By Mortimer Murphy
ALL-Ireland winner and former Kerry selector Diarmuid Murphy admitted Sunday that both Dingle and East Kerry would be “out of their minds” trying to get to a Kerry SFC final - but insisted that the scenes which marred the semi-final replay between the teams in Tralee had not come from managerial instruction.
Murphy, a selector with Dingle, expressed his delight at the West Kerry side’s 4-13 to 0-12 replay win but admitted he was disappointed at the manner in which a mass brawl erupted shortly after half-time. East Kerry finished with 13 men after the Clifford brothers, Paudie and David, were sent off.
“I cannot really explain, but all I would say are that the stakes are high because we haven’t won a county final since 1948 and East Kerry for nearly 20 years. I would be surprised if any management would be telling players to go out and get involved in that type of rough stuff.
“It’s kind of hard to put your finger on it but it probably is because the stakes are really high. It was the same last week and both teams are absolutely out of their mind to get to the final. It boiled over today and there is no point in saying it did not. It was a pity, but when you are out there it’s hard to figure out who started it, and who did this or that. In fairness to the match officials, it is very hard to referee games nowadays. They would want eyes in the back of their heads. People going to see games do not want to see that either so it’s a pity it boiled over.”
East Kerry manager Gerry O’Sullivan chose his words carefully afterwards. “I've learned over the years to be diplomatic and I am going to be diplomatic now. I do not advocate my teams getting involved with any of the rough stuff. I ask them to go out and play football. I ask them to have pride in their jersey - I don’t advocate them going out and striking anyone or getting involved in the off-the-ball stuff.”
Added Dingle’s Murphy: “No more than East Kerry we had a game plan going out and our mantra was to stick to the game plan. It took us four or five minutes to get going but our forwards are playing well and we got decent ball into our forwards and the scores followed off of that. It worked today but the nature of football is that is not always the case.”