Both teams will take les­sons ahead of SFC meet­ing

The Kerryman (North Kerry) - - SPORT - BY PAUL BREN­NAN

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.”

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