O’Shea and O’Connor play starring roles as Kerry see off Tyrone to keep six in-a-row on track
Declan Rooney reports from O’Connor Park, Tullamore
KERRY SURVIVED A severe Tyrone challenge to avoid their first defeat at the minor grade since 2013 as Emmet O’Shea’s goal 13 minutes from time wrapped up the win at O’Connor Park.
Tyrone were excellent in the first-half and led 0-6 to 0-3 at the break, but five points from Jack O’Connor and 1-2 from O’Shea in the second period proved sufficient against 14-man Tyrone.
Kerry’s hopes of a sixth minor title in-a-row remains intact, but they now face Galway in the All-Ireland semi-final after this impressive comeback win.
Tyrone elected to play against the strong wind in the first-half and that decision was vindicated with a disciplined 30 minutes of defending, a strong showing at midfield and a fluid performance from their attack.
The first score arrived in the third minute when the lively Luke Donnelly found the target for Tyrone, but the Munster champions drew level in the seventh minute when captain Jack O’Connor nonchalantly curled over a 45 from the left.
He added a second five minutes from time, which were Kerry’s only scores at that stage.
In between those two placed balls Tyrone began to strangle the Kerry attack. With their captain Niall Devlin sweeping brilliantly in front of his full back line the Kerry forwards were unable to find the time and space they required to gather clear possession, while at the other end Donnelly and Mark Devlin tagged on a couple of good scores.
Kerry had goalkeeper Devon Burns to thanks for a brilliant tip over save to deny Donnelly after 20 minutes, which put Tyrone 0-4 to 0-1 ahead, while the ’keeper pulled off an even better stop seven minutes later to deny marauding corner-back Conor Cuddy, although Mark Devlin converted the 45 that followed.
Kerry’s Kieran O’Sullivan.
Source: James Crombie/INPHO
Kerry finally scored their first point from open play in added-time at the end of the first half when Dylan Geaney converted from a tight angle, but a 0-6 to 0-3 lead was the least Tyrone deserved.
Without a loss in their 33 previous minor games Kerry needed a big second-half, and they got the start they required when O’Connor kicked his third point from a placed ball.
Mark Devlin then scored his third at the other end – despite a doubt over the number of steps he took – but O’Connor again closed the gap to two with his first point from play.
By the time Eoghan O’Sullivan levelled the scores with a good Kerry point the Tyrone challenge was faltering, and 13 minutes from time O’Shea hit the net for the Kingdom to put them three clear.
Tyrone’s hopes of a comeback collapsed in a few seconds when Michael McGleenan was black carded and full back Michael McCann was sent off for a hit on O’Shea in the 49th minute, and despite points from Mark Devlin and Shea Browe they couldn’t haul in the champions.
Scorers for Kerry: Jack O’Connor 0-5 (2 ’45, 1f), Emmet O’Shea 1-2, Dylan Geaney 0-3, Eoghan O’Sullivan 0-1, Ryan O’Grady 0-1.
Scorers for Tyrone: Mark Devlin 0-4 (2’45), Luke Donnelly 0-3 (1f), Daniel Fullerton 0-1, Shea Browne 0-1.
1 Devon Burns (Na Gaeil)
of the team
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2 Luke Chester (Auston Stacks)
3 Alan Dineen (Rathmore)
4 Kieran O’Sullivan (Cromane)
5 Eoghan O’Sullivan (Killarney Legion)
6 Adam Curran (Austin Stacks)
7 Sean O’Brien (Beaufort)
9 Ronan Collins (Gneeveguilla)
14 Cathal Ó Beaglaoich (An Ghaeltacht)
10 Colin Crowley (Templenoe)
11 Jack O’Connor (Beaufort) (c)
8 Darragh Lynch (Listowel Emmets)
13 Dylan Geaney (Dingle)
15 Emmet O’Shea (Fossa)
12 Gearóid Hassett (Laune Rangers)
18 Joesph Lenihan (Churchill) for K O’Sullivan (39)
19 Dylan O’Callaghan (Firies) Crowley (39)
20 Tomás Ó hAiniféin (Na Gaeil) for Lynch (55)
17 Kevin Goulding (Ballyduff) for O’Shea (59)
22 Jason Kerins (Dr Crokes) for Hassett (61)
21 Ryan O’Grady (Killarney Legion) for O’Connor (62)
16 Stephen McMenamin (Errigal Chiaráin)
2 Conor Cuddy (Carrickmore)
3 Michael McCann (Greencastle)
4 Séamus Sweeney (Carrickmore)
7 James Donaghy (Carrickmore)
6 Niall Devlin (Coalisland) (c)
5 Seán O’Donnell (Trillick)
8 Steven Donaghy (Moy)
9 Michael McGleenan (Eglish)
12 Ruairí Campbell (Coalisland)
11 Mark Devlin (Moortown)
10 Shea Daly (Carrig)
13 Aaron McGrath (Strabane)
14 Daniel Fullerton (Carrickmore)
15 Luke Donnelly (Eglish)
25 Brian Conway (Carrigmore) for Cuddy (39)
17 Shea Browne (Clann na Gael) for Donnelly (43)
22 Rory Burns (Trillick) for O’Donnell (51)
19 Ciarán Daly (Trillick) for McGleenan (51, black card)
26 Eoghan McGomery (Dromragh) for S Donaghy (62)
Referee: Barry Tiernan (Dublin)
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