Kingdom's 'sickener'

'Bottom of greasy pole' for Keane after Rebel robbery

Mark Keane

Colm Keys

Cork football manager Ronan McCarthy expressed gratitude to AFL club Collingwood for releasing Mark Keane to play such a pivotal role in one of the biggest shocks of recent championships.

Keane's last gasp strike for the only goal of this dour Munster football semi-final sent second favourites Kerry packing, clearing an open road even at this early stage for Dublin to clinch a sixth successive All-Ireland title.

Kerry were left stunned when Keane, who has been with Collingwood for the last two years, held off Tommy Walsh for a goal a minute into added time at the end of the second period of extra-time. AFL clubs don't generally release contracted players to play club football at this time of year but clearly, an exception was made here and it paid off spectacularly in the 1-12 to 0-13 win.

"We did our business properly with Collingwood," said McCarthy. "We sought permission from them for him to play and they gave it to us and we're very grateful for it."

Having been within touching distance of an All-Ireland title last year this, Kerry boss Peter Keane acknowledged was a setback.

"It's huge lesson," said Keane, who added the defeat was a "sickener". "I said last year after we lost the All-Ireland you are starting at the bottom of a greasy pole again and we are stuck at the bottom of that greasy pole now again."