Both teams will take lessons ahead of SFC meeting
DR Crokes selector Harry O’Neill felt his team got exactly the test they expected from Kenmare team he rates very highly.
“It was very difficult conditions out there, the pitch was in perfect condition, but there was a galeforce wind blowing almost straight down the pitch, which makes it difficult no matter of you’re playing with it or against it.
“In fairness to Kenmare they caught us early on. They ran the ball through the middle and got two quick-fire goals and that really gave them something to hold on to. We finished the half a little bit better and got ourselves seven points up at half time but, again, Kenmare kept going at us. Their shooting was absolutely impeccable. They were very economical with the ball up front.
“We know they have some class forwards, Sean O’Shea, Paul O’Connor, Stephen O’Brien, these guys will punish you given the opportunities. They went a point up with a minute or two to go and you’re thinking maybe that’s that, but a bit of experience from our lads just to dig it out and take it to extra-time. Probably the decisive score was Ambrose’s goal. That gave us just that little bit of a cushion that you can work with and we just managed to hold out for the win.
“We probably weren’t just as sharp as we’d have wanted to be out there and what Kenmare did was they forced us to turnover ball and when we did they came at us at pace. We’d be disappointed with our ball retention at times and there’s plenty to work on for the Championship game in two weeks.
“We’ll have learned an awful lot from this game. They could come with more surprises the next day but they have a lot of good stuff done and for us it’ll be a case of working on what we feel we did wrong today and try and correct those things. This was a fantastic Championship game for us.”
Kenmare manager John O’Sullivan said: “We are bitterly disappointed, of course, but we can take positives from the game. Attack-wise I thought we were magnificent. We brushed up on a few things that got away from us in the first half but we can’t fault the lads and the effort they gave us. That’s a big step up from intermediate football, against the All-Ireland champions. We’re not happy right now but in a day or two we might look at it a bit differently.
“We knew we could score against them but Crokes got good scores too, in fairness to them. The goal in extra-time was the killer really. We’ll learn from it. This is a very young team.
“We meet again to two weeks and both sides will learn stuff in the meantime. Today should bring us on hugely.”