Tipperary too strong for brave Kerry

Tipperary 6-21 Kerry 0-11
Tipperary maintained the natural order of things with their expected comprehensive victory over a gallant Kerry side in this Munster Minor Championship opener, played at Semple Stadium Thurles on Wednesday evening.
However while the margin of victory might suggest a rout, it masks a never say die effort from a well prepared Kerry side, who stayed with their opponents for the opening twenty minutes, before the concession of goals saw Tipperary move well clear and show what a very good side they are.
Before anybody rushes to judgement just keep a few facts in mind - Tipperary are one of the leading fancies for this year's All-Ireland Minor title while Kerry are one of the favourites for the All-Ireland B title and taking one major scalp in the Munster Championship would be a huge bonus.
Secondly, Kerry are coming from the B Grade and dipping their hurl's in very warm water , but if Kerry ever hope to compete in the Munster Senior Championship, then they must start by playing against all the major hurling powers at minor level, no matter how painful it might be. Hurling in Kerry will only improve if players are exposed to teams, that are stronger and hopefully the Kerry lads will have learnt on Wednesday night, that when you are up against the best, you must think fast, hurl quicker, and you simply cannot afford to make any basic errors because you will be punished.

So for young Kerry hurlers to play in the hallowed turf of Semple Stadium is a great honour and not an experience to be discounted lightly as there are many fine Kerry hurlers, down the years, who never played there.
This current Kerry minor hurling squad is a work in progress and they will have another game this Saturday evening (Austin Stack Park 7pm) when they face Cork and while it might very well be a case of "out of the frying pan ..........." it affords Seanie O'Shea and his mentors another chance to see the progress this Kerry side is making against top class opposition.
Kerry boss Seanie O'Shea was pleased that Kerry had done the best they could on the night
"I was happy with the lads - we had a good first twenty or twenty five minutes - but we leaked a few goals and that is when the floodgates opened. To be fair we knew what we up against and we knew in advance that this was a tall order. It was always going to be a hard game in Semple Stadium and we were going to hold out for as long as we could"
O'Shea saw a number of positives in Kerry's display despite the wide gulf in class between the sides
"To be fair the lads gave one hundred and ten percent but you could see the quality of the Tipp lads. They were quicker and slicker and they had their work done and they went for the jugular from the very outset. It was a learning process for us and it is great to play in Semple Stadium. To be honest, I hope the lads have learnt a good bit from last night because you cannot blink at this level, or you will be punished. The O'Leary brothers had fine games, so had Daniel Collins, Dougie Fitzelle. In fairness we had a lot of pluses - Jason Wallace was brilliant in goals, he could do no more, you ask them to do a job and they do it. Ricky Heffernan was dangerous, when he got on the ball. Then we had a few fellows that things did not go well for on the night, which happens on big nights like Semple Stadium, and hopefully they will perform now on Saturday night against Cork"

So turning to Saturday night's game, what are O'Shea's hopes as Cork will come with all guns blazing after losing to Limerick "I hope that we will have learnt from our game against Tipperary and with home advantage, we will be hoping to correct the mistakes we made. Hopefully to boys will put in a big performance and that they will get good support. What killed us on Wednesday night was the fact that we conceded goals at crucial times because we kept battling but the goals just killed us.
It is a learning process, we are a work in progress and we just have to remain positive. I know these are hard games to stomach when you are beaten by wide margins but we have the work put in and now it's just a case of sticking with it. There has to be a beginning, this where it has to start if you are going to make the step up at senior level, you must start at this level - it will get better but we must stick at it. "
Tipp came into this game as hot favourites and duly had the game all but sealed and delivered by half-time, leading by 3-10 to 0-5.
Kevin Slattery opened Tipp's account with a goal, but Kerry fought back to be level by the 10th minute, with a flurry of scores.
Once Tipperary got their second goal through Mark McCarthy, it smoothed their passage towards half-time.
McCarthy secured their third goal in the 25th minute as some fine shot-stopping by Jason Wallace prevented Tipp from pulling even further ahead.
After the break John McGrath goaled from a penalty before McCarthy completed his hat-trick.
Kerry tried hard in the second half but it was an unequal struggle though credit the Kerry lads for never dropping the head.
Scorers -- Tipperary: M McCarthy 3-1 (0-1 s-l), J McGrath 1-6 (1-0 pen, 0-3f, 0-1'65'), K Slattery 1-4 (2f), B Maher 1-1, S Cahill 0-4 (1 s-l), J Shelly 0-3 (1f) D Fitzelle, J Loughnane 0-1 each.
Kerry: R Heffernan 0-4 (3f), M O'Leary 0-3, D Collins, B O'Leary 0-2 each.

Kerry -
Jason Wallace; Fionan Horgan, Kevin Skinner, Keith Carmody; Tom B McElligott, Dougie Fitzell, Tommy Casey; Daniel Collins, Brendan O'Leary; Michael O'Leary, Tomas Casey, Kieran Fitzgerald; Paul McGrath, Ricky Heffernan, Cian Hussey. Subs: Kevin Hanafin for F Horgan, Sean Leahy for Tomas Casey.

Tipperary -- P Maher; L Mullally, M Breen, J Peters; R Maher, T Hamill, T Kirwan; B Maher, S Nally; D Fitzelle, J Shelly, S Cahill; M McCarthy, J McGrath, K Slattery. Subs: S O'Brien for J Shelly, T Gallagher for M McCarthy, J Loughnane for T Hamill, J Lonergan for B Maher, S Ryan for J McGrath.
Ref -- J O'Mahony (Limerick)