Tuesday 6 December 2016

Five things we learned from Dublin's All Ireland win over Kerry

Damian Lawlor

Published 20/09/2015 | 17:36

Dublin captain Stephen Cluxton lifts the Sam Maguire cup. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final, Dublin v Kerry, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
Dublin captain Stephen Cluxton lifts the Sam Maguire cup. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final, Dublin v Kerry, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE

The weather played havoc with today's match, Philly McMahon was immense for the Dubs and could this be the end for a few Kerry legends? Five talking points from today's All Ireland final.

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Irish Weather can upset any game plan

To fully appreciate the efforts of both players today you needed to be at HQ. Any pre rehearsed game plan would have needed immediate surgery or adaptation once the clouds opened.

The downpour was relentless, the surface like an ice rink and despite the fact that both sides would have created strategies and systems to lean on the game suddenly became more simplified - who would make the fewer mistakes. Who would take their opportunities and who could hold the ball better.

Dublin managed that and expertly saw the game out, bringing Paul Flynn back to the edge of the square when Kieran Donaghy came on. It was surely a day to bring Donaghy in earlier. But Dublin won't be worried over that. Their use of Stephen Cluxton for long range frees also wound the clock down. It all helped get them home.

 

Strike when iron is hot...

Allowing for such horrible conditions goal chances certainly needed to be taken with relish. Especially in finals. Especially in a downpour. Dublin missed two yesterday: the second after 46 minutes and it left Kerry in the game. They had six goal chances in total today. On another occasion their lapses could have been fatal for the team.

They had hit double figures for wides with 20 minutes to go and on a dismal day like this that could have been huge. It ultimately could have been a reason for their downfall but Kerry just never got going at the other end.

Philly is The Man...

Only one corner back has previously won Footballer of the Year - Marc O Se. Philly McMahon could well be the second. He scored 1-6 this season and has brought his game to a new level. Not only did he keep a close eye on Colm Cooper but he also started driving forward at every possible juncture.

The Ballymun man plays on the edge but this season it could be good enough to put him on the top of Gaelic footballs tree.

Work rate versus economy...

Only James O'Donoghue could have been happy with his shift up front for Kerry. Both teams showed incredible work ethic and honesty of endeavour but it was Dublin who were more economical with their supply and their deployment of artillery. Today, Dublin got their match ups right, they were smarter and more efficient.

Their defence looked solid and they picked off scores at crucial stages. Kerry never stopped trying but around the park it was industry versus proficiency.

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The end for Kerry veterans?

When Killian Young missed that late goal opportunity and Alan Brogan immediately pointed it edged the Dubs closer to the finishing line. However It was mostly all Dublin for the second half and now the question is how much longer can the likes of Aidan O'Mahony continue? Kieran Donaghy has also had a fine innings as has Darran O'Sullivan and Paul Galvin.

With a new batch of minors steaming through some of these servants may decide to step aside over the winter and allow youth to have its fling.

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