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Monday 23 October 2017

Dubs one that got away

COULDA, woulda, shoulda. On the first day of September last year, James O'Donoghue scored 2-3 in an All-Ireland semi-final. He might even have claimed a first half hat-trick, one of his points flashing over the Dublin crossbar instead of under.

When the final whistle sounded, however, the on-fire Kerryman was left to contemplate a seven-point defeat.

"Barely four minutes earlier, the sides had been level. Gut-wrenching.

"Hugely disappointing," he recalls. "From what I can remember, we probably could have won the game but we didn't.

"The Dubs were an excellent team last year, they were probably better than us, but all you need is a bit of luck at the end of the game. Maybe they got a bit of a luck.

"They took their chances, that's why Dublin were so good last year. People say that it was a classic, but a week later I was trying to forget about the game as much as I could."

Did O'Donoghue believe Kerry left it behind?

"If I ever lost a game, I think we should have won," he replies. "I haven't seen the game in a long time. If you get chances to put teams away you've got to take them, especially in championship games.

"We probably missed a few chances. That's why you win the All-Ireland - because you're clinical. If you win an All-Ireland, you absolutely deserve to win the All-Ireland. There's no question about it.

"You don't win a lucky All-Ireland, you don't win a handy one. You deserve to win it. We didn't deserve to win last year but we're looking to put a few things right."

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