Tipperary will be trying to end a 9-year losing streak against Kerry in the Munster Minor Football Championship when the counties meet in the semi-final at Semple Stadium this evening, Wednesday (7 o’clock).
Tipp’s last success came in the 2002 first round at Kilmallock when they recorded a 2-11 to 2-9 victory.
Kerry have won 10 of their 11 meetings since then - 2010 (first round), 2009 (first round and Munster Final), 2008 (Final Replay), 2007 (first round), 2006 (first round and Munster Final), 2004 (Semi-Final), 2003 (first round) and 2002 (Munster Final), while the teams drew in the 2008 Munster Final.
Tipperary got the better of Limerick by 1-13 to 0-9 in their quarter-final at Kilmallock while Kerry trounced Waterford by 4-16 to 0-6 at the same stage.
Tipperary know they face an uphill task, with eight players who lined out against Limerick underage again next year. But there’s an abundance of ability in the ranks, including players of the calibre of TJ Ryan of Rockwell Rovers and Michael Quinlivan of Clonmel Commercials, both of whom did the bulk of the scoring in the quarter-final; captain, Liam McGrath (Loughmore); Bill Maher and Adrian McGuire (both Kilsheelan/Kilcash); Steven O’Brien (Ballina); Philip Quirke (Moyle Rovers) and Commercials’ Ian Fahey.
The Kerry team includes corner back Padraig O’Se, a son of Kerry legend Paidi, while the full forward line of Jamie Moriarty, Sean Keane and Ciaran Keating is particularly potent.
Cork meet Clare in the other semi-final on the same evening in Ennis and the final will be played as the curtain-raiser to the senior final on Sunday, July 3rd.
The Tipperary team is Gearoid Slattery (Cashel King Cormacs), Niall O’Sullivan (Moycarkey/Borris), Conor O’Sullivan (Galtee Rovers), Seamus Kennedy (Clonmel Commercials), Adrian McGuire (Kilsheelan/Kilcash), Dylan Fitzell (Cashel King Cormacs), Bill Maher (Kilsheelan/Kilcash), Steven O’Brien (Ballina), Darragh Butler (Loughmore/Castleiney), Ian Fahey (Clonmel Commercials), Greg Henry (Killenaule), Dean Lonergan (Cahir), Liam McGrath (Loughmore/Castleiney, Captain), Michael Quinlivan (Clonmel Commercials) and TJ Ryan (Rockwell Rovers).