Kerry fire home six goals as they cruise past Tyrone for Division 1 semi-final victory

Updated Jun 12th 2021, 6:59 PM

Kerry 6-15
Tyrone 1-14

475 DAYS AFTER their last competitive appearance in Fitzgerald Stadium, the Kerry senior team marked their comeback at the Killarney venue and the return of a small section of their fanbase to the stand, in some style tonight.

Paul Geaney celebrates scoring Kerry’s fourth goal.

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Five first-half goals provided the platform for as comfortable a football league semi-final win imaginable. Kerry’s early dominance was expressed on the scoreboard and the second half unfolded before the expected conclusion was reached.

On last four day in Division 1, the question was whether a final pairing would materialise? Kerry, the defending champions, put that issue to bed in the opening period with a clinical and devastating show of goal scoring.

With the pressures on the fixture calendar, space is at a premium this season. Kerry’s progression ruled out the prospect of a decider, given they are out in Munster so soon when they take on Clare in a fortnight.

From an early stage, Kerry looked in a mood to remove any debate for the fixture planners. They had the ball in the net for the first time in the 6th minute. By the first water break, they had scored three goals. A further two green flags were raised by the interval.

Tyrone’s Richard Donnelly and Kerry’s Mike Breen.

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The damage Kerry inflicted could have been greater as they carved open the Tyrone defence at will. David Clifford stuck home the first penalty, Gavin White lobbed in from distance after Niall Morgan left his goal unguarded, Dara Moynihan tucked home the third, and then Paul Geaney fired two shots to the bottom corner of the net.

Sean O’Shea didn’t get in on the goalscoring act but his mark was stamped all over Kerry’s display, orchestrating their best moves with some classy contributions.

Darragh Canavan left the field injured in the first half.

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

At 5-6 to 0-7, the writing was on the wall for Tyrone at the break. They had also suffered the setback of seeing the highly promising Darragh Canavan carted off through injury in the 10th minute.

The second half was damage limitation stuff in terms of this game but the focus levels of Tyrone were debatable. A month out from an Ulster championship opener, the trip to Killarney was a long one to endure. They wheeled several replacements off the bench and saw Tiernan McCann crack home a 42nd minute goal to give themselves some cause for cheer.

Clifford continued to torment the Tyrone rearguard with a series of points as Kerry went in front 5-11 to 1-8 at the second-half water break. Micheál Burns and Killian Spillane both struck 0-2 apiece off the bench, while another sub Jack Barry completed the rout with their sixth goal in the 65th minute.

Scorers for Kerry: David Clifford 1-6 (1-0 pen, 0-4f), Paul Geaney 2-0, Jack Barry, Dara Moynihan, Gavin White 1-0 each, Seán O’Shea 0-3 (0-1f), Killian Spillane, Micheál Burns 0-2 each, Jason Foley, Mike Breen 0-1 each.

Scorers for Tyrone: Kieran McGeary, Darren McCurry (0-1f) 0-3 each, Tiernan McCann 1-0, Mattie Donnelly, Peter Harte, Paul Donaghy (0-1f), Rory Brennan, Mark Bradley, Niall Sludden 0-1 each.

Kerry 

1. Kieran Fitzgibbon (Kenmare Shamrocks)

2. Brian Ó Beaglaoich (An Ghaeltacht), 3. Jason Foley (Ballydonoghue), 4. Tom O’Sullivan (Dingle)

5. Mike Breen (Beaufort), 6. Gavin Crowley (Templenoe), 7. Gavin White (Dr Crokes)

8. Diarmuid O’Connor (Na Gaeil), 9. Adrian Spillane (Templenoe)

15. Paudie Clifford (Fossa), 11. Sean O’Shea (Kenmare Shamrocks), 10. Stephen O’Brien (Kenmare Shamrocks).

14. Dara Moynihan (Spa), 13. David Clifford (Fossa), 12. Paul Geaney (Dingle).

Subs

24. Joe O’Connor (Austin Stacks) for Paudie Clifford (blood) (35 +3)

15. Clifford for O’Connor (half-time)

23. Micheál Burns (Dr Crokes) for Geaney (43)

21. Tommy Walsh (Kerins O’Rahillys) for Paudie Clifford (43)

20. Killian Spillane (Templenoe) for O’Brien (50)

18. Jack Barry (Na Gaeil) for O’Shea (53)

17. Jack Sherwood (Firies) for White (60)

24. O’Connor for Moynihan (60)

22. Paul O’Shea (Kilcummin) for Adrian Spillane (63)

19. Graham O’Sullivan (Dromid Pearses) for Breen (72)

Tyrone

1. Niall Morgan (Edendork)

5. Michael McKernan (Coalisland), 4. Pádraig Hampsey (Coalisland – captain), 3. Ronan McNamee (Aghyaran), 

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2. Cormac Monroe (Carrickmore), 12. Conor Meyler (Omagh), 6. Peter Harte (Errigal Ciarán).

9. Frank Burns (Pomeroy), 14. Conor McKenna (Eglish)

10. Kieran McGeary (Pomeroy), 11. Darragh Canavan (Errigal Ciarán), 7. Liam Rafferty (Galbally).

13. Darren McCurry (Edendork), 8. Matthew Donnelly (Trillick), 15. Paul Donaghy (Dungannon).

Subs

17. Mark Bradley (Killyclogher) for Canavan (inj) (10)

22. Tiernan McCann (Killyclogher) for Monroe (26)

24. Ronan O’Neill (Omagh) for Donaghy (half-time)

20. Richard Donnelly (Trillick) for Burns (half-time)

19. Rory Brennan (Trillick) for McKernan (40)

26. Niall Sludden (Dromore) for Rafferty (46)

21. Colin Kilpatrick for McNamee (67)

Referee: Conor Lane (Cork)

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