Tuesday 16 January 2018

Kerry failing across the grades

Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

KERRY'S ejection from the All-Ireland Football Championship at the quarter-final stage for the first time since the back door opened in 2001 wasn't the only depressing feature of Kingdom life last weekend.

Their minors were also well beaten by Tyrone in the championship quarter-final and since the U-21s didn't win the Munster title, it means that -- for the first time in 36 years -- Kerry will not be represented in the All-Ireland semi-finals of football's three main grades.

Mind you, it wasn't the worst of omens when it last happened in 1974.

Back then, the seniors went on to win eight of the next 12 All-Ireland titles, the U-21s won the next three All-Irelands, while the minors claimed the next one.

Curiously, Kerry's minor return has been particularly poor in recent times. They haven't won an All-Ireland title since 1994 -- their longest barren spell since the launch of the grade in 1929. Dublin have had an even longer wait, having failed to win the All-Ireland since 1984.

Minor success has also proved elusive for other traditionally big powers. The Tom Markham Cup last went to Mayo in 1985, to Meath in 1992, to Cavan in 1938, while Kildare, Donegal and Monaghan are among those still waiting for a first win.

Irish Independent

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