Munster Senior Football Final
Kerry 3-17 Tipperary 2-10
Kerry are once again Munster champions after defeating Tipperary by ten points this afternoon in Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney.
Paul Geaney scored 2-3 while James O’Donoghue came from the bench to kick four second-half points. Kerry led 2-7 to 1-4 at the break with Paul Murphy and Geaney contributing the goals.They were too strong for Tipperary in the second half as they cruised to victory.
Tipperary got off to a perfect start as Jimmy Feehan blasted the ball into the Kerry net inside the first minute. This was the promising Feehan’s fifth championship match and he ran onto Philip Austin’s pass before drilling the ball under Kerry goalkeeper Brian Kelly. Geaney replied for Kerry with a good point after four minutes before Michael Quinlivan pointed a free for the visitors. Geaney chipped over another point from the right side and further points from Killian Young and Bryan Sheehan from a free saw the Kingdom draw level on 12 minutes.
Kevin O’Halloran pointed two frees for Tipperary in two minutes to edge in front again. But Kerry were beginning to control the game and they found the net on 18 minutes as Murphy scored a brilliant goal. The wing-forward evaded Robbie Kiely before beating Evan Comerford with a well-placed finish. Darran O’Sullivan split the posts before Geaney grabbed Kerry’s second goal on 27 minutes. The Dingle clubman got away from Alan Campbell and drilled the ball into the corner of the net with Comerford rooted to the spot.
Murphy and a Sheehan free added further to the Kingdom’s score with O’Halloran scoring Tipperary’s first point in 17 minutes just before half time.
Tipperary needed a good start to the second half but they kicked three wides in a row in the first two minutes with Josh Keane, Conor Sweeney and Kevin O’Halloran wayward with their shooting. Geaney was in fine form for the hosts and he notched their third goal on 48 minutes. He raced clear of the Tipperary defence and beat Comerford with a left-footed strike. But Tipperary responded with a goal of their own as Quinlivan found Kiely with a great pass and the wing-back arrowed the ball past Kelly in the Kerry goal with 20 minutes to go.
O’Halloran capitalised on this momentum and kicked two points to bring Tipperary within six points of Kerry. The Kingdom had the luxury of introducing David Moran, Jonathan Lyne, O’Donoghue, Barry John Keane and Anthony Maher in the second half and their experience helped Eamon Fitzmaurice’s men see out the game.
O’Donoghue contributed four points (3 frees) to the cause with Barry John Keane also splitting the posts late on as Kerry did enough to secure Munster final success for the 78th time in their history.
The one negative for the home side today was the injury of Colm Cooper. The sides talisman was injured in the first half and was forced off before making his way to the dressing room to recieve treatment. Fitzmaurice confirmed ‘The Gooch’ had sustained a shoulder injury and added “We’re hoping it’s not too bad. It isn’t as severe as first thought. He’ll get it assessed during the week and hopefully it won’t be that bad.”
Kerry: B Kelly; S Enright, M Griffin, B Ó Beaglaoich; A O’Mahony, K Young (0-01), T Morley; K Donaghy, B Sheehan (0-04f); D Walsh, C Cooper, P Murphy (1-01); D O’Sullivan (0-01), P Geaney (2-03), S O’Brien (0-01).
Subs: M Geaney (0-01) for Cooper (inj, 20), D Moran for Donaghy (46), J Lyne for Ó Beaglaoich (46), B.J. Keane (0-01) for O’Sullivan (49), J O’Donoghue (0-4, 3f) for O’Brien (58), A Maher for Sheehan (66).
Tipperary: E Comerford; C McDonald, A Campbell, C O’Shaughnessy; B Maher, R Kiely (1-00), J Feehan (1-00); P Acheson, G Hannigan; J Keane, K O’Halloran (0-06, 4f, 1 45), B Fox; P Austin, M Quinlivan (0-03, 2f), C Sweeney.
Subs: S O’Connell for Keane (b/c 58), A Moloney (0-01) for Austin (63), M Dunne for Hannigan (68), S Leahy for O’Shaughnessy (70+1).