Colm O'Rourke: Kingdom alive and dangerous but it's going to be a long war
Like Cork and Kerry, Dublin know the real battles are up ahead, says Colm O'Rourke
The weather, a huge crowd and the two best teams on current form meant for a great atmosphere in Killarney last Sunday. But it was not a great game, sometimes not even a good one, as the second half especially was punctuated by constant stoppages for minor injuries. Among the supporters it was tribal warfare at its best: good-humoured, passionate support during the match and the best of banter before and afterwards.
For the players, the game was fought with a huge level of intensity yet with the cut-throat nature of knockout gone, the players and management on both sides departed quietly even if Kerry took satisfaction in victory. There is the very real prospect of another game further down the line and this was no time to give hostages to fortune with rash statements.
In a way this game meant more to Kerry as it demonstrated that they are alive and dangerous. It has restored confidence in the players and among their travelling army of followers who must have had at least slight fears that the red tide could wash over them.