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Kerry hold the edge

EAMONN FITZMAURICE'S Kerry continue to improve as they edged out Tyrone (1-16 to 2-12) in Healy Park, Omagh to preserve their Division 1 status.

The early stages of this year's league suggested that the Kingdom might be residing in Division 2 next season but the return of familiar faces, particularly in attack, in recent weeks has seen them show flashes of their brilliance.

With wind advantage in the opening half Kerry tore into attack from the first whistle and with Colm 'Gooch' Copper orchestrating matters from centre-forward they held a 1-13 to 0-5 lead at the break.

It really should have been more though as they squandered several promising good-scoring opportunities as well as hitting the woodwork on several occasions. The industrious Tomás ó Sé's goaled in the 32nd minute - palming a Darran O'Sullivan centre to the net at the end of a powerful trademark run - while seven points shared between Declan O'Sullivan and Kieran Donaghy had Kerry 11 point to the good at the break.

Mickey Harte's sid rallied in the second period and laid seige to the Kerry goal in the dying minutes. Stephen O'Neill netted for the Ulster men and points from Conor Gormley, Conor Clarke and a Mark Donnelly goal narrowed the gap to the minimum but the Kingdom held out in a frenetic finish.