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Sunday 25 September 2016

Kingdom will keep up their part of the bargain for dream League final

Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice with Colm Cooper. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice with Colm Cooper. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

It's perfectly natural - though somewhat disrespectful to Donegal and Roscommon - that so many have their dream League final already fixed.

There's enough dross in the early rounds of the Championship for people to get intoxicated by the prospect of Dublin and Kerry doing battle in Croke Park in the spring showpiece, just before the commencement of that glacially slow-moving Championship.

Because as Eamonn Fitzmaurice confirmed this week, their dual on the League's opening night was something of a fool's errand.

"The first two games, the first game in particular, we were just completely undercooked," he explained.

"We just didn't have enough work done. We were lucky to get out of Croke Park that night without getting a right hammering."

The second of Kerry's misadventures was that home loss to Roscommon, the one that indicated that the Division's new boys were something more than cannon-fodder for the establishment and that Fitzmaurice's team were - in keeping with recent tradition - refusing to emerge from hibernation until at least a couple of rounds of the League were over.

"The second day in Killarney, we didn't have a huge pile extra done, we had just done two extra sessions," he outlined.

The result was a zippy Roscommon team confirming their worthiness for this level.

"They are well coached, in particular up front," Fitzmaurice notes. "They have some scintillating forwards.

Challenge

"We know they are going to be a big challenge again next Sunday."

Still, Kerry are hitting a level of form not yet seen at this time of year for close to a decade.

Aidan O'Mahony, Fionn Fitzgerald and Darran O'Sullivan returning all harden that suspicion that actually, Kerry wouldn't mind another crack at Dublin.

"We want to get into a league final. We want to try and win the league," their manager confirmed.

"We have got this far. We have secured out Division 1 status which we are happy with.

"But, ultimately, now that we have got this far, we want to try and got and win it.

"We are going to have to be at our best on Sunday. After that, we'll take what comes."

Odds: Kerry 2/7, Draw 10/1, Roscommon 16/5

Verdict: Kerry

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