GAA Football

Manager Peter Keane defends goal-hungry Kerry

Tyrone's Matthew Donnelly and Kerry's Darren Bradley Picture: Philip Walsh
From Brendan Crossan at Croke Park

All-Ireland Senior Football Championship semi-final: Kerry 0-22 Tyrone 3-14

IT was like a wake house when Peter Keane took his seat at the top table in the press room on Saturday evening. The Kerry boss is probably the most adept at sitting in front of reporters for 10 minutes and saying absolutely nothing.

In fairness, he nibbled at a few questions.

Asked did he feel 'aggrieved' at Tyrone being handed a couple of weeks’ grace to overcome COVID issues in the camp.

“Yerra. I’m not going there,” he said.

As far as tactical ineptness goes, Kerry’s performance in Saturday’s All-Ireland semi-final was up there with the worst of them.

For a team that fashioned a weighty reputation for hitting goals in 2021, they stuck rigidly to the process with little joy and paid the ultimate price.

“I’m sitting here 20 minutes, half an hour after it, so I can’t give you a specific answer on that,” Keane said.

“But, look, you take your point and go home and regret that you didn’t get a goal. I suppose one of the things we’ve been doing a lot throughout the year has been scoring goals.

“I think we’d four opportunities and didn’t come home with anything. Tyrone had three goal opportunities and came away with three.”

Keane, who completed three years in the role as Kerry manager, wouldn’t be drawn on his own future – but Saturday’s defeat will have a soul-sapping effect on the county for some time to come.

Earlier, Tyrone’s joint-manager Feargal Logan paid tribute to the GAA and Kerry for giving his squad the necessary space to play Saturday’s deferred semi-final.

“The week before the Ulster final was a very, very choppy week,” said Logan.

“And then there was a night, possible one or two, since the Ulster final where you were thinking is it worth trying to battle through this?

“We’d great weather, we were outdoors and we got some bad weather and it [COVID outbreak] seemed to coincide with that…

“You were looking at your physios, your doctors, and you were thinking: Is this fair to everybody to keep bludgeoning through this?

“In fairness to the Association, the community spirit, the backdrop of ill-health and the fact that Kerry were decent to us kept us on our feet. Sometimes these things happen and that was quite a performance on the back of all that.”

Enjoy reading the Irish News?

Subscribe now to get full access

GAA Football