Kerry scored a long-awaited win over fierce rivals Tyrone in Killarney, where they returned to form with a massive 1-16 to 1-06 All-Ireland SFC qualifier success.
The Kingdom never looked like losing this one in front of their own fans in Killarney, where a crowd of 24,370 watched a tense, rancorous contest which produced 16 yellow cards and a red for Tyrone’s Brian McGuigan.
Kieran Donaghy’s second half goal was the crucial score that set the hosts side on their way and extended an unbeaten Championship run at home to 24 games, stretching back to 1995.
Kerry made a bright start with a couple of superb early points from Declan O’Sullivan and Colm Cooper.
Colm Cavanagh sidestepped his marker to slice over Tyrone’s opening score, but that was cancelled out by a Bryan Sheehan free.
Full-back Conor Clarke pressed forward to thump over a Tyrone point, and by the 20th minute, with skirmishes breaking out all over the field, referee David Coldrick had handed out seven yellow cards - four of them to Tyrone players.
But with Anthony Maher winning primary possession at midfield and Tomás Ó Sé pushing forward from the back, Kerry stepped it up in the second quarter by hitting five points on the spin, with O’Sullivan and Cooper both adding stylish efforts.
Paul Galvin was also on target as the Kingdom moved into a 0-08 to 0-02 lead, but the Red Hands reorganised with a handful of substitutions, and pulled back a couple of late points.
Darren McCurry, a pre-match replacement for injured skipper Stephen O’Neill, slotted a point, before Martin Penrose converted a free.
Kerry led by 0-08 to 0-04 at the interval, and stretched their lead to five through Declan O’Sullivan before Tyrone grabbed a fortuitous 43rd minute goal.
Conor Gormley sent Joe McMahon clear, and the latter’s shot was parried by goalkeeper Brendan Kealy, but the ball deflected into the net off Gormley.
But Kerry had a goal of their own just three minutes later. Cooper and Sheehan combined on the right wing, with the latter’s cross punched to the net by Donaghy at the far post.
That was the turning point. The Kingdom turned on the power, and outscored their opponents by six points to one in the closing 25 minutes, playing some delightful football along the way.
Sean O’Neill did pull back a Tyrone point, but his 47th minute score was Tyrone’s last.
James O’Donoghue finished off a move involving Cooper and Donaghy, before substitute Darran O’Sullivan set up another for the ‘Gooch’.
And Tyrone went down to 14 men in the 56th minute when Brian McGuigan received a straight red card following a clash with Declan O’Sullivan, just seconds after entering the action.
Cooper and Donaghy were by now rampant, and finished the Red Hands off with another volley of scores.
Kerry scorers: K Donaghy 1-01, C Cooper 0-05 (1f), B Sheehan (0-3f), Declan O’Sullivan 0-03 each, James O’Donoghue 0-02, P Galvin, P Curtin 0-01 each.
Tyrone scorers: C Gormley 1-00, M Penrose (f), D McCurry, C Cavanagh, Sean O’Neill, C Clarke, A Cassidy 0-01 each.
Kerry: B Kealy; M Ó Sé, A O’Mahony, S Enright; T Ó Sé, E Brosnan, K Young; A Maher, B Sheehan, P Galvin, D O’Sullivan, D Walsh, J O’Donoghue, C Cooper, K Donaghy.
Subs used: Darran O’Sullivan for Walsh, P Crowley for Enright, K O’Leary for O’Donoghue, P Curtin for Declan O’Sullivan, B Maguire for Young.
Tyrone: P McConnell; A McCrory, C Clarke, D Carlin; R McNamee, C Gormley, Sean O’Neill; Joe McMahon, C Cavanagh; Mattie Donnelly, M Donnelly, P Harte; M Penrose, O Mulligan, D McCurry.
Subs used: R McMenamin for Carlin, D McCaul for McNamee, A Cassidy for Mattie Donnelly, Stephen O’Neill for Penrose, B McGuigan for McCurry.
Referee: D Coldrick (Meath).