Back to back Munster titles were claimed by virtue of an herculean Tipp surge, a pure Tipp blitz that blew Kerry off the field in the Munster minor football final at the Gaelic Grounds,Limerick on Sunday (2.14 to 1.14).
It was a joy to watch a Tipperary team tear Kerry apart in a breathtaking second half display.Two sublime second half goals turned this game around, the goals were out of the top drawer, in particular the goal fashioned by Colman Kennedy less than a minute into the second half.
Kennedy, whose rocket of a goal in Croke Park last September which secured an historic victory for Tipperary in the All-Ireland final, does not seem to do ordinary goals.
Five points adrift at half time Tipperary needed something amazing to lift the team.From the restart Clonmel Commercials Ian Fahey, who scored four points in the second half operating in the new role of centre forward, scored a point straight from the throw in and seconds later Kennedy pounced before the opening minute of the second half was up.
Kennedy was alive to the potential of a ball sent in by Tom Kirwin.Without taking possession of the ball he jumped to double fist the ball which was destined to go out over the end line,sending it on a trajectory of such stunning perfection.The ball looped over the advancing goalie and dropped over the line before lodging in the corner of the net.Kennedy’s awesome moment of improvisation inspired a wonderful Tipperary recovery.
It was game on, Tipperary had signalled their intent, what had been a seven point deficit two minutes before half time, reduced to five by the break, was now down to a solitary point.
A Stephen O Brien point had the teams level at 1.9 apiece seven minutes into the second half .The Commercials duo of Colman Kennedy and Ian Fahey both added quality points before Tipperary took complete control of the game with a brilliant Tom Kirwin goal nine minutes into the second half.
Inspirational captain Dylan Fitzelle intercepted a pass to break up a Kerry attack and he picked out Greg Henry who combined brilliantly with Kirwin who wlatzed his way through the Kerry defence before dispatching an unstopable shot to the net.
In a breathtaking nine minute spell Tipperary had scored two goals and four points transforming a five point half time deficit into a five point lead.
Tipperary had taken a firm grip on a game that was getting away from them as a result of a lack lustre first half display.
Tipperary saw out the second half with some excellent defending
to defeat Kerry for the second time in the Munster championship this year.