Saturday 28 January 2023 Dublin: 4°C
# Kingdom Rule
Landmark win for the Kerry senior hurlers against Tipperary to set up clash with Limerick
Shane Conway hit 0-9 for the winners in Tralee.

Kerry 0-17

Tipperary 0-14

Paul Brennan reports from Austin Stack Park, Tralee

A THOROUGHLY DESERVED three-point win over Tipperary sets the Kerry hurlers up for a crack at All-Ireland champions Limerick next week in the Co-Op Superstores Munster Hurling Cup semi-final, and on the evidence of what they pulled off here it will be a challenge that won’t daunt them.

And why should it?

darragh-egerton-and-shane-conway Brian Reilly-Troy / INPHO Kerry hurler Shane Conway (file photo). Brian Reilly-Troy / INPHO / INPHO

Of course they won’t beat John Kiely’s all-conquering team – whatever shape the Shannonsiders’ team takes – but it will give new Kerry manager Stephen Molumphy a second game to get more acquainted with his new players. For the Waterford man, it is classic bonus territory.

This result comes with a huge caveat: this is January hurling, and played through the heaviest and coldest rain showers at that, but whether in hail, rain or sunshine – and we had all three at Austin Stack Park – the scoreboard doesn’t lie.

Kerry had three points to spare over Tipperary but the scoreboard doesn’t reveal that the home side had a late penalty saved, when a goal then would have put the Kingdom five clear. That they had to dig deep in the final few minutes after Shane Conway’s miss to find late scores from Paudie Ahern and Conway, will have pleased Molumphy as much as anything over the preceding 80 minutes.

Somewhat remarkably Kerry were never behind in this contest. Ahern, from the Killeedy club in west Limerick, opened the scoring for the home side after two minutes, and at the first water break Kerry led 0-4 to 0-3.

By half time the hosts led 0-9 to 0-6, Conway accounting for 0-5, with full back Fionan Mackessy booming over a huge point, as Kerry kept Tipperary under all kinds of pressure.

Sean Ryan converted four frees in the first half, and three more after the break, and perhaps one of the more damning stats from Tipperary’s point of view is that they scored just three points from play and never troubled Kerry goalkeeper Louis Dee with a meaningful shot. 

The Premier county – short a lot of regulars, just as Kerry were – hit too many wides in the first half, and given they played with a strong wind advantage, won’t have pleased manager Colm Bonnar.

By the 50th minute sub Willie Connors’ point brought Tipperary to within a point of Kerry, 0-11 to 0-10, and one feared the home side might run out of gas in the fourth quarter. Instead, Michael Leane, Gavin Dooley and Conway (free) struck for points to make it 0-14 to 0-10 at the second water break, and there was no evidence Tipp were going to turn it around.

stephen-molumphy James Crombie / INPHO Kerry manager Stephen Molumphy (file photo). James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

Dylan Walsh came on for Connors, who suffered a serious leg injury that caused an 11-minute delay, and scored four frees, but Kerry were equal to the task, and should have put the game to bed with Conway’s 76th minute penalty. Barry Hogan saved the strike brilliantly, but Kerry drew more inspiration from the save than Tipp did, and held out for a famous win.

Limerick next week will be another mountain to climb, but Kerry will set out for that Everest with renewed confidence in themselves.

Scorers for Kerry: Shane Conway 0-9 (6f), Paudie Ahern 0-3, Fionan Mackessy 0-1, Colum Harty 0-1, Michael Leane 0-1, Gavin Dooley 0-1, Shane Nolan 0-1 (0-1f).

Scorers for Tipperary: Sean Ryan 0-7 (0-7f), Dylan Walsh 0-4 (0-4f), Robert Byrne 0-1, Conor Stakelum 0-1, Willie Connors 0-1.


1. Louis Dee (Mungret)

25. Conor O’Keeffe (Lixnaw), 3. Fionan Mackessy (St Brendans), 4. Sean Weir (Crotta O’Neills)

5. Michael Leane (Ballyheigue), 6. Eric Leen (St Brendans), 23. Eoin Ross (Ballyduff)

8. Colin Walsh (Ballyheigue), 9. Colum Harty (Causeway)

22. Shane Nolan (Crotta O’Neills), 11. Shane Conway (Lixnaw), 12. Gavin Dooley (Causeway)

13. Mark Heffernan (Dr Crokes), 14. Paudie Ahern (Killeedy, Limerick), 15. James Sheehan (Crotta O’Neills)


10. Brian Lonergan (Tralee Parnells) for C Harty (47)

19. Michael O’Leary (Abbeydorney) for J Sheehan (50)

21. Sean Sheehan (Causeway) for G Dooley (72)


1. Barry Hogan (Kiladangan)

2. Daragh Carey (Templderry Kenyons), 3. James Quigley (Kiladangan), 4. Craig Morgan (Kilruane MacDonaghs)

5. Eoghan Connolly (Cashel King Cormacs), 6. Robert Byrne (Portroe), 7. Paddy Cadell (JK Brackens)

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8. Dan McCormack (Borris-Ileigh), 9. Sean Curran (CJ Kickhams Mullinahone)

10. Ger Browne (Cashel King Cormacs), 11. Conor Stakelum (Thurles Sarsfields), 12. Rian Doody (Cappawhite)

13. Sean Ryan (Templderry Kenyons), 14. Paul Flynn (Kildangan), 15. Kian O’Kelly (Kilruane MacDonaghs)


18. Cathal Barrett (Holycross-Ballycahill) for P Cadell (18)

17. Declan McGrath (Kiladangan) for D Carey (inj, 25)

20. Willie Connors (Kiladangan) for R Doody (half-time)

19. Seamus Kennedy (St Marys) for S Curran (54)

22. Dylan Walsh (Ballingarry) for K O’Kelly (56)

15. Kian O’Kelly (Kilruane MacDonaghs) for W Connors (inj, 67)

Referee: Ciaran O’Regan (Cork)



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