Belfast Telegraph

Biting Back: Kerry do what's needed to get the job done

By Declan Bogue

The most absorbing moment in sport is the conclusion of any contest.

The moment of realisation for either team or individual competing is something of compelling worth, but the effects of that moment reverberates for a long time afterwards.

For Donegal supporters, the post-mortem of their defeat in Sunday's All-Ireland final will remain the major topic of conversation for weeks yet.

Then, when the sons and daughters of that county return home for Christmas, it won't be the economic shape of the country that they have as their favoured topic; it will instead be the performance of referee Eddie Kinsella and his failure to punish Kerry gamesmanship.

Kerry are fond of self-proclamations of being true inheritors of pure football. Easy to understand when then Kerry Chairman Sean Walsh claimed that the 'natural order was restored' when Kerry won Sam in 2004, after two final defeats to Armagh and Tyrone.

But Kerry have always done what is necessary. Having been humiliated by Antrim in the 1913 All-Ireland semi-final, they would wait 33 years to get their revenge on the Saffrons.

Back then and hard as it is to comprehend now, Antrim were innovators and had introduced repeated use of the hand-pass into the game as a means of retain possession and making it less of a contest of accumulated individual battles.

Kerry's resistance manifested itself in repeated fouling.

They pulled and dragged out of every Antrim forward and reduced them to converted frees for scores.

Plus ça change.

Belfast Telegraph


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