GAA Football

Dublin will be relieved unbeaten record is gone: Kerry boss Eamonn Fitzmaurice

Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice says his side got some overdue luck against Dublin

KERRY boss Eamonn Fitzmaurice says Dublin will feel “relieved” their 36-match unbeaten record has ended and feels they'll be fresher for the Championship.

Kerry were the last team to beat the Dubs in February 2015 and it was the Kingdom who brought an end to their rivals' incredible unbeaten run in League and Championship in Sunday's Division One final.

“In relation to their unbeaten record, I think it will be a relief to them that it's gone,” said Fitzmaurice.

“There'll almost be a freshness about their Championship preparation now.”

From today, the Dubs have 53 days to prepare for their Leinster Championship opener against the winners of Carlow and Wicklow, while Kerry have 60 days before entering their provincial series.

Fitzmaurice acknowledged that fortune was on Kerry's side after Dean Rock's long range free to force Sunday's final into extra-time came back off the post.

“I thought it would go to extra-time because Dean Rock is a brilliant kicker,” said Fitzmaurice.

“I just said: ‘We're going for extra-time here – let's get ready.'

“We got the rub of the green, something we possibly haven't had in the past.”

Fitzmaurice broke with the norm in the build-up to Sunday's decider by castigating the “Dublin narrative” for implying Kerry were over-physical in the drawn game between the sides in Tralee last month.

Dublin boss Jim Gavin refused to get drawn into the debate but described the opinions of former Dublin players as “background noise”.

“It's the Dublin people and supporters who have travelled with us to Ballybofey, Tralee, Clones and Cavan,” said Gavin.

“They are the people that have integrity and have honour and ultimately their loyalty is to the team.”

“It's massive disappointment but we played against an excellent Kerry team and they were deserving winners. But we'll go away and lick our wounds and hopefully come back stronger.”

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GAA Football