Moorefield manager Luke Dempsey has hailed his team’s performance in the middle third as being key to their victory in the Kildare football championship final.
The victory came courtesy of a 1-14 to 1-06 scoreline over Sarsfields and Dempsey spoke to RTÉ Sport after the game: “They’re such a mature group of players and the fact that we had the wind in the first half, I just felt as long as Sarsfields don’t kick on and maybe get two or three points [we would be okay].
“They didn’t do that, and we used the wind to our advantage and created lots of chances.
“We kept plugging away until a period when we were very dominant.
“And we went into the half-time break five points up, which in a club match, despite the fact they had the wind in the second half, is still substantial given the way we were playing.
“And I thought in the middle third from 5-12 we were totally dominant, with our full-back mopping up what wasn’t being mopped by our 5, 6 and 7.”
“We kept plugging away until a period when we were very dominant"
The victory gives Moorefield two Kildare championships in succession, and Dempsey didn’t hold back when assessing how momentous this achievement was.
He said: “It’s extra special in a county like Kildare. I have to specify that, because it’s not Roscommon - where you expect St Brigid’s. It’s not Offaly - where you expect Rhode. And there’s a few counties that are gone like that a bit.
“In Kildare you have at least five clubs minimum [competing for the football title].
“Like Carberry, Sarsfields, Celbridge, and Athy got to the league final, and ourselves.
“It’s a tough championship to win. We got beaten by Athy in a replay, it was the makings of us, because we realised that we were still up to the tempo.
“Athy had a marvellous team this year and put in a huge effort to win the county title. And we knew that to go in the backdoor, which we did, we knew we were up to the tempo.
“Subsequently we were put to the pin of our collar by a very good Johnstownbridge team and a very good Celbridge team who won the league. But we still stood the test.
“Meanwhile, Athy got beaten by Sarsfields and we met again. For two clubs from the same town in a county with such tradition of good football clubs to get to the final, a lot of praise has to go to both clubs, because it’s the way the club is run, it’s the attitude of players in clubs that get to county finals.
“In certain clubs, players have an attitude, ‘I’m just going to tog out for my club and that will do.’
“But in Sarsfields and in any of the clubs I just mentioned there’s a very professional approach by the players and hopefully we can bring that and show Leinster that professionalism.
“We nearly did last year and we were robbed by Portlaoise, we just didn’t play as well as we could have.
“Hopefully we can show the Leinster supporters we have it in us to get to a Leinster [final]. Because usually it’s the Dublin champions who are dominant.”
Next up is Rathnew in the Leinster championship quarter-finals on 9 November and Dempsey is relishing the test his side will face, saying: “Every club that wins a county title are excellent football teams and Rathnew is no different. What an excellent team in Wicklow.
“Tommy Gill comes to mind, with some other great players from the past. I know Tommy personally and his attitude will be no different to any Moorefield player. We’ll go down there with our homework done.”