And then there were six . . . how the remaining contenders shape up
Published 04/08/2015 | 02:30
Kerry - Have moved into the driving seat after their seven-goal demolition of Kildare.
Eamonn Fitzmaurice's options, especially in attack, are endless. The champions are defending better too, Shane Enright's personal improvement underlining that.
When they're in full flight they are devastating but their route to this point has left them largely untested. Brian Fenton has been a revelation at midfield so far but how good will he be when against hardened veterans of 'last four' Championship football?
Like Dublin a little uncertain about where they really stand. Looked so good against Sligo in the Connacht final and Aidan O'Shea's return to full-forward has given them quite an added dimension. But in terms of personnel, they're no different to the 2014 side.
Give the impression sometimes that they are only hanging in and the injuries are mounting. The key question is whether they will persist with Michael Murphy at full-forward for such prolonged spells.
Some of these Monaghan players have lost three All-Ireland quarter-finals, most have lost two. The desire to win one burns deep. They got the Tyrone monkey off their back last year and will want to back up their most recent Ulster title with another landmark victory in Croke Park.
Building steadily with Peter Harte and Mattie Donnelly driving them on. After a good Qualifier run, they will feel equipped to take Monaghan in Croke Park.