Kennelly savours All-Ireland triumph

Kerry's Tadhg Kennelly became the first player to win both an All-Ireland Senior Football Championship final and an Australian Football League Premiership final yesterday, thanks to the Kingdom's 0-16 to 1-9 victory over Cork at Croke Park.

This four-point victory was greeted with Kennelly's customary jig on the presentation podium, with 15 of his former Sydney Swans team-mates among the 82,286-strong crowd at GAA headquarters.

The Listowel man famously performed the jig for the first time in the aftermath of Sydney's defeat of the West Coast Eagles in the 2005 AFL decider.

His Sydney colleagues joined the Kerry celebrations in Ballsbridge last night to toast the Kingdom's 36th All-Ireland SFC triumph.

It was a feeling of disbelief as Kennelly summed up the victory, after emulating the All-Ireland successes of his late father Tim and older brother Noel.

"It hasn't really sunk in. I have only really been thinking about my father to tell you the truth," he said. "I am a very, very happy man."

And while Kennelly was in shock at this All-Ireland final victory, he also recognised how lucky he was to secure a Celtic Cross medal in his first year back on Irish soil.

"I'm very, very lucky to come back in my first year and to reach an All-Ireland final. Personally, the years haven't been too easy over there."

This battle-hardened Kerry side answered their critics yesterday with a gutsy performance. Having trailed by 1-3 to 0-1 early on, they launched a determined comeback.

Kennelly was one of the central figures in this Kerry resurgence and he praised his teammates for the character and resolve shown.

"We knew Cork would come at us and whether we went one goal down or two goals down, we were going to stick to it.

"And that's what happened - we were four or five points down and we ended up being three points up at half-time," added the 28-year-old.

"It's the great character of the team. There's great experience and a great bunch of lads out there. There's an awful lot thrown at them. They were knocked so much throughout the years and again this year. To do what we have is absolutely unbelievable.

"Darragh O Se and Jack O'Connor said it numerous times before the game, we have a plan and we'll stick to it. There is great character in the team. We stuck to the plan and we stuck to what we knew."

More in this Section

Covid-19:  PFA warns over wage cut cost as Liverpool furlough staffCovid-19: PFA warns over wage cut cost as Liverpool furlough staff

Five challenges Stephen Kenny much tackle before a ball is kickedFive challenges Stephen Kenny much tackle before a ball is kicked

VIDEO: McCarthy 'hugely disappointed' but 'fully supports' FAI decisionVIDEO: McCarthy 'hugely disappointed' but 'fully supports' FAI decision

Kobe Bryant posthumously inducted into Hall of FameKobe Bryant posthumously inducted into Hall of Fame


Lifestyle

With documentary film ‘Fantastic Fungi’ set to take the world by storm, Joe McNamee looks at the fabulous world of mushroomsDocumentary explores the magic of mushrooms

I lead a very busy life — I’m a mature student in college — and I separated from my partner but the separation was my decision. I hate myself when it beckons as it ultimately makes me fatter, it has the reverse effectDear Louise: I had my bulimia under control. But the demon has returned

This year has been particularly difficult and stressful, and I think that’s an even more important reason to make time for your health.Derval O'Rourke: Resistance is far from futile and necessary

Best-selling author Faith Hogan is keeping the faith during the lockdown, thanks to her Moy Valley haven in Ballina, Co Mayo.Shape I'm in: Keeping the Faith during lockdown

More From The Irish Examiner