Sunday 19 November 2017

Were Kerry counting chickens too soon?

Kerry manager Jack O'Connor Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Kerry manager Jack O'Connor Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Martin Breheny

Martin Breheny

Kerry would never admit it, but apart from losing the chance to end a nine-year wait for an All-Ireland U-21 football title, there was another dimension to their disappointment after losing the semi-final to Galway.

Since this is the last U-21 championship (U-20 starts next year), the record books for the 53-year-old competition will close after the Dublin-Galway final, leaving Cork leading the honours table with 11 titles.

Kerry (10) would have joined them if they won this year but must now make do with second place, with no opportunity to ever take the No 1 slot. That's unfamiliar territory for the Kingdom.

Galway, Mayo, and Tyrone are on five titles each so if Gerry Fahy's Tribesmen beat Dublin, they will secure third place on the final honours table. If Dublin win, they will move into joint third place on five titles.

A final point. Kerry manager, Jack O'Connor (left) warned last week that after the long-awaited win over Cork in the Munster final, his highly-rated squad needed to reboot the motivation mechanisms.

"We need to find other angles to get ourselves mentally right for that game. It was easy get right for the Cork game, we will have to get ourselves very right for this as well," he said. His fears were well-founded as Galway (11/2) won quite comfortably. Was it a case of Kerry counting chickens early and not showing due respect to Galway?

Irish Independent

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