Sunday 17 December 2017

O'Donoghue pulls strings to book Munster final place for champions

Kerry 2-13 Tipperary 1-8 Munster JFC semi-final

Brendan O'Sullivan, Kerry, left, in action against Alan O'Riordan, Tipperary
Brendan O'Sullivan, Kerry, left, in action against Alan O'Riordan, Tipperary

Jackie Cahill

JEFF O'Donoghue's fine individual display helped Kerry to ease past Tipperary in the Munster junior football semi-final at Semple Stadium.

The Glenflesk clubman provided a clinical scoring touch and also created both goals for the Kingdom as they set up a provincial final meeting with Cork on July 1.

O'Donoghue split his scoring haul evenly between both halves and provided the assists for Thomas Hickey and Dan O'Donoghue's majors.

Dean McEnroe's 34th-minute goal handed Tipperary the lead for the only time in the game, 1-5 to 1-4, but last year's beaten All-Ireland finalists Kerry hit back with five unanswered points to regain complete control.

And when former All-Ireland minor medallist Dan O'Donoghue scored Kerry's second goal midway through the second half, it was game over.

At half-time, Kerry were 1-4 to 0-5 clear, with Hickey banging home a brilliant goal in the 21st minute to punish a Tipperary turnover in the middle third.

Tipp goalkeeper Gearóid Slattery had earlier denied Hickey from close range, while Ger Hally went close for the hosts at the other end.


Once Kerry upped the tempo after the break, there would only be one winner in a game that was marred by a sickening first-half collision between home player Alan O'Riordan and the Kingdom's Tadhg Morley.

O'Riordan was stretchered off and Morley made way at half-time.

Relieved Kerry boss Stephen Wallace said: "We had a scare in the first half, we didn't play. We had 80 per cent of the possession but maybe it was first-game syndrome.

"No disrespect to other counties, you'd expect to turn them over. We did not expect to turn Tipperary over today and I genuinely mean that."

Tipp boss Tommy Toomey reflected: "We ran out of gas, simple as that but Kerry are a very good team and we take nothing away from them."

scorers - Tipperary: K Fox 0-4 (3f), D McEnroe 1-0, A Matassa and D Lonergan 0-2 (1f, 1 '45) each. Kerry: T Hickey 1-2 (2f), D O'Donoghue 1-0, J O'Donoghue 0-4, A O'Donoghue 0-3, C Cox 0-2, J Walsh & L Carey 0-1 each.

Tipperary - G Slattery; G Hally, D Kearney, D Lynch; K Fahey, L Boland, J Feehan; A Matassa, M Dunne; S Leahy, A O'Riordan, D Leahy; K Fox, D Lonergan, D McEnroe. Subs: T Sweeney for O'Riordan (30+6), G Cronin for Dunne (47), N Gleeson for S Leahy (49), M Russell for Matassa (56), D Walsh for D Leahy (60+1)

Kerry - S Murphy; D O'Donoghue, J McGuire, G Crowley; G Gibson, B O'Sullivan, T Morley; J Walsh, L Kearney; P O'Connor, J O'Donoghue, D Daly; A O'Donoghue, C Cox, T Hickey. Subs: E Kiely for Morley (h-t), M Brennan for Gibson (37), L Carey for Daly (45), A Barry for Cox (49), G O'Sullivan for J O'Donoghue (57), D Griffin for O'Sullivan (59).

ref - M Collins (Cork)

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