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Saturday 23 September 2017

'I've replayed it a hundred times'

Paul Murphy in action for Kerry
Paul Murphy in action for Kerry

Naturally, their subsequent victory over Dublin in the League final has been a balm to Paul Murphy's open sore but at the time, he admits it caused some disruption to his sleep pattern.

On a night when the electricity crackled above the pitch in Tralee, when Kerry were attempting to see out time and put one over Dublin for the first time in two years, Murphy - Kerry's man who never gives the ball away and who hadn't put a step wrong all night - kicked it almost directly to Kevin McManamon who supplied Paul Mannion for Dublin's equaliser.

"It was a tough enough couple of days to be honest," Murphy admits now from the sanctity of having been part of the Kerry team that finally beat Dublin in that equally absorbing spring decider and ahead of Sunday's Munster SFC final with Cork in Killarney.

"I was kicking myself really for a couple of days really to be honest.

"It was just a basic skill left me down. It was a combination of executing the pass and not seeing - I think it was Kevin McManamon having watched it back once or twice, but I'm not too sure.

"Basically I was so conscious of keeping the ball, I was trying to pick out Stephen O'Brien and was erring on the side of not going too far so that the man behind wouldn't have got it, I slightly miss-kicked it and I think it was McManamon came in and cut it out."

Torture

The irony was that Murphy had been Kerry's safest pair of hands all through an evening when calm heads were clearly required.

"I've replayed that kick in my head I'd say a hundred times in my head now," he admits.

"And I'd say ninety of the times I'd have kicked the ball as far down the field as the leg would carry it, but that probably wasn't the right thing to do either.

"The other option then would have been the goalie, the goalie is not being marked.

"It was about forty five yards out, but if he came to the twenty one and played a one/two you'd have possession then in your hand and you can keep ball.

"But sure look," Murphy acknowledges, "you could torture yourself with that."

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