Friday 14 December 2018

Win too facile to be proper stress test for Kingdom

The first thing I would say about Kerry's demolition of Limerick on Saturday night is that they must disregard that match when they look towards their Munster final meeting with Cork.

The Treaty Men were relegated to Division Four of the National League for next year and on this evidence it is not hard to see why.

To be fair, they suffered a lot of psychological blows. John Galvin, so often their talisman and one of the best midfielders in the country, would be a huge loss to any side. Stephen Lucey was another to miss out and when you add in the fact they lost Jim O'Donovan to injury before half-time, it was very hard for them.

But where was the work rate and aggression, which has been a feature of their play in recent years? Why did the players on the field allow their heads to drop so quickly? Their management team will need to address these issues if they want a run in the qualifiers.

As pointed out above, Kerry can't read too much into this game but that is not to say there are not positives to take from it.

The marquee forwards such as Darran and Declan O'Sullivan, along with the twin terrors Kieran Donaghy and Colm Cooper, were in superb form. It stuck out a mile that a switch needed to be made on Donaghy but the Limerick sideline were too slow to react.

Darran O'Sullivan is a player who is really impressing this year. His acceleration is frightening, he is running very intelligently and he also chipped in with 1-2 from play.

The delivery of ball into the forwards was top class. Although it has to be pointed out that there was very little pressure on the kickers out the field and so it was made too easy for them.


They created endless goal-scoring opportunities over the 70 minutes and in many cases they opted to take points. This will be another big plus for Jack O'Connor.

It was also good to see the likes of Barry John Keane, Daniel Bohan and David Geaney getting valuable championship time under their belts. The return of Paul Galvin was another wonderful sight for the Kerry supporters.

His delivery off both feet was impressive upon his introduction and he was looking very sharp. Keeping him fit and firing is vital to their chances of regaining Sam.

Midfield is an area of the Kerry team that has come under scrutiny since the retirement of Darragh O Sé and they won the battle on Saturday. Anthony Maher was impressive but himself and Bryan Sheehan will receive much sterner tests going forward.

Another concern is the concession of three goals and it could even have been more. The full back line still looked susceptible under the high ball and the Limerick inside trio of Ger Collins, Ian Ryan and John Cooke caused problems when they got supply. What would happen if Kerry lost the midfield battle?

There is no doubt that Cork will only be too willing to ask all these questions in four weeks time.

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