Ulster Minor champions Tyrone made a disappointing exit from the All Ireland series when they lost by the minimum margin to Kerry in the Quarter final at O’Moore Park in Portlaoise on Saturday afternoon. The ability of Kerry to restrict the influence of Noah Grimes and Eoin Mc Elholm had a major impact on Tyrone’s performance and ultimately the outcome of the game.
The Red Hands managed only two points in the second half on a day when they failed to play the football that they are capable of. It was Kerry who led 0-6 to 1-2 at the break and Tyrone were fortunate to only be a point adrift as the Munster lads enjoyed the better of things in terms of possession.
Both sides missed early chances before last ditch defending from Tyrone prevented Odhran Ferris from getting in for a 6th minute goal. Sixty seconds later the Ulster champions had the ball in the net at the other end of the field when a sweeping move involving a number of players ended with Ronan Molloy squaring the ball for Caolan Donnelly to palm home from close range.
Cormac Dillion opened Kerry’s account with a quality effort from distance before Noah Grimes and Jack Clifford exchanged points. Kerry got their noses in front with efforts from Dillion (2) and Paddy Lane and while a Molloy free levelled matters Donagh O’Sullivan had the final say of the half.
Kerry wing half back Eddie Healy opened the second half scoring but after that scores proved to be at a premium as both sides flooded men back in defence. Kerry lost Niall Collins to a black card and during that spell Molloy reduced the gap.
Tyrone could never get level though as Fionn Murphy nailed a long range free and while Donnelly scored late on time run out for Tyrone.
Tyrone scorers – C Donnelly 1-1, R Molloy 0-2, N Grimes 0-1
Kerry scorers – C Dillion 0-3, J Clifford 0-1, P Lane 0-1, D O’Sullivan 0-1, F Murphy 0-1, E Healey 0-1