Dr Crokes selector Harry O’Neill says they will reflect on past campaigns in deciding how best to approach February’s All-Ireland club semi-final.
The Killarney outfit fell at this very hurdle following the Munster final victories of 2011, ’12 and ’13 and successfully managing the two and a half month break leading into the Corofin fixture is of paramount importance given recent disappointments.
“We haven’t looked at the semi-final but I hope that what we will do is look back on the various bits and pieces from each campaign, pick out the good, the bad and the ugly from each one and try and come up with the right way of approaching this,” O’Neill stressed.
“It is a long gap. We have Rathmore next week in the East Kerry championship final. We’ll take a break then. Pat [O’Shea], the rest of the management and I will sit down and we’ll plan our strategy. I know the lads are hungry to go at it and go training through Christmas. I think that is the way it has to be done. We’ll see what comes afterwards. We have to try and plan it better this time and see can we come up with the goods in an All-Ireland semi-final.”
The Crokes selector was impressed by the performance of those in attack given this was a unit that failed to catch fire in recent outings.
“We had lines of the field that we wanted to get more out of by comparison with what he had got from them in the semi-final. We got all that today. We got a good performance from the team. When we got our chances, we were more clinical. It was very pleasing. We were up and running early on.
“We had the chances, we took them. The Nire had chances to settle their nerves, they didn’t take them. Three goals in the first-half really killed them off. The movement from our forwards was one thing we were looking for.
“I’ve been on record all year long in saying that we haven’t really been happy with our forward movement. I think we got it today. The half-forward line of Daithí [Casey], Johnny [Buckley] and Brian Looney were excellent. The movement then inside from Colm Cooper; I think he might have touched the ball twice in the first 12 minutes but two goals came off him. When we move well, and we did move well today, scores come. We’re very, very happy with it.”
Hat-trick hero Daithí Casey revealed that pre-match talk had centred on chasing early goals. “Our mantra coming up here was that if we could start well and get a few goals early that, maybe, we could pull away from the Nire. Luckily for us, that is exactly what happened. We just came with an attitude that we were going for the jugular straight away.”
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