All-Ireland MFC final: classy Kingdom cruise past Tipp

September 20, 2015

Bryan Sweeney of Kerry scores the first goal of the game. ©INPHO

Kerry retained the All-Ireland minor football crown with a stunning 4-14 to 0-6 dismantling of Tipperary at Croke Park.

As afternoon darkness spread across HQ, Jack O'Connor's well-drilled charges put their provincial rivals' lights out with an immaculate display in this one-sided Munster final re-run. Goals from Conor Geaney (2), Bryan Sweeney and Michael Foley saw the ruthless winners register their 13th national crown in the U18 grade.

Jack O'Connor's charges delivered an irresistible first-half display to put the match to bed by the short whistle, leading by ten points at the beak, 2-8 to 0-4. Majors from Sweeney and Geaney (penalty) in the 19th and 23rd minutes respectively served to put the Tom Markham Cup well and truly out of Tipp's reach.

Sean O'Shea opened the scoring with a terrific Kerry point off the outside of his right boot on three minutes and Sweeney flashed over the second off his left in the eighth minute. Midfielder John Mark Foley left three between them after Conor Geaney fisted an effort onto the Tipperary crossbar: 0-3 to no score after eleven minutes.

Geaney provided the fourth before midfielder Tommy Nolan opened Tipp's account in the 14th minute with a beautiful left-footed strike on the run between the Hill 16 posts. Alan Tynan swept over another fine Premier County score but Geaney replied to make it 0-5 to 0-2 after 17 minutes.

The margin was doubled in the 19th minute when  Listowel's Sweeney took a pass from O'Shea to place the ball into the top right corner of the Tipp net; Brandon Barrett's 20th-minute point left seven between the teams, 1-6 to 0-2. Geaney won and nonchalantly rolled a penalty to the bottom right corner to extend the gap to ten with seven minutes left before the break.

The outstanding Man of the Match Mark O'Connor got forward from midfield to add the next Kerry score in the 25th minute; McGrath replied from distance with a rare Tipp score; Tynan grabbed their fourth on 29 minutes; Geaney closed the first-half scoring from a simple free in the third added minute.

O'Shea's free extended the gap four minutes after the restart and Brian O Seanachain dropped one onto the top of the Hill 16 net to leave twelve between the teams with 37 minutes played. Michael Foley palmed the third Kerry goal in the 40th minute either side of Tipp points from midfielders Nolan and Jack Kennedy ('45').

Geaney netted his second penalty in the 44th minute - this time opting for power - as the gap between the sides went out to a massive 16 points. Geaney (free), substitute James Duggan (2), and fellow sub Stephen O'Sullivan completed the merciless rout as Kerry confirmed the Munster final form with interest.

Kerry - B Courtney; D Brosnan, J Foley, T O'Sullivan; J Morgan, A Barry, G White; M O'Connor (0-1), J M Foley (0-1); B O Seanachain (0-1), S O'Shea (0-2, 1f), B Barrett (0-1); M Foley (1-0), B Sweeney (1-1), C Geaney (2-4, 2-0pen, 0-2f). Subs: S O'Sullivan (0-1) for B Barrett, J Duggan (0-2) for M Foley, M Breen for J M Foley, D O'Brien for T O'Sullivan, D O Se for D Brosnan, G O'Sullivan for J Morgan.

Tipperary - C Manton; T Fitzgerald, J Shehan, T Lowry; D Owens, L Fahy, E Moloney; J Kennedy (0-1'45), T Nolan (0-2); A Buckley, A Tynan (0-3), C English; S Quirke, B McGrath, B Martin. Subs: J Bergin for C English, R Peters for A Buckley, M Irwin for T Fitzgerald (BC), M Kehoe for B McGrath, G Whelan for E Moloney, C Cashman for B Martin.

Referee - D Gough.

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