IF honesty alone could win county finals then they might as well hand the Bishop Moynihan Cup over to Dingle right now. Certainly Dingle manager Murt Moriarty is in no doubt about the honesty of effort of his players. For the second game in succession Moriarty could say little but praise the integrity and honesty of his players when it came to having their collective backs to the wall.
The previous round Feale Rangers came like a steamroller at Dingle in the final third of their quarter-final match and Dingle, though shipping scores at an alarming rate, found some courage, dug deep and held out to win. Ditto this semi-final win. When St Kierans began to chip away at their lead in the second half Dingle held firm, amd Moriarty was gushing in h is praise of that.
"I'm a s proud of those thirty-two lads as I ever could be. They are a fierce honest bunch of lads and they showed that in the second half when the chips were down. They really dug in and it's a great to them and all belonging to them. And we are very proud of them in the town," the manager said.
"We have worked hard, I have to admit, and we really have put down a good year. We have worked on all facets of it. Feale Rangers was a fierce tough game in the last round and this was equally tough. I have to say that St Kierans are a serious outfit. We had fierce trouble beating them back in Dingle last year, we were genuinely worried coming into this game and we had to have a plan. The plan didn't work exactly as we wished in the first half. There were elements of it that weren't very good and there are things we need to work on for the final," he added.
Two points from play over the hour certainly leaves room for improvement but in the immediate aftermath of a gripping contest, if not a memorable one, Moriarty wasn't unduly concerned about the skewed look of the scoreline.
"I 'm absolutely not worried about how the score looks. The scoreboard teels one thing and that's that Dingle are in the county final," he said. "Having only scored a point at half time was a concern but the scoreboard still read that we were five points up. We had shown that they were vulnerable in the back line.
"We were still leading well enough at half time. If you told me last January when we started off in the West Kerry League that we would be five points up in the county championship semi-final at half time I would have bitten your hand off. We adapt and (the players) work as hard as they possibly can at every situation. We play what's in front of us, we know what we are good at and we try to play to those strengths as much as possible."
"We'd be very happy with our midfield," the manager said in response to a suggestion that there was considerable improvement from the Dingle midfield partnership on Sunday. "Darragh (O'Sullivan) ( pictured) and Colm Benny (Moriarty) are exceptional players. You don't make county under-21 teams without having something. We'd have no fears there. The last round, okay, [against Feale Rangers] they were under pressure but you're talking about quality players. Agin there today Seamus Scanlon is an absolute quality player. We know what Colm and Darragh can do, but it's not just them. It's the rest of the players too. It's not an individual thing with us, it's a collective. I'm very proud of every one of the panel of over thirty guys we have with us.
"To be honest we are still knocking on the door. There is no trophy won yet. Semi-finals are there to be won, to be got through, and to give you a chance. I can't wait for the county final, it's an exciting time. The nerves before a big game, the tension of the day, I love all that," Moriarty - a county championship winner himself - added.