This was one of the county’s easier victories in the past four-and-a-half years, with Peter Keane’s U17s — the new age group for minor — ending this lifeless Munster quarter-final contest 14 points clear of their opponents.
This result, coupled with what happened in Páirc Uí Rinn, means Cork and Kerry, for the second summer running, will clash in the Munster semi-final. That game is provisionally fixed for Austin Stack Park on Wednesday, May 8 at 7pm.
Should the 2018 class replicate last year’s side in disposing of Cork at the penultimate hurdle in Munster, it will mean a seventh provincial minor final appearance for the Kingdom, having won the last five.
That’s work for another day.
Last evening was about getting the current campaign off to a positive start and this new Kerry batch did exactly that. Mind you, they were least impressive during the opening quarter. By comparison, this period saw Tipperary at their most competitive.
Three from the boot of Brosna’s Paul Walsh and one from Jack Kennelly had the visitors to Thurles 0-4 to 0-1 in front by the ninth minute. The reigning Munster and All-Ireland champions would fail to score during the subsequent 11 minutes, during which time the hosts, through a pair of Christy English frees, reduced the deficit to the minimum.
They could — and probably should — have got back on level footing, with English and Devon Ryan guilty of poor wides. Their window of opportunity shut promptly, thereafter, as Ruaidhrí Ó Beaglaoích and Killian Falvey had Kerry 0-7 to 0-3 to the good at the break.
That lead should have been greater, with Tipperary keeper Callan Scully producing two fine saves to deny Patrick D’Arcy and Jack Kennelly. Ó Beaglaoích had a third goal chance, but blasted over from close range.
Ballyporeen youngster English was responsible for Tipperary’s entire first-half total, with their sole score from play arriving seven minutes in.
They’d manage only one white flag in the second-half, sub Conor Whelan bridging a 29-minute barren spell when delivering a fine score off his right boot.
By this turn in the road, the result had already been wrapped up, Kerry ahead by 1-11 to 0-4. The game, played in front of a crowd of 1,185, had turned dramatically against the home outfit on 41 minutes.
A delicious Paul Walsh pass to send Ó Beaglaoích through on goal had ripped open the Tipperary rearguard. Kevin Hayes, already on a yellow, hauled Ó Beaglaoích to the floor, with referee Donnacha O’Callaghan spreading his arms wide to signal a penalty before showing Hayes a black card to reduce the Premier County to 14 men.
Walsh converted the penalty, with captain Paul O’Shea and subs Dylan Geaney and Sean Quilter kicking a succession of points to close out the win.
A tougher test awaits Kerry next month. They, no more than their semi-final opponents, learned little about themselves last evening.
P Walsh (1-3, 1-0 pen, 0-3); R Ó Beaglaoích (0-5, 0-4 frees); D Geaney (0-2 frees); P O’Shea, K Falvey, P D’Arcy, S Quilter (0-1 ‘45) J Kennelly (0-1 each).
C English (0-3, 0-2 frees); C Whelan (0-1).
M Kelliher (Glenflesk); C Flannery (Dingle), C Moriarty (Annascaul), O Fitzgerald (Gneeveguilla); K O’Donoghue (Legion), D McCarthy (Kenmare), D Murphy (Rathmore); P O’Shea (Kilcummin), D Lyne (Legion); D Rahilly (Rathmore), P D’Arcy (Glenflesk), K Falvey (Annascaul); J Kennelly (Ballydonoghue), P Walsh (Brosna), R Ó Beaglaoich (An Ghaeltacht).
D Dineen (Rathmore) for Kennelly (45 mins); J O’Connor (Beaufort) for D’Arcy (47); D Mangan (Laune Rangers) for O’Donoghue (50); S Quilter (Austin Stacks) for Lyne (54); D Geaney (Dingle) for Ó Beaglaoích (56); J McCarthy (Kenmare) for Falvey (60).
C Scully (Nenagh Éire Óg); T McDonagh (Cahir), S Lowe (Moyne-Templetuohy), C McDonagh (Cahir); M O’Meara (Grangemockler-Ballyneale), K Hayes (Moycarkey-Borris), J Ryan (Arravale Rovers); B Murphy (Kilsheelan-Kilcash), K Ryan (Upperchurch-Drombane); D Ryan (Knockavilla-Donaskeigh Kickhams), E Daly (Knockavilla-Donaskeigh Kickhams), M Hackett (Moycarkey-Borris); A Flannery (Galtee Rovers), K Shelly (Moycarkey-Borris), C English (Ballyporeen).
D Farrelly (Clerihan) for Flannery (HT); G Meagher (Inane Rovers) for T McDonagh (38 mins); C Whelan (Mullinaone) for Murphy (44); J O’Sullivan (Galtee Rovers) for J Ryan (49); R Byron (Galtee Rovers) for Daly (58).
D O’Callaghan (Limerick).