Find a page

Dublin and Kerry to prevail - but questions remain
31 Jul 2015 16:04
The August Bank Holiday weekend is a key stop-off point in the race for Sam Maguire. Two of the leading contenders, Dublin and Kerry – not surprisingly, are still standing.
-
The Dubs, as we expected, sailed through Leinster to claim a tenth provincial title in 11 years. Kerry retained Munster, but not before Cork had a great chance to derail their summer in the drawn Munster final. Fionn Fitzgerald’s long punt earned the Kingdom a reprieve. Eamonn Fizmaurice’s side comfortably prevailed in the replay on a soggy evening in Killarney.
-
Football’s fiercest rivals are still on course to renew acquaintances in this year’s September decider, but both will be mindful that the path is far from clear in that pursuit. That said, both Dublin and Kerry are expected to account for Fermanagh and Kildare respectively at the quarter-final juncture this weekend.
-
-
-
For Pete McGrath’s Fermanagh, a place in the last-eight is well merited after some standout displays through the back-door .
-
Former Galway star Ray Silke has taken note of what they have served up since their Ulster semi-final loss to Monaghan.
-
“I fancied them to beat Westmeath the last day but what really impressed me was the manner of their comeback against Roscommon (round 3 qualifier). They were six points down late on but they showed great character to win that game by a point. McGrath is an outstanding manager and he’s instilled a strong sense of belief that his players are now bringing to battle.
-
“After the win over Westmeath, McGrath spoke about the confidence he had that Fermanagh would bring their 'A game' to bear in the second half and that they would go on to triumph. Such confidence was well-founded and the victory was impressive.
-
“Fermanagh also have some quality players and Ryan Jones really stands out for me at centre-forward. Sean Quigley, if he’s in the mood, can make it count on the scoreboard and Tomás Corrigan is equally adept at firing over scores from play or from placed balls.”
-
A whole new ball game
-
Dublin, however, this Sunday (throw-in 4pm) represents an altogether different challenge for the Ulster side.
-
“Fermanagh will have to produce a game that I don't think they are capable of if they are going to live with Dublin" is Silke’s somewhat blunt assessment of their task at GAA HQ.
-
Not surprisingly, the 1998 All-Ireland winner expects McGrath’s side to place much emphasis on ‘minding the house’.
-
“To go 15-on-15 would be a poor decision and they'll get beaten well in excess of the 14-point handicap,” he added.
-
“We don’t want a situation like the Connacht final where Sligo, rather naively, went man-on-man against Mayo. Fermanagh will have to go defensive to a certain degree in their efforts to curtail Dublin's attacking threat in the shape of Paul Flynn, Ciarán Kilkenny, Dean Rock, Bernard Brogan & Kevin McManamon.”
-
Dublin tick many boxes, but...
-
-
-
The fact that Dublin have yet to be tested this summer still leaves a doubt or two in Silke’s mind with regard to them regaining Sam.
-
“There is no doubting that the Dubs are a powerful unit; their sheer speed of foot and equally quick transfer of the ball makes them a joy to watch. My mind, though, still goes back to last year’s semi-final against Donegal. They conceded 3-14 that day and Ryan McHugh got 2-02.
-
“We haven’t seen Dublin on the back foot so far this summer. Fermanagh are unlikely to really pressurise their defence in the way that Aidan O’Shea and Mayo, Donegal or possibly Tyrone might do in an All-Ireland semi-final.”
-
Kerry's last line?
-
-
-
Our analyst also has concerns over the Kerry defence ahead of their date with Kildare, throw-in 2pm.
-
That said, he expects “Kerry’s experience and superior forward power” to hold sway against the Lilywhites, who won't be short on confidence after their emphatic win over Cork.
-
“In the shape of James O’Donoghue and Colm Cooper, Kerry have that bit of quality that no other team in the country possesses. Anthony Maher and David Moran provide a formidable midfield pairing, but I still think the side have issues in their full-back line in spite of Aidan O’Mahony’s return at number three the last day.”
-
Can Kildare make hay?
-
-
-
Jason Ryan and Kildare will have taken note at how Cork’s running game caused Kerry much difficulty in the drawn Munster final.
-
Silke envisages an interesting tactical battle in how the Kingdom deal with Kildare’s runners on Sunday.
-
“Kildare's success last weekend came from the very strong running of Paul Cribbin, Niall Kelly and Emmet Bolton and Kerry will have to try and stop that from happening again.
-
“The Kingdom will look to target Tommy Moolick and Paul Cribbin at midfield, get the turnovers in their favour and then have the likes of Donncha Walsh and Stephen O’Brien hovering up the loose ball.
-
“If they can get Kildare on the back foot, Kerry have the forwards to do damage and the weakness of the their defence won't be an issue then. Eamonn Fitzmaurice will be going all out to get a good start and so put this game to bed early on.”
-
After a spring of some discontent, Kildare are in bonus territory of sorts and while Silke believes they’ll “make a strong game of it”, he added that facing the All-Ireland champions represents a “seismic increase in standard” following on from last week’s win over Cork.
-
“Kildare have a bit of impetus behind them and they'll feel like they have nothing to lose on Sunday. But comparing Kerry with a deflated Cork side is not comparing like with like.
-
“The champions to march on and win by more than four points.”
-

Where can I get RTÉ Aertel Digital?

RTÉ Aertel Digital is an enhanced digital version of the RTÉ Aertel teletext service. It functions in the same way as the analogue service, offering current news, sport and weather updates but is now more agile and easier to use.

RTÉ Aertel Digital is available on Saorview, the new free digital TV service in Ireland.
Press TEXT button on your remote to launch Aertel from RTÉ One, RTÉ Two, RTÉ News Now.