The senior football win for Kerry over Leitrim was a pure team effort for the Kingdom, with this side possibly the best that has graced New York in the last 10 years and perhaps longer.
Jer O’Sullivan was never troubled until the final seconds, and his variation on the kick-outs was a huge tactic that worked. They used short ball continually when the opportunity arose.
James Huvane was excellent in both ends as he constantly showed for the pass and did everything asked of him as a defender. The talent on the Kerry bench was the only reason he was replaced.
Same with Ronan McLoughlin in the other corner. After a couple of high balls dropped precariously on top of Kieran O’Connor, he settled down and won the battle against both Moran and Connor.
The half back line was clogged with Farrell and Wherity coming back continuously and Anthony Sweeney and Ger McCarten doing fantastically. Giving up only six scores from play in the hour tells the tale.
Fitzgerald and Kehoe won the middle hands down. Both broke the ball when needed, and carried the ball expertly. They never allowed the vaunted Leitrim pairing to get into the game using the help they received from the half lines expertly.
Mulhall and Furlong outscored Leitrim by themselves. Impossible to mark individually, you have to double team but that frees up the dangerous Banville and Wherity.
All were outstanding, but Niall Farrell also deserves praise as he did a lot of running in the trenches for the side. Granted when a number of the subs for Kerry arrived the game was in safe hands, but all lifted the side with their play and with the bench a huge asset for Niall Moran.
Leitrim did well to hold the tide back for 20 minutes but then the dam broke. Paddy Maguire had a very good first half under extreme pressure, as did Ronan O’Flaherty. The wing back was involved in most of the productive attacking plays for the side in that period.
Shane Moran was very unlucky to be taken off. There were a number that could have gone before him, and his ball carrying ability was missed in the aftermath.
Darren Freeman battled throughout, and to get a couple of points from play was no mean feat. Brian Connor also took his scores very well.
The expectations from the bench never materialized and the wides in the first half hurt when there was no room for error.