Some call it explosiveness, others say it’s momentum. Whatever it is, Dublin and Kerry have it, though Eamonn Fitzmaurice would have it known that it’s Dublin who possess the lion’s share.
“It’s no coincidence that they often get their second goal soon after their first one,” he said of the threat posed by Dublin. “It’s something we have to protect against and we’ve conceded goals in the championship this year.
“If they get a goal, we have to ensure they don’t get too much momentum from that; similar to the Kilkenny hurlers a few years ago, getting a couple of goals to kill the game in a short space of time. We’ll have to mind it.”
What Fitzmaurice failed to point out is that Kerry are excellent themselves in making the most of momentum. Against Kildare, four goals came in succession before the Lilywhites managed a score. In their opening win over Tipperary, they found the net twice in a purple patch before Tipperary recovered with a goal of their own.
Even if it was overlooking his team’s own strength, the Kerry manager was correct to highlight Dublin’s ability to make the most of their periods of dominance. On three occasions in this year’s championship, they have scored back-to-back goals.
Neither team have yet to concede two goals in a game without having scored at least one themselves in between. While it is also noticeable in Kerry’s statistics that, as much as Dublin appear to be the more explosive team, in comparison they have held the opposition scoreless for longer periods.
Tipperary scored just four points in the second half against them. In the Munster final replay, Cork managed two points after half-time, none coming in the last 20-plus minutes. Kildare scrambled together three first-half points in the quarter-final. Tyrone went periods of 11, 15 and 10 minutes before putting a score up.
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