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24th Jun 2019

Only five Kerry players survived Tomás Ó Sé’s Munster final tirade

Patrick McCarry

Tomas O Se

“He gets a shot off when there’s no way in hell, with three players marking him, he should.”

The more highlights Tomás Ó Sé looked back on, the more he grew frustrated.

The former Kerry defender was on live commentary duty for RTE, at Pairc Ui Chaoimh, on Saturday as Peter Keane’s men edged out Cork in the Munster final.

24 hours later and he was watching the game back for The Sunday Game. Second (and third) viewing did not improve his take on how The Kingdom are shaping up this championship summer.

(Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile)

Ó Sé looked back on the game with Des Cahill and former Tyrone star Sean Cavanagh, and he lamented the Kerry kick-out press and how easily Cork breached their defence in a high-scoring game.

Jack Barry and David Moran did not come out with glowing reviews and the entire Kerry fullback line also came in for criticism. Indeed, Ó Sé named just five Kerry players that he felt had performed to a high standard in the three-point victory:

“I felt at the start of the league that they were improving. I think their scoring rate, of giving away scores, was down. Mayo rattled them [in the league] and Mayo rattled them a second time. Cork are after rattling them.

“Tadhg Morley, Tom O’Sullivan, Gavin White, Stephen O’Brien, David Clifford. Five players that came away. The rest of them would want to have a serious look at themselves.”

O’Sullivan (goal featured below) and Clifford were the stand-out performers, to our mind, but we are surprised Sean O’Shea did not make the cut.

If the Kerry faithful were hoping for any respite from Cavanagh, it was not coming.

The Tyrone legend stated that Kerry were fortunate to be provincial champions and in the Super 8s, and that Dublin ‘would have wiped them out’. He commented:

“If you had asked me a month ago, you look at the brilliance of Clifford, O’Shea and you get excited about the forward line.

“But then you realise they’ve got a runway down the middle of their defence. Most of their defenders don’t want to defend. They don’t seem to have any sort of pattern or movement, they’re not collectively working.

“Peter Crowley was the lynchpin that you were hoping was going to hold the whole thing together and he’s now gone with a cruciate. Boy, that was evident last night. A Division 3 team possible should have beaten them. The space that was in Pairc Ui Chaoimh was ridiculous. You don’t get that in football nowadays. It was almost like a trial game or a challenge game.”

Kerry are not in action again until the July 13-14 weekend, against either Galway or one of the All-Ireland qualifiers.

Keane will hope they can steel their defence and impose themselves in midfield in the Super 8s or their summer could stall after a promising league campaign.