Kerry turned the corner in emphatic and spectacular fashion, routing Tyrone by 15 points at Killarney to claim their first win of the NFL campaign.
James O’Donoghue tore the Tyrone defence to shreds, helping himself to a superb hat-trick of goals, while Bryan Sheehan marked his first appearance of the season with an eight-points haul.
For 45 minutes, this was a tight, close contest, with the sides level on five occasions, but the Kingdom cut loose, and the Red Hands managed just one point in the entire second half.
Goalkeeper Niall Morgan produced two superb saves in the opening five minutes as Kerry took the game to their northern visitors.
He kept out Peter Crowley’s shot after he had been sent clear by James O’Donoghue’s quickly taken free kick, and denied O’Donoghue, after he had cur in from the left to fire in a shot.
Kerry went ahead with points from Barry John Kene and Bryan Sheehan, and it was ‘keeper Morgan whop opened Tyrone’s account, drilling a long range free beytween the posts in the ninth minute.
Sheehan, making his first appearance of the season, was Kerry’s chief scoring threat, his long range free kicking keeping his side in front.
But the Red Hands stayed in touch with a superb Peter Harte point, sliced over off the outside of his left boot, along with a couple of Ronan O’Neill frees.
Harte brought Tyrone level with his second score in the 23rd minute, and they were denied a goal when Paddy McNeice seized upon the rebound when O’Neill’s shot came back off a post, but keeper Brian Kelly was quickly off his line to smother the shot.
Tyrone continued to press, and went in front for the first time in the 25th minute through Darren McCurry.
Sheehan kept the home side in front with his pinpoint accuracy from long range frees, and late in the half, McCurry and O’Donoghue swapped points, the sides level at 0-8 each at the break.
Substitute Ciaran McGinley regained the lead for Tyrone with his first touch, but again, Sheehan was the man with the scoring touch, bring Kerry level, before midfielder Anthony Maher galloped through to punch over the lead point.
And they struck for a gal in the 38th minute. Substitute Kieran O’Leary thumped in the long ball, which was broken by Paul Geaney into the path of James O’Donoghue, and he showed a clean pair of heels to Barry Tierney before smashing a bullet past Morgan.
Geaney and Sheehan tagged on points, and Kerry were suddenly in the comfort zone, six points clear going into the final quarter.
And they wrapped up a comprehensive win with O’Donoghue second goal nine minutes from the end, picking his spot in the bottom corner after substitute Darran O’Sullivan had carved the opening.
B Kelly, P Murphy, M Griffin, S Enright, P Crowley, F Ftizgerald, M O Se, A Maher (0-1), D Moran, D Casey, B Sheehan (0-8, 7f), D Walsh, BJ Keane (0-1), S O’Brien, J O’Donoghue (3-3, 0-2f).
Subs: P Kilkenny for Enright K O’Leary (0-1) for Walsh, P Geaney (0-1) for Keane, D O’Sullivan for Casey, A O’Mahony for Crowley, J Buckley for Sheehan
N Morgan (0-2, 2f), PJ Quinn, C Clarke, B Tierney, R McNamee, P Harte (0-2), R McNabb, C Cavanagh, S Cavanagh, E McKenna, R O’Neill (0-2, 2f), S McGuigan, D McCurry (0-2), Mattie Donnelly, P McNeice.
Subs: C McGinley (0-1) for McNabb, Mark Donnelly for McNeice, N McKenna for McGuigan, C Grugan for E McKenna, A McCrory for Quinn
R Hickey (Clare).