Tuesday 21 November 2017

It was a day for the grinders and the minders as our title slip-slided away

'In my opinion the referee Dave Coldrick made a few errors at vital times'
'In my opinion the referee Dave Coldrick made a few errors at vital times'
Billy Keane

Billy Keane

Dublin in the rainy old days is the new anthem for the celebrating city. You'd think us Kerry boys would do better in the wet, being more used to going to the bog and all that. To my certain knowledge there hasn't been a sod of turf saved in Dublin city since Viking times.

But Dublin were brave and gritty. Their upper-body strength won it for them. Muscle and bone, sinew and guts got Dublin through.

For Kerry it was slip, slide and away. It was no day for the game's creative players. The footballing artists like Bernard Brogan and The Gooch just couldn't get the ball into their hands.

And there's no blame to them for that. The pitch has plastic ribs implanted in much the same way as hairs are placed into the heads of bald men at restoration clinics.

Michelangelo himself would hardly have been able to paint the ceiling of The Sistine Chapel if the legs were kicked out from under his stepladder.

The fast ball comes off the pitch too quickly when it's wet. So then it was a day for the grinders and the minders. Shane Enright did a superb job on Bernard Brogan. The Gooch was fouled off the ball by a number of Dublin players. No one saw nottin as they say in places where the detection rate for crime is very low.

We might as well get the cribbing over with now. In my opinion the referee Dave Coldrick made a few errors at vital times.

There was a two-point turnaround just before half- time and Kieran Donaghy was fouled more often than the pavement outside Shelbourne Park. He should have been awarded a penalty for a swipe at his eye.

Stephen Cluxton controlled the flow of the game at free-times. The ref didn't even so much as admonish him for his stroll down the field. Yes there was added time. Four minutes in all. Condemned men have walked faster on their final journey to the electric chair.

But we can complain all we want. Dublin are the winners and deservedly so. The weather was woeful though and made the game a lottery.

One of those lads who wears wooly costumes for advertising things was so wet and warm inside, he abandoned his post and his uniform on O'Connell Street. The sight of a dead Telly Tubby-type creature stretched out on the pavement like roadkill was truly gruesome.


The weather was that rainy, professional ducks for tourists swimming around Stephen's Green threatened to go on strike for wet time. I looked up at the big screen and Croke Park was as bright as a summer's day in Fuengerola. TV is so deceptive. The day was at the full 100 shades of grey.

You'd have to be there. For the second time this year I heard a Kerry woman declare she was wet right through to her knickers. Maybe we should put a roof on Croke Park. It would keep the rain out for games and the noise in for concerts.

Then with a delicious irony, for which it is quite rightly famous, The Hill fingertipped a plastic multicoloured beach boll over a thousand heads.

Sorry for talking so much about the weather but it's not easy for a Kerryman to write about the game.

But there's good news too.

Our minors were so impressive, and congratulations to the master of space and time, Brian Sweeney, from my own club who scored a superb goal.

Jason Foley will wear the green and gold at full-back for a long time to come and will be as good as we have ever picked. Brian Ó Seanacháin, Mark O'Connor, Andrew Barry and Conor Geaney will win more medals here. Geaney from Dingle was always inventive and scored two penalties with the aplomb of an old pro.

The whole team are in contention for further honours. Jack O'Connor can be very proud of his boys. Kerry football is safe and sound.

The senior game was no classic. There were moments of brilliance though from Alan Brogan, who lifted his team and when he came on. He dodged between the drops and curled a point over at a vital time for his team.

Dublin can be proud of their win. A good few of this Dublin team have now won their third All-Ireland medal. Only Tyrone, Meath and Kerry have managed such a feat in the last thirty years.

The better team won. There can be no argument about that in spite of our reservations.

Don't go getting too fond of the cup. We'll be calling back to the Pawn Shop on Jones' Road next September to reclaim the family silver.

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