MUNSTER and All-Ireland champions Kerry recovered from a sluggish start to beat Tipperary by six points in this afternoon’s provincial senior football semi-final in Thurles.
Throw-in was delayed by 15 minutes as just the New Stand was open to punters attempting to gain access to Semple Stadium.
When play got underway, Tipp led by 1-1 to 0-0 within four minutes, with two-goal hero Michael Quinlivan netting for the hosts.
But Kerry came roaring back to led by 2-6 to 2-4 at half-time, Barry John Keane and Paul Geaney on target with goals before Quinlivan netted his second.
And a run of five successive points after half-time provided the platform for Kerry’s win, which sets up a Munster final clash with old rivals Cork on July 5.
Kerry welcomed back Colm ‘Gooch’ Cooper after injury ruled him out of the entire 2014 campaign and the Dr. Crokes superstar scored three points, including two from play.
Tipp registered 13 wides to just five from Kerry and that was a crucial factor in their defeat.
But the Premier County, beaten by 17 points in Killarney two years ago, did close the gap and look set for another good run in the qualifiers.
TIPPERARY: E Comerford; P Codd, C McDonald, R Kiely; S Kennedy, P Acheson, A Campbell; S O’Brien, G Hannigan; C O’Riordan (0-1), P Austin, G Mulhaire (0-1); C Sweeney (0-2f), M Quinlivan (2-0), B Fox (0-1).
Subs: J Lonergan (0-1) for Kiely (31), B Grogan (0-1f) for Hannigan (h.t.), K O’Halloran (0-1, 45) for Austin (54), L Casey for Fox (65), B Mulvihill for Sweeney (65), A Morrissey for Kennedy (70).
KERRY: B Kealy; M Ó’Sé, M Griffin, S Enright; J Lyne, P Crowley, K Young; A Maher (0-1), B Sheehan (0-5, 3f); M Geaney (0-1), C Cooper (0-3, 1f), J Buckley; P Geaney (1-2), K Donaghy, B.J. Keane (1-1).
Subs: S O’Brien (0-1) for Buckley (33), J O’Donoghue for Keane (48), A O’Mahony for Crowley (49), D O’Sullivan for M Geaney (53), D Walsh for Sheehan (62), T Walsh for Maher (67).
Referee: Ciaran Branagan (Down)
The fallout from Dublin's demolition of Longford continues with many wild and wonderful new systems for running the championship being touted. A man cannot go about his daily business anymore without someone coming up with a new idea on a fairer championship structure.
Every year, the whales eat the plankton in the early rounds of the football championship. Dublin sleepwalk through Leinster, Kerry and Cork forwards surge up the top-scorer leaderboards, while the Ulster teams beat each other's brains out. Worst of all, the weaker teams in the country are gone, having played just one championship match and one qualifier. Everything is wrong and nothing is right.