Kerry Seeks to Topple Down
Down will counter with a team that is backboned by Mark Dobbins, Eugene O'Hagan and Liam Farrell. With Ciaran Fearan as manager, they have been the foundation that has taken the team from the worst in New York five years ago at junior level to the template that all clubs should follow.
Said Dobbins when asked, "We have come through the ranks and worked hard to get here over the past few years. Ciaran Fearan, Kevin Coulter and Eugene O'Hagan are big reasons for the growth of the club.
"We hoped to reach the semifinals and then take it from there. It's great to have an opportunity to take on Kerry, but we know it will be an extremely difficult assignment."
Certainly the team is built around players that battle hard for each other. Brian Murray, O'Hagan, David McGreevey and Gary Cornyn give forwards nightmares as they constantly hound at the back. Mark Kelly is a quality keeper and also deserves a start against Galway.
Midfield is their strength, with Sean Munnelly standing out as the engine room. The 100,000 mile man runs from first whistle to last. Brendan McArdle can play anywhere but has settled at nine for the last couple of games.
Up front Dobbins and Barry McElduff are household names in New York. Maccer already has a Junior A medal and man of the match award on the mantle, while Dobbins is the straw that stirs the Down drink. Pat Downey on the square will have a battle with Glacken akin to Kavanagh and O'Hagan at the other end. The outcomes in these battles may decide the contest.
A prediction then, or is it insane to even attempt it with these two teams? The Kerry defense has fewer weaknesses than Down, and over the course of the hour should be able to hold the machine to a score that is manageable. Glacken and Corbett will not allow anything else.
Paddy O'Connor will encourage from the sideline with a mentality from his playing days. Never give up always battling. With Kavanagh and Walsh they have two bonefide game breakers.
Mark Dobbins, Pat Downey and Munnelly will make it extremely hard, but the experience of three county titles in the last four years, Paddy Kearney to help on the line with O'Connor, the history of the club and its winning mentality may be too much for Down to overcome.
Kerry to get title number 26 with a five point win going away.
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