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Kerry hoodoo strikes again for Red Hands

Kerry 0-11 Tyrone 0-7

Peter Harte
Peter Harte

By Kevin Kelly

Tyrone's poor record at Fitzgerald Stadium, Killarney continued yesterday when they lost out to Kerry in the opening round of the National League.

It was a poor contest but Kerry deserved to win with the accurate Sean O'Shea the difference, accounting for six points.

Tyrone had the wind at their backs in the first half but a very poor display saw them manage just a point. The recently crowned McKenna Cup winners were lethargic throughout and unable to string passes together.

In contrast, Kerry looked eager and hungry and will have felt that they should have been further in front than 0-5 to 0-1 at the interval. It took 11 minutes for the first score to arrive courtesy of a Sean O'Shea 35-metre free off the ground.

An O'Shea 13m free doubled Kerry's advantage before Morgan finally opened Tyrone's account in the 28th minute from a placed ball.

O'Shea then landed his third free of the half as Kerry finished the half strongly. Dara Moynihan then got the first score of the game from play and in injury time he repeated the dose to leave his side well placed at the short whistle.

Darren McCurry opened the second half scoring from a close in free but O'Shea quickly cancelled that score out with a superb effort from play on the right.

That proved to be a trend that continued and each time the visitors scored Kerry were able to come straight down the field to respond.

Two McCurry frees reduced the deficit to two points but Tyrone were never able to get closer. Wing half back Tom O'Sullivan ventured forward to hit an outstanding point as Kerry continued to keep Tyrone at arms length.

It took the Red Hands until the 50th minute to score from play when centre half forward Peter Harte profited from a poor clearance to split the posts.

Kerry still looked the better side with Jack Barry making it a three point game once more. Another McCurry free kept Tyrone in touch but they were never able to kick on.

Michael Geaney came on and made an impact for Kerry with a fine point with his first touch. With five minutes to go Mattie Donnelly gave Tyrone hope with a score from out on the left wing, but that proved to be the last time that they would trouble the umpires.O'Shea landed the score of the game with an outstanding side line conversion from under the Stand before the same player completed the scoring with a free with what proved to be the last kick of the game.

Kerry: S Ryan, P Crowley, J Sherwood, B O'Beaglaioch, T Morley, P Murphy, T O'Sullivan (0-1), J Barry (0-1), A Spillane, J Lyne, S O'Shea (0-6, 5F), S O'Brien, D O'Connor, P Geaney, D Moynihan (0-2). Subs: G Crowley for Morley, G O'Brien for P Geaney, M Geaney (0-1) for Lyne, K Spillane for O'Brien

Tyrone: N Morgan (0-1, 1F), L Rafferty, R McNamee, HP McGeary, T McCann, R Brennan, M McKernan, B Kennedy, D McClure, M Donnelly (0-1), P Harte (0-1), N Sludden, D McCurry (0-4, 4F), D Mulgrew, C McShane. Subs: K Coney for Mulgrew, K McGeary for Rafferty, D Canavan for Sludden, C Meyler for HP McGeary

Referee: D Gough (Meath).

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