Sunday 28 May 2017

Dunne hoping Macroom grit can counter Brendan's style

Neil Ahern

DE LA Salle Macroom boss Noel Dunne has been in the Munster colleges game long enough to know what to expect when faced with the proposition of a Kerry-based team firing on all cylinders.

For, when they are at their peak, Kingdom sides have so often blown away their rivals with a majestic style of football and St Brendan's of Killarney, known locally as 'The Sem', are no different.

Lucky then, that Dunne knows that his own team possesses the few characteristics that are capable of stemming that tide -- grit and determination.

The two sides meet tomorrow in the Corn Ui Mhuiri final at Knocknagree (2.30), and the boss of the 2006 champions is realistic about the historical differences between their rival counties.

"Kerry teams expect to win," says Dunne, "Cork sides hope to win.

Character

"There is certainly a difference in the brands of football we play -- the Kerry sides would probably play a more stylish brand of football -- but my team has great self-belief, they are extremely mature and strong in character.

"We are a team that you will really have to grind down to beat and we'd never die out on the field... a lot of our wins have come from the last 10 minutes of games, we just always hang in there."

No doubt, the Cork outfit are second-favourites. St Brendan's - who have Paul Galvin on their sideline - knocked out the same Colaiste na Sceilge side that blitzed Macroom in the opening game of the Corn Ui Mhuiri campaign, but Dunne insists that his side have come on leaps and bounds.

"We'd had a lot of local games around the time of that defeat but we've really come on since, winning the Cork colleges competition and beating the likes of Tralee CBS and Dingle on the way here.

"It's a huge occasion for us and if we perform at our best we will have a good chance. If we don't," he concedes, "we won't stand much of a chance."

Irish Independent

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