Tipperary failed to provide a meaningful challenge against All-Ireland Champions Kerry at Clonmel this afternoon in the opening round of the Munster Football Championship. Paidí Ó Sé's side powered ahead from the start with Denis O'Dwyer kicking over the opening point in the second minute. Five minutes later the sides were level for the first and only time in the game when Tipperary midfielder Kevin Mulryan sent over a fine point from play. Thereafter, Kerry stormed clear and Tipperary failed to test their opponents.
After just eight minutes, Kerry scored their first goal, when John Crowley finished an excellent move by blasting the ball past the experienced Philly Ryan. MacGearailt, Crowley and Maurice Fitzgerald all found the target as Kerry extended their lead. There was a slight glimmer of hope for Tipperary on the stroke of half-time when Sean Maher netted to reduce the deficit to a mere six points at half-time.
However, in the second-half, it was all Kerry as the All-Ireland champions destroyed the Tipperary defence. It looked as if Tipperary might provide a stronger challenge initially when Damien O'Brien pointed early on but incredibly, Tipperary scored just once more before the end. Kerry's second goal arrived in the 39th minute through Dara O'Cinnéide, which killed off the game. Fitzgerald then hit over three points without reply while impressive sub Noel Kenneally scored their third goal in the 60th minute and from then on it was exhibition football all the way.
Meanwhile, in today's other Munster Football Championship game, Cork had little difficulty in booking their place in the Munster Football semi-final when they netted twice in a minute just before half-time in their first round game against Waterford to lead 2-9 to 0-3. Eleven Cork players got on the score sheet as the Leesiders pulled ahead in the second-half to eventually win by a 15-point margin, 3-16 to 1-07.
In the Leinster Football Championship, Carlow and Wicklow will have to do it all again next weekend to decide who will progress to meet Kildare in the quarter-finals. An exciting closing ten minutes failed to produce an outright winner after Carlow made a spirited comeback in the second-half, having been down at the interval, to level matters at 1-09 to 2-06.
Filed by Amanda Fennelly