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Kerry Turn It On Late To Qualify For All-Ireland Semi-Final

Kerry 1-12

Tyrone 0-9

O’Connor Park played host to the meeting of Tyrone and Kerry in the quarter-finals of the Electric Ireland All-Ireland Minor Football Championship.

It was a nervous opening 15 minutes as both sides struggled for scores and made uncharacteristic mistakes. At the midway point of the first half, Tyrone led by 0-2 to 0-1 with two Luke Donnelly frees sandwiched in between a Jack O’Connor free.

The first score from play came in the 16th minute when Mark Devlin struck a sweet score to put Tyrone two ahead.

Luke Donnelly hit his third of the day ten minutes before the break but it could have been a lot worse for Kerry if not for a beautiful save by Devon Burns who showed lightning-quick reflexes to turn Donnelly’s goal-bound shot over the crossbar.

O’Connor settled Kerry’s nerves five minutes before the break with a beautifully struck 45 to narrow the gap to two points.

Two-in-a-row from Mark Devlin and Danny Fullerton edged Tyrone four points in front as the first half approached injury time. Kerry weren’t finished though as Dylan Geaney showed all the trademark qualities of his namesake, Paul, to twist and turn inside before hitting Kerry’s first point from play on the stroke of the short whistle to leave the score at 0-6 to 0-3 at the break.

O’Connor and Devlin traded scores after the restart to keep three between the side before O’Connor narrowed it to two once more following an excellent one-two with Geaney who showed great vision to palm the ball back in O’Connor’s direction.

By the 40th minute, Emmet O’Shea had brought Kerry to within a point following a great first-time score.

Five minutes later the tied well and truly turned in the Kingdom’s favour when Eoghan O’Sullivan charged up from wing-back to level the game at 0-7 apiece. It went from bad to worse for the Red Hands seconds later when Kerry won the resulting kick-out and worked the ball upfield before O’Shea finished to the net for the game’s first goal.

Tyrone then lost their influential midfielder, Michael McGleenan, through a black card and full-back Miceal McCann who was sent off before Kerry extended their lead to five points.

Dylan Geaney hit the score of the day as the game entered the final five minutes. Tyrone tried desperately to claw their way back into the game with Fullerton drawing a great save out of Burns in the Kerry goal. Devlin pointed the resulting 45 before Shea Browne pointed to leave the gap at four heading down the home stretch.

kerry tyrone

However, the six-in-a-row chasing champions weren’t to be denied today as Geaney pointed yet another beauty to move Kerry five in front as the injury time loomed.

Kerry tried to wrap it up in style when Geaney played a beauty over the top to Gearoid Hassett who drew a great save out of Stephen McMenamin. They had yet another chance to wrap it up with a goal when Kevin Goulding done well to lay it on a plate for Ryan O’Grady, however, the substitute could only turn it over the bar.

In the end, it was Kerry who held on to qualify for this year’s Electric Ireland All-Ireland Minor semi-finals.

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