Galvin stung into action by critics

Sat, Jul 21, 2012, 01:00

GAA:An emotional Paul Galvin paid tribute to his teammates after Kerry overcame Tyrone 1-16 to 1-6 in the third round of the qualifiers. The man-of-the-match hit back at the critics who had been writing obituaries for this Kerry side after some poor performances this summer.

But after just about doing enough against Westmeath, Jack O’Connor’s side came up with a massive performance when it really mattered, condemning Tyrone to a 10-point drubbing to set up a meeting with Clare in the fourth round next weekend.

And Galvin, fighting back tears after the match, admitted some of the bards aimed at the Kerry dressing room had stung a set of players who still have plenty to play for. “What do you say about this Kerry team,” he said after this evening’s match. “They’re great men.

“A lot of the talk during the week, writing this team off, served only to fuel the great men in that dressing room. We’ve been carrying a lot of hurt for the last nine or 10 years . . . we’re Kerry at the end of the day and we’ve suffered a few heavy defeats, a few last minute defeats.

“There has been a lot written about this team and a lot of it has been disrespectful. I think today the great men in this team stood up. I’m very proud of that.”

Kerry manager Jack O’Connor believes Kieran Donaghy’s second half goal, which came minutes after Conor Gormley had closed the gap to just two points with a goal of his own, was the turning point. “Fellas put their bodies on the line out there, that’s what we had to do,” he said. “Right after half-time when Tyrone got a goal but our fellas came back and got a goal straight away which was important.

“Donaghy’s goal was critical because it got our fellas going again. There was a stiff breeze and it enabled us to play with confidence.”

Of finally getting one over Tyrone, who hadn’t been beaten in the championship by Kerry since the 1980s, O’Connor added: “It’s a big deal for the fans and the media. But for the players and the management it is just a step on the way (to an All-Irleland). We were hurt last year leaving Croke Park and we want to get back there.”

Tyrone manager Mickey Harte admitted his side were second best but was critical of Brian McGuigan’s red card, the substitute sent off less than 90 seconds after his introduction after clashing with Kerry’s Declan O’Sullivan.

“I suppose when we got our goal and didn’t defend it, conceding the goal so quickly, that was the end of the game for us in many ways,” he told TV3. “Of course we could ill-afford the sending off. I have to say that it was a rather harsh sending off, in the context of what went on today. But I don’t think it made a difference ultimately, Kerry were better on the day and had a greater hunger for game.”

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