Sunday 21 December 2014

Savage the driving force as Kingdom bring drought to an end

Kerry 0-15 Tipperary 0-10

Published 08/07/2013 | 05:00

Kerry’s Cathal Ó Lúing produces an incredible leap against Tipperary
Kerry’s Cathal Ó Lúing produces an incredible leap against Tipperary

Kerry ended a four-year drought without a title as they saw off three-in-a-row-seeking Tipperary in the searing heat of the Fitzgerald Stadium – with the sending off of dual star Josh Keane just before half-time the decisive factor.

Kerry ended a four-year drought without a title as they saw off three-in-a-row-seeking Tipperary in the searing heat of the Fitzgerald Stadium – with the sending off of dual star Josh Keane just before half-time the decisive factor.

Kerry laid down a marker early on with Conor Jordan winning some good ball at midfield, while up front both Conor Keane and Jack Savage had the beating of their direct opponents.

Tipperary were still well in this contest until referee James Bermingham showed Premier centre forward Keane a second yellow, for a foul on Matthew Flaherty, and the momentum swung in the Kingdom's favour.

Tipperary were guilty of some poor shooting, with four first-half wides and a number of efforts dropping short into Shane Ryan's hands as Kerry's full-back line of Fionan Clifford, Cathal O Luing and Padraig O Conchuir were impregnable.

At the other end, the dead-eyed Savage punished every Tipperary indiscretion.

At the end of the opening quarter, Kerry led 0-5 to 0-2, with Savage kicking three frees, while Shane O'Connor and a sublime Cillian Spillane effort from the sideline had Kerry in a strong position.

However, Tipperary's strong midfield pairing of Liam Casey and Coilin O'Riordan thundered into the game, with Casey kicking two points, and O'Riordan a point, while Savage, Michael Burns and Conor Keane kept Kerry in front.

With Tipperary reduced to 14 with the dismissal of Josh Keane, Kerry retired 0-8 to 0-5 in front and they looked in pole position.

However, Tipperary resumed a transformed side, and rattled off three points on the trot, two frees from Alan Tynan and an absolute beauty from Liam Casey, to level the contest.

Yet once Kerry dropped back their extra man David Foran as a sweeper in front of their full-back line, they regained the initiative and three more Savage points saw them move three clear.

With Tipperary tiring, they managed just two points in the remaining 27 minutes of the second half, with Conor Keane and Savage, who brought his haul to 0-10, ensuring Kerry would go on to reclaim the Munster crown for the first time since 2009.

Tipperary did spurn a late goal opportunity when Kerry 'keeper Ryan saved a Jack Brady penalty but the Kingdom were deserving winners.

Scorers – Kerry: J Savage 0-10 (8s), C Keane 0-2, M Burns, S O'Connor, K Spillane 0-1 each. Tipperary: L Casey 0-3, C O'Riordan 0-3 ( 1f), A Tynan 0-3 (2fs), J Keane 0-1 (f).

Kerry – S Ryan; F Clifford, C O Luing, P O Conchuir; M Flaherty, D Foran, R Wharton; G Horan, C Jordan; M Burns, J Savage, K Shanahan; C Keane, S O'Connor, K Spillane. Subs: E O Conchuir for K Shanahan (22), B Sugrue for M Flaherty (h/t), T O Se for S O'Connor (53), T Brosnan for E O'Conchuir (60)

Tipperary – J Brady; D Owens, J Feehan, W Connors; L Boland, R Mulcahy, K Fahey; L Casey, C O'Riordan; P Shanahan, J Keane, C Lowry; A Tynan, T Kirwan, P Maher. Subs: P Louram for P Shanahan ( h-t), S Quirke for L Boland ( h-t), P White for T Kirwan (42), M Connolly for K Fahey (54), T Nolan for D Owens (56)

REF – J Bermingham ( Cork)

Irish Independent

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