Dublin rule like kings over paltry Kerry
Dublin manager Jim Gavin said his team's win was "a good day's work"
GAELIC GAMESImportant as it is not to read too deeply into days such as yesterday, it’s impossible not to read between the lines either that Dublin could travel to Killarney, win so handsomely and reduce Kerry to such a paltry thing.
These days don’t normally happen by chance, or without some wider implications.
Indeed, not since the day the startled earwigs were let loose in Croke Park has one team of this great football rivalry so utterly dominated the other, and indeed won so comprehensively, only this time Kerry were the ones running scared, lost in their own surroundings while Dublin ruled the field like kings in the very heart of the kingdom.
Important as it is to remember too that it’s still early February, it’s impossible to ignore the look of the Allianz Football League, with Dublin sitting nicely at the top of division one, and with that Kerry stuck to the bottom.
The surprise was that Dublin did not win by much more, as Kerry failed miserably to raise a half-decent challenge even in the face of their greatest adversary. That it came on the back on last Sunday’s miserable afternoon in Castlebar – where Kerry failed to score in the second half – makes it that bit worse. Yesterday it finished 1-11 to 0-4, both the margin and manner of victory not doing justice to the inadequacies of Kerry.
They scored 0-2 in each half yet scored only two from play, one from defender Tomás Ó Sé. Dublin could have helped themselves to at least two more goals. They finished with 10 wides and played the last 13 minutes with only 14 men, after midfielder Michael Darragh Macauley was shown a straight red card for some off-the-ball retaliation on Kerry substitute Kieran Donaghy.
“Any time a Dublin team comes to Killarney and comes away with the two points is a good day’s work so, yeah, we are happy after that result,” said Dublin manager Jim Gavin, having also taken down league champions Cork last weekend.
“The quality of finishing was questionable at times, but I suppose from a coaching perspective, at least, we created the opportunities. But the Kerry defence played quite well, they were tight on their guys, every time there was shot going off there was pressure being put on, so you have to give them credit as well.”
For the second week in a row Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice found himself trying to explain the poorness of his team’s football.
“We had two seriously tough games, for a developing team. But you couldn’t be happy with that performance,” he said. “We were hoping to see that, some sort of reaction to last Sunday. I think the lads showed a bit more spirit, didn’t give up. Which is some improvement. But still a lot of decision-making was off, we made a lot of mistakes. We have to go back to drawing board over the next three weeks, but it doesn’t get any easier.”
For Dublin, the three-week break before round three can’t pass quickly enough. For Kerry it can’t last long enough.