Watched by an impressive 8,258 crowd in Austin Stack Park, Dr Crokes were a distant second best and so it will be club championship winners Austin Stacks that represent the county against Nemo Rangers in next Sunday’s provincial semi-final.
When Gaelic football is played right, this game has it all. We haven’t been blessed with a lot of outstanding matches these last five or six years because of the way some teams play, but we were all lucky to see an All-Ireland final like that.
Peter Keane told reporters afterwards that he did not watch Saturday’s Dublin-Mayo semi-final (“there was no point, we were worrying about ourselves”), but he clearly heard some of the commentary which followed the Dubs’ comprehensive win as the Kerry manager was incredibly quick off the mark when it was put to him that nobody was giving the Kingdom a prayer on September 1.
Protect the D and Pepper The D: Kerry know that an aerial bombardment is coming their way and they must protect the D with their lives. Tadgh Morley and Jason Foley have the ability to break even with the Tyrone duo of Donnelly and McShane but naturally they need some help.
Getting the match-ups right has gone a long way for Kerry and Mayo in recent years. We think of Aidan O’Mahony on Michael Murphy in the 2014 final, Lee Keegan on Enda Smith in the 2017 All-Ireland quarter-final replay and just last weekend Patrick Durcan tagging Ryan McHugh.
Life was breathed into the Munster championship on Saturday in Páirc Uí Chaoimh. Cork showed up and battled, stayed with Kerry for the game but ultimately came up short. Kerry played in fits and starts, put up a good score and got the job done. Both teams have plenty to reflect on this week as they ready themselves for the serious stuff.
Cork have not reached the last eight of the championship since 2014, falling at the fourth-round hurdle each summer since. But irrespective of who Cork are pitted against on this occasion, McCarthy is adamant that his team are well capable of progressing to the Super 8s.