All-Ireland Semi-Final: O’Brien goal prove the difference as Kerry beat Tyrone 1-18 to 0-18

Kerry 1-18 Tyrone 0-18 

Kerry produced a superb second-half performance at they set up an All-Ireland final with fierce rivals Dublin in three weeks time. Kerry looked to be falling short on this game as they trailed at the break by 0-09 to 0-5 but credit to Peter Keane who brought on Tommy Walsh and Jack Sherwood who turned the game on its head. A very poor attendance of around 34,000 was recorded at Croke Park, which shows the GAA also need to think about reducing ticket prices. Let’s be honest 34,000 for an All-Ireland semi-final is rather poor.

So to the game itself. Tyrone got the first score of the game on 3 minutes when Michael McKernan found himself in some space after some good build-up play from his teammates before firing over. Tyrone looked to have the upper hand early on but Kerry got back on level terms with a nice score from David Clifford from a free. Tyrone would respond a minute later when Cathal McShane registered his first score of the game. Immediately from the kick-out then another Red Hand score arose as Mattie Donnelly pointed. It was 0-03 to 0-02 after Sean O’Shea knocked over a free for Kerry. Niall Morgan then made a poor mistake kicking the ball straight to Paul Geaney who then kicked the ball between the posts. The Edendork goalkeeper made amends though as he kicked a 45 for Tyrone minutes later. David Clifford got his first from play on 14 minutes, however, Donnelly and McShane knocked over scores to edge the Red Hands two clear. Sean O’Shea kicked Kerry’s final point of the half on 19 minutes. It was all Tyrone then for the remainder of the half, McShane made it 0-07 to 0-05 with 22 minutes played. Tyrone got two further scores to close out the half with Mattie Donnelly and Niall Sludden both pointing to leave it 0-09 to 0-05 at the break.

Kerry were a different animal in the second half. They came out with a different attitude. Sean O’Shea and Geaney got them off to a fantastic start before McShane pointed from a free at the other end. McShane and O’Shea then traded 4 frees between them for their sides. Jack Sherwood a second-half substitute then raided forward to grab an excellent score from the outside of the boot. Conor McAliskey sent over a nice point for Mickey Harte’s men on 53 minutes, but David Moran fired over in response. Then came the games big score, Stephen O’Brien popped up with the goal after been set up by Paul Geaney. O’Brien then added a point. Morgan converted a 45 then on 59 minutes to leave just a goal between the sides. Sean O’Shea converted a free and Clifford knocked over a brace of points. Tyrone then hit back in response with Donnelly and McShane (2). Geaney made it a four-point game with a nice score, but Darren McCurry fired one over as we approached injury time. However, O’Brien, O’Shea and Clifford all pointed to give Kerry the win, Peter Harte got the final score of the game through a free.

Kerry: Shane Ryan; Jason Foley, Tadhg Morley, Tom O’Sullivan; Paul Murphy, Gavin Crowley, Shane Enright; David Moran (0-1), Adrian Spillane; Brian Ó Beaglaoich, Seán O’Shea (0-6, 5f, 1 ’45’), Stephen O’Brien (1-2); David Clifford (0-5, 1f), Paul Geaney (0-3), Killian Spillane. Subs: Gavin White for Enright, Jack Sherwood (0-1) for Adrian Spillane (both HT), Tommy Walsh for Foley (50mins), Dara Moynihan for Killian Spillane (57), Jonathan Lyne for Crowley (70), Jack Barry for O’Sullivan (70).

Tyrone: Niall Morgan (0-2, 2 ’45s’); Michael Cassidy, Ronan McNamee, Rory Brennan; Michael McKernan (0-1), Frank Burns; Colm Cavangh, Richie Donnelly (0-1); Matthew Donnelly (0-2), Niall Sludden (0-2), Peter Harte (0-1, 1f); Pádraig McCurry, Cathal McShane (0-7, 3f), Conor Meyler. Subs: Conor McAliksey (0-1) for Sludden (52mins), Tiernan McCann for Kieran McGeary, Darren McCurry (0-1) for Cassidy (64), Brian Kennedy for Cavanagh (68).

Ref: Maurice Deegan (Laois)


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