A rampant Kerry put Tyrone to the sword in a very impressive All Ireland quarter final win at Croke Park on Saturday where the Munster champions were dominant from the off. Kerry outfought, out thought and outplayed their opponents throughout and such was their dominance that they could easily have won by even more. After a first half that saw them produce some quality defensive play to lead by three at the break, Kerry shook off the cobwebs and produced a devastating second half to which their opponents had no answer. Diarmuid O’Connor and Sean O’Shea led the way in scoring terms while although David Clifford hit five points he could quite easily have doubled his tally but for some wasteful finishing.
The opening half was fairly even in terms of possession and chances with Tyrone drawing level ay 0-5 and 0-6 apiece however with the Cliffords and Tom O’Sullivan in fine shooting form, ominously for Tyrone their opponents added three late points to reach the break three clear.
Frank Burns was introduced for Tyrone just before half time following an injury to Cormac Quinn. Tyrone were looking increasingly under pressure from a confident Kerry side at this stage and the half time whistle came at just the right time for them.
Tyrone came out for the second half hoping for an improved display but Kerry sensed their vulnerability and went for the jugular. Points from David Clifford, Sean O’Shea and Adrian Spillane doubled their lead to six-points 0-12 to 0-06.
When a half chance for a Tyrone goal was missed Kerry upped the ante and two points from O’Shea had Kerry eight clear and heading for the semi finals. Diarmuid O’Connor put the outcome beyond doubt when he fired in a 54th-minute goal.
Kerry were in cruise control by this stage and a superbly crafted second goal from Sean O’Shea had their supporters purring and thinking of back to back All Irelands. On this form few would bet against them.
There were few if any positives for Tyrone on a day when they were roundly beaten and looked all at sea for long periods but the return from injury of Cathal Mc Shane will have given Red Hand supporters hope of better days in the future as he
fired over two late points for his team.
Kerry: Shane Ryan; Graham O’Sullivan, Jason Foley, Tom O’Sullivan (0-01); Tadhg Morley, Paul Murphy, Gavin White; Diarmuid O’Connor (1-02), Jack Barry; Dara Moynihan, Sean O’Shea (1-05, 0-02f), Adrian Spillane (0-02); Paudie Clifford (0-01), David Clifford (0-05, 0-03f, 0-01m), Paul Geaney (0-01).
Subs: Stephen O’Brien (0-01) for Spillane 51, Tony Brosnan for Geaney 51, Brian O Beaglaoich for White 58, Micheal Burns for Moynihan 59, Mike Breen for Foley 64.
Tyrone: Niall Morgan; Ronan McNamee, Padraig Hampsey, Conor Meyler; Michael O’Neill; Peter Harte, Michael McKernan (0-01), Cormac Quinn; Brian Kennedy, Conn Kilpatrick; Mattie Donnelly (0-01), Ruairi Canavan (0-02), Kieran McGeary; Darragh Canavan (0-02), Darren McCurry (0-04, 0-04f).
Subs: Frank Burns for Quinn 34, Cathal McShane (0-02) for R Canavan 45, Joe Oguz for McGeary 45, Sean O’Donnell for Donnelly 64, Aidan Clarke for Hampsey 67.