Kerry fought back to score a convincing victory over Tyrone at Tullamore and remain on course for a sixth successive All-Ireland MFC title.
They were in trouble in the opening half, trailing by four points and struggling to break down a determined Tyrone defence, but they cut loose after the break and an Emmet O’Shea goal finally broke the Red Hands.
They go through to a semi-final against Galway following this test of character which extended a remarkable winning run at this level to 34 championship games.
Kerry’s early efforts were frustrated by the tigerish tackling of a Tyrone defence that forced a string of turnovers, and broke for Luke Donnelly to open the scoring.
Skipper Jack O’Connor floated a ’45 between the uprights to bring the Munster champions level, but it was the Ulster men who were more clinical against a defence that was also well versed in keeping things tight.
Mark Devlin won the free from which Donnelly edged his side back in front, and it was Devlin who turned finisher as he swept over a point from Daniel Fullerton’s crossfield pass.
Tyrone grew in confidence as Kerry’s frustration increased accordingly, and with Michael McGleenan using his midfield power to drive them forward, they stepped up the offensive intensity.
Goalkeeper Devon Burns came to Kerry’s rescue twice, first deflecting a Donnelly screamer over the bar, before stopping Conor Cuddy’s effort, with Devlin converting the resultant ’45 for a 0-5 to 0-2 lead.
Fullerton added another, and the first half had slipped into stoppage time when Dylan Geaney scored the Kingdom’s[FM1] first point form play, and they went in at the break trailing by 0-6 to 0-3.
Kerry turned up the tempo, with O’Connor on target twice within three minutes of the restart.
Geaney’s creativity was crucial in this spell, and he was also involved in the move that ended with Emmet O’Shea narrowing the gap to a single point on 40 minutes.
The Kingdom attackers were getting more space against a tiring Tyrone side,t hat was now struggling to inject pace into the counter-attacking raids that had proved so effective in the early stages.
The Kerry surge showed no sign of abating, and after Eoghan O’Sullivan had brought them level, they got in for a 47th minute goal.
Sub Joseph Linehan and Gearoid Hassett combined for O’Shea to finish from close range past Fintan Coney, and they led by three.
Tyrone’s unravelling challenge suffered a further double blow when full back Micheal McCann received a straight red card, and midfielder Michael McGleenan picked up a black.
Kerry: D Burns; L Chester, A Dineen, K O’Sullivan; E O’Sullivan (0-1), A Curran, S O’Brien; C O Baglaoich, R Collins; D Lynch, J O’Connor (0-5, 1f, 2 ’45), C Crowley: G Hassett, D Geaney (0-3), E O’Shea (1-2).
Subs: J Linehan for K O’Sullivan (38), D O’Callaghan for Crowley (38), T O Hainifein for Lynch (55), K Goulding for O’Shea (58), J Kerins for Hassett (61), R O’Grady (0-1) for O’Connor (62)
Tyrone: S McMenamin; C Cuddy, M McCann, S Sweeney; S O’Donnell, N Devlin, J Donaghy; S Donaghy, M McGleenan; S Daly, M Devlin (0-4, 2 ’45), R Campbell; A McGrath, D Fullerton (0-1), L Donnelly (0-3, 1f).
Subs: B Conway for Cuddy (38), S Browne (0-1) for Donnelly (43), C Daly for McGleenan (BC 50), R Burns for O’Donnell (50), E Montgomery for S Donaghy (72)
Referee: B Tiernan (Dublin).