Tipperary footballers lose heavily to Kerry u-21s in McGrath Cup

Tipperary had a disappointing start to the new season with a heavy defeat to Kerry in the McGrath Cup at Tralee on Sunday.

The Kingdom fielded an under 21 side and were still too strong for Tipp, winning 3-11 to 1-3.

Tipperary were short many regulars from last year’s exciting championship campaign but still would have expected a greater impact against a young Kerry side.

A right-footed effort from Cathal Bambury presented Kerry with the lead in the first minute before Mathew O’Sullivan hesitated with the goal at his mercy in the fifth minute and Evan Comerford got off his live to deny the hosts an early goal.

Philip Austin, who was introduced as an early substitute, made a telling impact in the tenth minute when the Borrisokane man took on the Kerry defence and set-up Diarmuid Foley with a smashing pass – Foley still had a bit to do and in a composed finish drilled his right-footed shot past the highly-rated Shane Ryan in the Kerry goal.

Within four minutes Kerry were level thanks to points from Conor Geaney (free) and Barry O’Sullivan following neat work from Seán O’Shea. O’Sullivan’s booming right-footed effort sparked the home crowd into life.

Tom O’Sullivan notched the first of his two points to present the home side with the lead in the 17th minute, but Tipperary scooted down the field almost immediately to land an equaliser when Kevin Fahey played a neat one-two with Martin Dunne before the enthusiastic wing-back landed the point of the game off the outside of his right boot (0-4 to 1-1).

Kerry pressed the Tipperary kick-out to significant effect and stole into the lead following a free earned off an Evan Comerford re-start in the 19th minute thanks to a Seán O’Shea strike. Tom O’Sullivan sold a smashing dummy during the build-up to another Kerry score in the 24th minute before the home side found themselves three clear thanks to an excellent left-footed effort from Conor Geaney.

Tipperary were struggling to build attacks of note and conceded a penalty in the 26th minute and Cathal Bambury made no mistake from the spot.

Tipp had now conceded 1-3 without reply, but the introduction of Alan Moloney to the middle third improved matters significantly.

Kerry extended their lead to seven thanks to a converted ’45 which came courtesy of Seán O’Shea before Kevin Fahey brought 19 scoreless minutes to a conclusion for Tipperary in first half injury time (1-2 to 1-8).

Although referee Conor Lane appeared to ignore a couple of reasonable mark candidates Alan Moloney notched Tipp’s first mark (and the only mark of the game) in the 42nd minute before Kerry plundered their second goal in the 46th. Seán O’Shea found Cathal Bambury and this clever corner-forward floated a delicious ball in toward Mathew O’Sullivan who was loitering on Paddy Codd’s blind side. The St Michael’s man carefully palmed home the delivery and Kerry led by nine (1-2 to 2-8).

Jack Kennedy booted over Tipperary’s only point of the second half in the 49th minute before Mathew Flaherty and Seán O’Shea added to the home side’s tally with Matthew O’Sullivan getting their third goal.

Tipperary: Evan Comerford (Kilsheelan-Kilcash), Jimmy Feehan (Killenaule), Paddy Codd (Killenaule), Colm O’Shaughnessy (Ardfinnan), Emmet Moloney (Drom & Inch), Robbie Kiely (Carbery Rangers), Kevin Fahey (Clonmel Commercials, 0-2), Liam Casey (Cahir), Martin Dunne (Moyle Rovers, captain), Josh Keane (Golden-Kilfeacle), Liam Treacy (Loughmore-Castleiney), Brian Fox (Éire Óg Annacarty-Donohill), Jason Lonergan (Clonmel Commercials), Diarmuid Foley (Moyle Rovers, 1-0), Liam Boland (Moyle Rovers). Subs: (7th) Philip Austin (Borrisokane) for Colm O’Shaughnessy, (30th) Alan Moloney (Rockwell Rovers) for Martin Dunne, (HT) Conor Sweeney (Ballyporeen) for Liam Treacy, (HT) Jack Kennedy (Clonmel Commercials, 0-1) for Jason Lonergan, (48th) Joseph Hennessy (Loughmore-Castleiney) for Paddy Codd, (60th) Colm Stapleton (Upperchurch-Drombane) for Liam Casey.

Kerry: Shane Ryan, Tom Leo O’Sullivan, Jason Foley, Tom O’Sullivan (0-2), Brian Ó Beaglaoich, Andrew Barry, Daniel O’Brien, Barry O’Sullivan (0-1), Brian Ó Seanacháin, Brandon Barrett, Seán O’Shea (0-3, 0-1 frees, 0-1 ‘45s), Lee O’Donoghue, Conor Geaney (0-2, 0-1 frees), Matthew O’Sullivan (2-0), Cathal Bambury (1-1, 1-0 penalty). Subs: (HT) Mathew Flaherty (0-1) for Lee O’Donoghue, (59th) Liam Carey for Conor Geaney, (59th) Brian Sugrue for Daniel O’Brien, (64th) Liam Kearney for Barry O’Sullivan, (64th) Ivan Parker (0-1) for Cathal Bambury, (67th) Cormac Coffey for Tom O’Sullivan.

Referee: Conor Lane (Cork).



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