Tipp top Premier have too much

Munster Senior Hurling League Round 3: Tipperary 4-20 Kerry 1-14

Kerry's Eric Leen is tackled by Patrick Maher of Tipperary during the Co-Op
Superstores Munster Hurling League 2019 match between Tipperary and Kerry at MacDonagh Park in Nenagh. Photo by Sportsfile
Kerry's Eric Leen is tackled by Patrick Maher of Tipperary during the Co-Op Superstores Munster Hurling League 2019 match between Tipperary and Kerry at MacDonagh Park in Nenagh. Photo by Sportsfile

Conor McKenna, MacDonagh Park, Nenagh

The result went along expected lines and was of an expected margin. Tipperary are where Tipperary are and Kerry are where Kerry are. Sometimes it's that simple. There's no shame in that, things are as they are.

That, of course, is not to say the exercise wasn't worth something to the Kingdom.

Nor is it to say that Fintan O'Connor's men didn't equip themselves well. Against the might of the Premier, Kerry coped about as well if not a little better than expected.

Kerry competed reasonably well in the opening stages, with plenty of positives on show, but three goals in the later stages of the opening half effectively killed off the game as a contest.

Tipperary had built up a 3-14 to 0-7 lead when the half time-whistle sounded and it was only pride Kerry were playing for in the second half.

Jack Goulding operated as a third midfielder for Kerry, which was a good plan set up to aid the Kerry defence and it meant that one of the midfielders could drop back as an extra defender.

Kerry gave it their all and were not bad at all throughout, but Tipperary operate on a different level to most teams and Kerry were always going to struggle when facing Tipperary away from home.

Tipperary led by 0-9 to 0-6 after 24 minutes, but Jason Forde found the net for his side's first goal when he punished some lax Kerry defending of Noel McGrath's long range free and Forde made no mistake with the finish.

Kerry were blitzed from that point up to half time and Mark Kehoe added his sides second goal after the corner-forward got past James O'Connor before finishing to the net.

The third goal was superb and was worth the admission fee alone, as Noel McGrath volleyed to the net, after a cross-field side-line cut from Jason Forde. Forde hit a high dropping cross-field cut and Forde hit an ice-cool volley to stretch his sides lead to fourteen points.

Patrick Bonner Maher added his side's fourth goal, which was only allowed after the referee consulted with his umpires, as the goalkeeper had saved Maher's initial effort.

Michael O'Leary was Kerry's best player on the day and O'Leary added some superb points in the second half, but there was a massive gulf between the sides throughout which was evident for all to see.

Shane Conway found the net for Kerry late on, but it was too little too late and Fintan O'Connor's side will now turn their attention to the upcoming Allianz League campaign.

Tipperary: Barry Hogan; Donagh Maher (0-1), Padraic Maher, Killian O'Dwyer; Alan Flynn, Seamus Kennedy, Barry Heffernan; Michael Breen (0-1), Willie Connors (0-1); Dan McCormack (0-1), Noel McGrath (1-4), Patrick Maher (1-0); Mark Kehoe (1-3), Jason Forde (1-5; 2f, 1 '65'), Jake Morris (0-3) Subs: Cathal Barrett for D Maher (48), Cian Darcy (0-1) for Kehoe (51), Robert Byrne for Kennedy (57), Mark McCarthy for McGrath (61), Tom Fox for Heffernan (63)

Kerry: John B O'Halloran; Eric Leen, James O'Connor, John Buckley; Jason Diggins, Mikey Boyle, Tomas O'Connor; David Griffin, Niall O'Mahony (0-1); Michael O'Leary (0-3), Shane Conway (1-2), Fionan MacKessy; Jack Goulding (0-2), Brandon Barrett (0-5, 4f), Michael Slattery Subs: Bryan Murphy for J O'Connor (41), Padraig Boyle (0-1) for MacKessy (41), Jordan Conway for Slattery (43), Sean Weir for Leen (54), Michael Leane for O'Mahony (56)

Referee: Nathan Wall (Cork)

Kerryman

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