Sunday 22 September 2019

Charlie Redmond: 'I know a lot of Dubs fans are aggrieved with ref Gough, but I would only question one decision'

Con O'Callaghan of Dublin is tackled by Tom O'Sullivan
Con O'Callaghan of Dublin is tackled by Tom O'Sullivan

Charlie Redmond

Neither team deserved to lose this All-Ireland Football Final - a wonderful occasion that did great credit to Ireland’s amateur sportsmen.

But make no mistake, Dublin will have learned more than Kerry, much more and I expect them to turn the lessons into an All-Ireland title on Saturday week.

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Kerry came up for this match, locked and loaded, ready to play the game of their lives in defence of their county's wonderful football tradition.

They got a lot of match-ups spot on. Their big men, David Moran, Sean O'Shea and David Clifford stood up and were counted.

Kerry had Dublin rocking and rolling at times in the second half as what had seemed like a Dublin machine this season spluttered and cranked into mistakes they don't normally make.

But then Kerry have to look at the negative side of the ledger.

They missed a penalty, they were playing against 14 men for the second half, will Brian Fenton ever be as anonymous again in a big game?

And, and, it was Dublin who had the last four shots to win the match. Brian Howard, Diarmuid Connolly, Cormac Costello and Dean Rock.

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As one who had to take pressure kicks in my time, I don't blame any of them.

On each occasion, taking on the shot was the right thing to do.

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Rock's was very difficult from the sideline, and Costello's effort was just inches wide - that's what Hawkeye is there for.

If both Howard and Connolly will be disappointed with their efforts, it comes from the fact that they sliced their shots and missed on the wrong side.

Missing on the other side of the Canal End posts would have been understandable on an evening with a breeze.

Missing where they missed will annoy the pair.

Yet the second half was all about Dublin simply refusing to quit.

They battled and battled and I know a few supporters were aggrieved with referee David Gough. But the only call I'd query was Tom O'Sullivan's neck-high challenge in the second half.

We've heard that tackles around the head are a red card know. Maybe David judged it to be just inches below the head or neck.

From a Kerry perspective, not winning the game in the circumstances has to be worrying.

They had to bring on Tommy Walsh to get the goal they craved, but they know Tommy cannot do a 70-minute match.

Do they start him the next day and go from there and risk having to take him off with the game in the balance?

Or do Dublin stick the vast experience of Bernard Brogan on the bench?

Would he have kicked any one of the last chances over the bar, had they come Bernard's way?

Tickets for the next day will be at an absolute premium after this enthralling classic.

The two counties will get the tickets that went yesterday to the followers of the Cork and Galway minors - and what a game that was.

But I believe those tickets will be outweighed by the extra demand after this showpiece.

I know it is almost sacrilege to write it, but I heard that more than a few Kerry people didn't travel for the Final because they had not got faith in their team.

They'll have faith now! They'll be there on Saturday week, and so, Please God, will I.

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