, 0-4f), M Cahill (1-2), D Collins (0-2), D Maher, N McGrath, R Maher, C O’Riordan (0-1).

Kerry scorers: S Nolan (0-5f), P Lucid, M Boyle and P Boyle (0-1).

TIPPERARY: D Egan; C Bartlett, C O’Mahony, J Peters; S McGrath, B Maher, C O’Brien; M Cahill, J Woodlock; D Maher, D Collins, Patrick B Maher; E Kelly, P Murphy, C Kenny.

Subs: N McGrath for P Murphy (h/t), Padraic Maher for J Woodlock (48), R Maher for P B Maher (52, C O’Riordan for D Collins (69).

KERRY: T Flynn; D Fitzell, T Casey, K Orpen; S Weir, J Leahy, Brendan O’Leary; P Lucid , D Collins; M Boyle, S Nolan, C O Brien; PJ Connolly, P Boyle, P McGrath.

Subs: D Dineen for T Casey (29 inj), R Heffernan for P McGrath (35), P O’Connor for C O’Brien (48), K Dineen for R Heffernan (50), Brian O’Leary for P Lucid (65).

Referee: D O’Driscoll (Limerick)

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