Friday 23 March 2018

Wedding plans on the line - but Kerry ultimately break Tipperary hearts

Enda Kenny in the stands at Fitzgerald Stadium for the provincial football final. Photo: Brendan Moran
Enda Kenny in the stands at Fitzgerald Stadium for the provincial football final. Photo: Brendan Moran
Wayne O'Connor

Wayne O'Connor

Wedding plans were altered and Tipperary hearts broken yesterday after the Premier County's hopes of winning a Munster Football final for the first time in 81 years were dashed by the Kingdom.

With the McGillycuddy Reeks looming over Fitzgerald Stadium, the Tipperary supporters knew they had a mountain to climb from the start.

Seán D'arcy (23), from Nenagh, and his girlfriend Shannon Leahy (21), from Tralee, said the result of the game would dictate where they eventually get married.

"I told her she'll have to come up to Tipperary for it if we won - so I think she is kind of relieved now because she's a proper Kerry woman," said Seán.

"It was a good day for her and I will probably be abandoned on the way home now because I live in Tralee.

"We haven't had a Munster final for more than 15 years but we'll wait on for next week now and the hurling final. Hopefully things will go better for us there."

Read more: Paul Geaney shines as Kerry claim their fourth Munster title in a row against brave Tipp

Despite Fitzgerald Stadium's capacity standing at more than 40,000 and perfect weather conditions hanging over Killarney, only 21,512 came through the turnstiles.

"Maybe they are all saving their money for Puck Fair," joked one local.

Adrian McCarthy, a Kerry supporter from Killarney, said it was the absence of the Kingdom's old enemy that was keeping the fans away.

"We love the Cork crowd coming down and having the banter with us," he said.

"We love sending them home with their tails between their legs even more.

"The crowd was down by about 10,000 from a normal Munster final, probably for that reason."

However, he said it was still a great occasion.

"The weather helps. It's nice to have the sun on your back watching Kerry win. That's what it's all about."

Tipperary supporter Amy Sweeney, from Ballyporeen, travelled to Killarney to see her brother Conor line out for Tipperary in his first Munster final.

"When we got the early goal and took the lead, I thought it was going to happen. I thought we had a good chance then but Kerry's experience shone through in the end," she said.

"It is not often we get trips to Killarney for matches, so the place was buzzing.

"The stand was full of Tipp fans. It is just a pity about the result but we'll be back next year, no doubt about that."

Irish Independent

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