Munster MFC: Kingdom ease past Premier

April 11, 2018

Kerry's Darragh Rahilly and Shane Lowe of Tipperary.
©INPHO/James Crombie.

Kerry set up a semi-final date with Cork when coasting to a 1-15 to 0-4 victory over Tipperary at Thurles.

The Kingdom have won the last four All-Ireland minor football championships and, on the evidence of tonight's performance, changing the grade from U18 to U17 has made little or no difference to them. Their quality is still more than evident and they'll be back in action on Tuesday night, May 8th, when they face the Rebels (resounding victors over Waterford) in Tralee for a place in the provincial final.

Peter Keane's side got sharper as the game progressed, reeling off the last three scores of the opening period to lead by 0-7 to 0-3 at the short whistle and following up with a further unanswered 1-4 upon the resumption to finish the match as a contest.

Three Paul Walsh points had the Kingdom ahead by 0-4 to 0-1 inside eight minutes and Christy English (free) lofted over his second score of the night to reduce the arrears to two at the midway stage in the first half.

Another excellent English free from distance drew Matt O'Doherty's confident charges back within the minimum but the visitors replied with a 19th-minute free from An Ghaeltacht clubman Ruaidhrí Ó Beaglaoích and the same player was on hand to make it double scores again five minutes from the break.

Killian Falvey increased the Kingdom's advantage after superb Tipp custodian Callan Scully pulled off his second wonderful save and the visitors led by four at the break. The second half was completely one-sided.

Within a minute of the restart, Ó Beaglaoích popped over his third point (free) to increase the gap further and Patrick D'arcy curled an excellent effort between the uprights at the town end in the 38th minute to leave six between the teams, 0-9 to 0-3.

Any doubts as to who would progress were eliminated in the eleventh minute of the second half when outstanding Brosna clubman Walsh excellently dispatched a penalty low to the back of the Tipp net; further scores from Ó Beaglaoích and substitute Conor Whelan (with the hosts' only score of the second half) at either end left the winners ahead by ten points at the three-quarters stage, 1-11 to 0-4.

After a long passage of play without any further flags being raised, Dylan Geaney and captain Paul O'Shea added to Kerry's tally in the 58th and 60th minutes respectively and substitutes Sean Quilter ('45') and Geaney tacked on injury-time scores as the holders eased into the last four once more.

While the Kingdom advance to a do-or-die date with Cork, Tipperary could yet join them there: the Premier County travel to the Gaelic Grounds for a loser's group play-off against Limerick next Wednesday and the winners of that one will in turn face Waterford seven days later for the right to take on Clare in the second semi-final.

Kerry - M Kelliher; C Flannery, C Moriarty, O Fitzgerald; K O'Donoghue, D McCarthy, D Murphy; P O'Shea (0-1), D Lyne; D Rahilly, P D'Arcy (0-1), K Falvey (0-1); J Kennelly (0-1), P Walsh (1-3, 1-0pen, 0-3f), R O Beaglaoich (0-5, 4f). Subs: D Dineen for J Kennelly, J O'Connor for P D'Arcy, D Mangan for K O'Donoghue, S Quilter (0-1'45) for D Lyne, D Geaney (0-2f) for R O Beaglaoích, J McCarthy for K Falvey.

Tipperary - C Scully; T McDonagh, S Lowe, C McDonagh; M O'Meara, K Hayes, J Ryan; B Murphy, K Ryan; D Ryan, E Daly, M Hackett; A Flannery, K Shelly, C English (0-3, 2f). Subs: D Farrelly for A Flannery, G Meagher for T McDonagh, C Whelan (0-1) for B Murphy, J O'Sullivan for J Ryan, R Byron for E Daly.

Referee - D O'Callaghan.

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