Allianz FL D1: Tyrone impress in Omagh
Allianz Football League Division One
TYRONE 1-16 KERRY 0-14
By Orla Bannon at Healy Park, Omagh
Tyrone made all of the running in the second half to sign off on their Allianz Football League campaign with a first win over Kerry since 2010.
There may have been precious little at stake for either side in Healy Park, and while Kerry played well in the opening half an hour and picked off some nice scores, they grew more disinterested as the game wore on as Tyrone picked up the baton.
Declan McClure fisted home the only goal of the game in the 67th minute, after a pass across the square by Peter Harte, with the Red Hands outscoring the visitors by 1-4 to 0-2 in the last quarter.
Kerry led by three points in the first half on three occasions – yet they still went in at half time trailing by a point.
Tyrone scored four unanswered points in the last five minutes of the opening half, Lee Brennan's injury-time free putting them in front the first time in the game at 0-10 to 0-9.
With little at stake for either side except ending the campaign with another win the intensity levels were not as high as usual for this time of year and marking was slack on occasions.
Kerry picked off some superb scores with the wind at their backs in the first half, Daithi Casey's monster score with the outside of his right boot a memorable highlight, while Michael Burns did something similar later in the half.
Stephen O'Brien caused Aidan McCrory plenty of trouble and picked off two points from play.
Tyrone pushed up on the Kerry kickouts and started to run at the Kingdom defence and suddenly looked a lot more cohesive.
They played attrractive football before the break and attacked at pace, Kieran McGeary and Ronan McNabb also making driving runs forward.
The unmarked Cathal McShane blasted the ball over the bar with the goal at his mercy, but the Red Hands followed it up with points from McGeary and frees by Niall Morgan and Brennan to edge in front at the break.
Once they got in front, Tyrone never trailed again.
The sides were level three times in the opening nine minutes of the second half, Killian Spillane and Lee Brennan exchanging frees, while Cathal McShane scored the pick of Tyrone's points from distance.
Ronan O'Neill nailed a free but then hit a penalty wide in the 58th minute.
Conor Meyler was fouled in the square, after a defence-splitting pass from McShane, but O'Neill fizzed it wide of Brian Kelly's right-hand post.
Some slack Kerry marking saw McShane under no pressure and shooting to score and then McClure fisted home the goal to secure a third league win in a row for Tyrone.
Scorers for Tyrone: Lee Brennan 0-5 (4fs), Declan McClure 1-1, R O'Neill 0-3 (3f), Cathal McShane 0-3, Kieran McGeary, Mattie Donnelly, Conal McCann, and Niall Morgan (f) 0-1 each.
*Scorers for Kerry: *Killian Spillane 0-5 (5fs), Stephen O'Brien, Johnny Buckley 0-2 each, Daithi Casey, Cormac Coffey, Michael Geaney, Micheal Burns, Matthew Flaherty 0-1 each.
TYRONE: Niall Morgan; Cathal McCarron, Ronan McNamee, Aidan McCrory; Ronan McNabb, Frank Burns, Rory Brennan; Conal McCann, Declan McClure; Mattie Donnelly, Peter Harte, Kieran McGeary; Lee Brennan, Cathal McShane, Ronan O'Neill.
Subs: David Mulgrew for McGeary (53), Conor Meyler for McCann (55), Padraig Hampsey for McCrory (58), Connor McAlliskey for Meyler (62), Ben O'Donnell for O'Neill (68), Brendan Burns for Frank Burns (70).
KERRY: Brian Kelly; Brian O Beaglaoich, Jason Foley, Tom O'Sullivan; Cormac Coffey, Mark Griffin, Michael Geaney; Jack Barry, David Moran; Micheal Burns, Daithi Casey, Kevin McCarthy; Killian Spillane, Johnny Buckley, Stephen O'Brien.
Subs: Tadhg Morley for Geaney (HT), Eanna O'Connor for Burns (HT), Brendan O'Sullivan for Casey (58), Matthew Flaherty for Buckley (70), Greg Horan for Moran (70).
REFEREE: Maurice Deegan (Laois).