Thursday 19 September 2019

Walsh curveball could tip scales - O'Mahony

Former Cork camogie star Anna Geary and Kerry’s Aidan O’Mahony teamed up with Ireland Active yesterday to launch National Fitness Day, September 26, alongside the highflying Conn McCluskey (9) and Sibha Bhoja (10). Photo: INPHO
Former Cork camogie star Anna Geary and Kerry’s Aidan O’Mahony teamed up with Ireland Active yesterday to launch National Fitness Day, September 26, alongside the highflying Conn McCluskey (9) and Sibha Bhoja (10). Photo: INPHO
Michael Verney

Michael Verney

It may be robbing Peter to pay Paul, but former Kerry star Aidan O'Mahony has called on Peter Keane to parachute Tommy Walsh in from the start of their All-Ireland SFC final replay clash with Dublin tomorrow week.

The towering Kerins O'Rahilly's attacker turned the game on its head and was a general nuisance for the Dublin defence after being sprung in the second half last Sunday.

O'Mahony expects surprises from Keane and Dublin counterpart Jim Gavin for their eagerly-anticipated rematch and he sees huge merit in going with Walsh from the off.

"The last day he came in and it was pivotal because everything was played through him," O'Mahony said at the launch of National Fitness Day, which takes place on September 26.

"If you take that away from Kerry, what's your next step then? If you need ball to be won inside there and Tommy Walsh is starting, you get 45 or 50 minutes out of him and you are saying 'what's your Plan B now?'

"Have you shown your cards like. Would I start him? Yes. I remember looking up at the finish and thinking 'if they kicked one ball into him' the outcome might have been different.

"It's like the Kevin McManamon thing, maybe for what he's doing he is that impact sub and he's better coming off the bench. But both teams are going to put in something different."

With just Stephen Cluxton, Mick Fitzsimons, Jack McCaffrey, Brian Howard and Dean Rock playing anywhere near their usual standards, Gavin is expected to wield the axe and O'Mahony expects veteran attacker Bernard Brogan to benefit.

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The five-time All-Ireland winner feels Brogan will break into the match-day 26 with Eoin Murchan coming into defence and James McCarthy moving to midfield as they look to complete the drive for five.

"You're in a great position when you're saying, 'you're getting the jersey again on Saturday week, we're putting our faith in you and we're keeping our faith in you, you need to perform' so obviously players will want to play in the game again," O'Mahony said of the Dubs.

"I think Bernard Brogan will be back. For years, he's been the player they've depended on. Who is to say that there's not 10 minutes in him? It's not being ruthless from Jim Gavin but he's definitely a player you could use for 10 minutes.

"He brings that kind of experience to the panel. He's a guy to have around, he's been there for years, he's won Player of the Year. I just think the next day they need some kind of curveball like that."

Jonny Cooper endured a torrid time from Kerry ace David Clifford before being given his marching orders just before half-time, but O'Mahony expects Gavin to stick to his guns and give the tigerish Na Fianna man a chance to redeem himself.

"He's been one of your best man-markers for years. He hasn't lost his pace overnight or anything and maybe he just needs a bit of game time. The last day he was very close to his man, that's the one good thing, and he plays on the line," the Rathmore clubman said.

"When Tommy came on, James (McCarthy) went to full-back which probably played into Kerry's hands, so if I was a corner-back or a full-back I would want to go back on that player as well to make amends."

Irish Independent

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