Saturday 21 October 2017

It's not really a rivalry if we don't start beating Dubs, warns Walsh

Kerry's Donnchadh Walsh. Photo: Brendan Moran / Sportsfile
Kerry's Donnchadh Walsh. Photo: Brendan Moran / Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Walsh feels Kerry are overdue a win against Dublin, pointing out "it's not really a rivalry if we don't start beating them".

The Kingdom have failed to beat Dublin five times in a row since their win in the 2015 League and, ahead of Sunday's Division 1 decider, Walsh is determined to redress the balance.

"A rivalry is where teams beat each other, and they're beating us at the moment. We haven't beaten them in a long time, so it's not really a rivalry if we don't start beating them," he said.

The clash in Tralee last month will be a regular reference point in the build-up this week. And while Kerry blew a winning position late on, Walsh insists they were able to pull plenty of encouragement from that showing.

"We were very disappointed in the immediate aftermath of that game that we didn't see it out, and then, looking back on it again, we said there were a lot of positives to be taken from it," he said.

"But the following week, we didn't back it up with a performance in Cavan.

"That Dublin game, we raised it and it probably took it out of us physically and mentally, and it was hard to raise it the following week and we didn't get the result we needed.

Annoying

"That meant we put ourselves under pressure, which was a bit annoying, but now we have another chance against Dublin, in Croke Park again. We want to pit ourselves against the best and Dublin are the best at the moment."

And he reckons Dublin will be a much tougher proposition in Croke Park.

"It's going to be a totally different game, playing on a Sunday afternoon in Croke Park compared to Saturday night under lights in Austin Stack Park," he said.

"Completely different scenario, and there might be changes to both teams.

"We'll have material from three weeks previous in terms of information on how teams may line up, and without doubt it'll have a bit of edge, without doubt it'll have quality, without doubt it'll have physicality.

"But it's brilliant, we have such a long break between League and Championship that I'm delighted to have the League final.

"We're delighted to pit ourselves against the best, and Dublin are the best."

The Cromane man is in top form and produced a man of the match performance in the win over Tyrone last Sunday, landing six points.

"Obviously I'm happy with that, it's not like I go out every day and try not to score, I try to contribute to the scoreboard, some days it doesn't happen for me and other days it does," he said.

"A ball came off the post and I followed in… you might do it a couple of hundred times and it doesn't work for you, this time it did. Things came off for me."

Irish Independent

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