Thursday 27 April 2017

Bradley and Small cut loose to end Mary's long wait for glory

St Mary's Magherafelt 0-19 St Colman's Newry 0-13

Aaron Gribben of St. Colman’s College in action against Daniel Bradley and Sean Kelly of St. Mary’s Grammar School. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Aaron Gribben of St. Colman’s College in action against Daniel Bradley and Sean Kelly of St. Mary’s Grammar School. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice has described Dublin’s consistent level of performance as “unbelievable” but insists “every team is beatable.”

Ahead of tonight’s eagerly anticipated showdown in Tralee, Fitzmaurice paid tribute to a Dublin side looking to extend their unbeaten run across league and championship to 34 games, and in the process, equal the record held by the Kerry team of 1929 to 1932.

Liam Quinn of St. Mary’s Grammar School in action against Peter Fegan of St. Colman’s College. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Liam Quinn of St. Mary’s Grammar School in action against Peter Fegan of St. Colman’s College. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

“They are a serious team, everyone knows that,” Fitzmaurice said of Jim Gavin’s Dublin.

“I think the consistency they have brought to it is incredible. I saw a stat a couple of weeks ago concerning the great Kilkenny team that won four All-Irelands in the middle of the last decade and their longest winning streak between league and championship ran to 14 games. That puts in context what they’re doing.

“It is incredible what they are doing. Their level of consistency, their level of performance week in, week out, year in, year out is unbelievable. Championship is one thing.

“If you’ve achieved that in championship, that is doable. When you put all the variables that come into it during the league and they’ve managed to do what they’ve done, it is incredible.

Tiarnach Doherty of St. Mary’s Grammar School in action against Finn McElroy of St. Colman’s College. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Tiarnach Doherty of St. Mary’s Grammar School in action against Finn McElroy of St. Colman’s College. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

“But, every team is beatable. They are beatable. Whether it will happen this Saturday night or not, I don’t know. It will happen at some stage. I’d love if it was this Saturday night.”   

Kerry are the last team to beat the Dubs as they turned them over in the 2015 league and Fitzmaurice insists they aren’t too far off the pace, despite losing a league final and an All-Ireland semi-final to them last year.

“We know we are in close in championship terms. It is different in the league because you don’t have the same level of preparation you do for championship, you don’t have the full deck to work with.

“It is slightly different in championship. We know we are close. Like anything, if you fail you come back and you go again.

Conor O'Neill of St. Mary’s Grammar School in action against Keelan McCann of St. Colman’s College. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile
Conor O'Neill of St. Mary’s Grammar School in action against Keelan McCann of St. Colman’s College. Photo by Oliver McVeigh/Sportsfile

“You try to learn, you to improve. That is what we have been doing every time and we have been getting closer and closer.

“We’ll keep going until we get there.”

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