Saturday 24 February 2018

Fitzmaurice happy with Kerry's winning work-out against Tipp

Kerry 0-16 Tipperary 0-10

Kerry’s Tommy Walsh challenges Tipperary’s Martin Dunne. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / Sportsfile
Kerry’s Tommy Walsh challenges Tipperary’s Martin Dunne. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / Sportsfile Newsdesk Newsdesk

"A good workout," was how Kerry boss Eamonn Fitzmaurice described this relatively comfortable victory against home team Tipperary after seeing his men rack up 16 points in challenging conditions at Sean Treacy Park.

What was technically a meaningless game as both counties were out of overall contention in the competition was nevertheless played at a high tempo throughout the 70 minutes, with Tipp never letting their more decorated counterparts get too far in front.

A 12-minute period in the first half, when Kerry put over five points on the bounce, was what effectively charted the course of this match and the second half saw Fitzmaurice empty the bench to give as many as possible some game-time before the arrival of the National League.

Barry John Keane and Johnny Buckley looked sharp up front throughout, while Tommy Walsh shaded the centrefield stakes, with Fionn Fitzgerald and Padraig O'Connor showing some class in defence.

"It was a competitive outing for us so it was great," Fitzmaurice said afterwards. "Tipp were impressive as well. The running game they play can be hard to defend against, to concede 10 points was a decent return from our backs. We were happy overall."

Tipperary enjoyed some useful performances from the all-action Robbie Kiely in defence, often roaming up the field when the occasion demanded, and Ciaran McDonald, while Peter Acheson and Liam Casey were impressive in attack.

"The boys did great," Tipp manager Liam Kearns said. "They (Kerry) came down with a very strong team, 11 of the All-Ireland-winning panel, and we're down 15 players all the time.

"We had a game-plan and I thought the boys stuck to it very well. We were always in the game and always competitive and made it tough for them and we couldn't ask for any more in the circumstances."

Scorers - Tipperary: L Casey 0-3, B Hewitt 0-2 (1f), R Kiely, P Acheson, B Fox, A Maloney (f), D Butler 0-1 each. Kerry: BJ Keane 0-5 (4f), A Fitzgerald 0-3, P O'Connor, D Moran (1f, 1'45), C Cox (1f) 0-2 each; P Murphy, J O'Sullivan 0-1 each.

Tipperary - C Kenrick; C O'Shaughnessy, J Feehan, C McDonald; J O'Callaghan, R Kiely, S Leahy; A Maloney, N O'Donovan; B Fox, M Dunne, J Keane; P Acheson, L Casey, B Hewitt. Subs: D Bargerie for C McDonald (42), D Butler for A Maloney (54), D Leahy for R Kiely (58), S Quirke for L Casey.

Kerry - B Kealy; B Ó Beaglaoich, M Griffin, F Fitzgerald; P Murphy, K Young P O'Connor; D Moran; T Walsh; P O'Connor, J Buckley, J O'Sullivan; BJ Keane, A Fitzgerald, S O'Brien. Subs: B Kelly for B Kealy (h-t), J Lyne for D Moran (45), W Guthrie for P O'Connor (51), T O'Sullivan for J Buckley (53), C Cox for BJ Keane (53), P O'Sullivan for P Murphy (55).

Ref- K Murphy (Cork)

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