Wednesday 23 October 2019

'We had chances we just didn't convert them' - Kerry boss Peter Keane offers no excuses for final replay defeat

Kerry manager Peter Keane speaks to his players ahead of the All-Ireland SFC final replay against Dublin at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo: Daire Brennan/Sportsfile
Kerry manager Peter Keane speaks to his players ahead of the All-Ireland SFC final replay against Dublin at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo: Daire Brennan/Sportsfile
Donnchadh Boyle

Donnchadh Boyle

Kerry boss Peter Keane wasn’t making any excuses after seeing this side succumb to Dublin in Croke Park and admitted his side had to ‘chase’ the game more than he would have liked.

The Kingdom trailed by four points at one stage in the first half (0-5 to 0-1) after a sluggish start but recovered to pull level by half-time.

However, they got off to a slow start in the second half also conceded a quick fire 1-1 after the break in a game they never led in.

"Look we were there in the first half and were chasing it a bit," reflected the Kerry manager.

"We were down (four) at one stage in that first half and got it back to equal at half-time.

"The goal I suppose wasn’t part of the plan after half-time but we worked our way back to (a point) again. We had a few chances after that but I suppose we were stretching it at all times there after you know?"

Dublin's Jack McCaffrey, left, and James McCarthy in action against Paul Geaney of Kerry during the All-Ireland SFC final replay at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo: Daire Brennan/Sportsfile
Dublin's Jack McCaffrey, left, and James McCarthy in action against Paul Geaney of Kerry during the All-Ireland SFC final replay at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo: Daire Brennan/Sportsfile

Eoin Murchan's brilliant goal after the break gave Dublin a cushion they would never relinquish with Keane left to rue Stephen O'Brien's missed chance.

"If you are going to concede one (a goal) it might be as good a time as any to concede one because you are going to have another 30 or 40 minutes to go after it.

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"When we had the goal chance ourselves what were we down (three) points? If you had taken that so ... we had chances we just didn't convert them."

And he insisted there was no sense that his side had left their best chance behind them in the drawn game.

"I wouldn't have felt we left it behind," he said. "I could see the argument but Dean Rock had a chance of kicking a winner at the end of it so had he scored that there would have been no leaving it behind, we'd have lost it.

"I suppose with any young team, what did we have we had 11 fellas that started in an All-Ireland for the first time. We had two fellas who came on in that game so that was 13 fellas playing in their first All-Ireland final.

"So in many ways you'd have said, 'Jesus this is great' because you're getting another shot at it, another opportunity to build on it."

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