GAA Football

Nobody will care about Kerry's NFL victory come summer: David Moran

Kerry skipper Fionn Fitzgerald lifts the Division One trophy after their one-point win over Dublin

DESPITE bringing the curtain down on Dublin's remarkable 36-match unbeaten run to win their first National League title since 2009, David Moran says Sunday's one-point victory won't define Kerry's year.

“We needed that win but is it going to make up for a Championship loss? No,” said Moran, who had an outstanding game for Kerry.

“It's only the League. You won't be judged by what happened in April. Come November and December, nobody is going to care what happened in April.

“It's what happens in August and September. But it's a great start for us and we have to go on and do well in the Munster Championship and ultimately be back in Croke Park.

“It's a stepping stone winning Division One. It's something we went out to achieve and it is great – but it's important to keep it in perspective. We're on the road long enough to know our season won't be defined by this win.”

Dublin couldn't contain Moran throughout Sunday's enthralling decider.

The Kerin O'Rahillys clubman hit three points [one '45] and was denied a goal by Dublin ‘keeper Stephen Cluxton. But it was his 70th minute point that drew rapturous applause from Kerry supporters.

Off balance, Moran still found his range to put Kerry three in front entering stoppage-time.

“I don't know, some of them were a bit lucky to go over. I was like a horse at the end of the Grand National – I could barely stay on my feet and I was very relieved it went over.”

But Moran was quick to heap praise on his new midfield partner Jack Barry who has dislodged Anthony Maher from Kerry's starting XV in 2017.

The UCD student, who has featured in all of Kerry's League games this season, did a fine containing job on Dublin's Brian Fenton – and popped up with a fisted point in first-half injury-time.

“Jack has a fantastic engine, great legs,” said Moran.

“He's been a breath of fresh air and a nightmare in training! He's been fantastic and he's had a great year, but look this is only April.

“We have to make sure we keep going for another bit now, but Jack's a really modest guy and works very hard. I couldn't speak highly enough about him.”

Unlike last year's All-Ireland semi-final, Kerry didn't sit back in trying to protect their lead. They led by five points by the 53rd minute, and while they rode out a Dublin storm towards the end they still managed to tag on a further five points themselves to seal victory.

“Maybe we're learning, maybe we're gaining more experience,” said Moran.

“What we were doing before wasn't working. We needed to keep playing for longer. Sometimes it's a natural reaction though; if you're up a few points it's natural to go in defensive mode.”

Moran was one of five players who played Kerry's entire League campaign this year, the others were Peter Crowley, Tadgh Morley, Paul Murphy and Paul Geaney.

The Kingdom now have 60 days to wait before they open the defence of their Munster title against either Clare or Limerick.

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GAA Football