GAA Football

Kerry ratings: Clifford's majesty aided by big second-half improvement

Kerry at the end of the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final between Kerry and Galway on 07-24-2022 at Croke Park Dublin. Pic Philip Walsh
From Cahair O'Kane at Croke Park


Shane Ryan: Nothing to do outside of kickouts. Found his men well on restarts barring the notable one picked off by Damien Comer to enable Galway to level at 0-16 apiece. 7

Graham O’Sullivan: Galway failed to expose him much at all defensively. Rob Finnerty got hands on one ball of note in the first attack of the second half. O’Sullivan had a big second half in an attacking sense too. 8

Jason Foley: Wasn’t tested by Damien Comer as you thought he might be, but part of that was down to Foley’s touch-tight positioning all day. Kicked a bad wide. 7.5

Tom O’Sullivan: Could do absolutely nothing with Shane Walsh at all. No matter what he tried, it just didn’t work. Kicked one wide in attack as well. 5

Brian Ó Beaglaoich: Involved in a lot of the nitty-gritty around the middle eight, picking up breaks. Lost Johnny Heaney a bit in the first half but dominated the second period. 7.5

Tadhg Morley: Didn’t get sitting as sweeper as he would have liked in the first period, but held Matthew Tierney at arm’s length comfortably. His mere presence was enough to dissuade Galway from going down the middle after the break. 7

Gavin White: Was targeted in the air on Galway’s kickouts and beaten to them by Patrick Kelly, but when the ball was on the ground White had a few dangerous moments, not least bursting through to fist the key score that pushed them two clear late on. 7.5

Jack Barry: A mixed day for Barry. Did well in the air and had decent moments on the ball, but had his legs and lungs severely tested by Cillian McDaid, who took home four points. 6.5

David Moran: Kerry would have wanted him supplying ball in the first half but he just never got on it. Paul Conroy didn’t do them any harm either. Taken off at the break. 5.5

Diarmuid O’Connor: Lost in a wing-forward role in the first half, not sweeping effectively and not preventing John Daly from getting on ball either. Moved to midfield at half-time and was much better, kicking an early point and impacting things. 6.5

Sean O’Shea: Very quiet day until the final few moments, when he was central in Kerry’s finishing off of the Tribe, setting up two of their last three scores. Otherwise struggled to shake Liam Silke. 6

Stephen O’Brien: Ran into dead ends with the ball but kicked one fine score. His best work was defensively, making two big first-half blocks, most notably to deny Johnny Heaney with the game’s best goal chance early on. 7

Paudie Clifford: Fumbled his way through the first half. Won one soft free that O’Shea pointed. Far more influential second period, scoring two and winning the free for another. 7

David Clifford: Majestic. Scored eight points from nine shots. His early claim on greatness has been built on his big-game performances, and this was another day when he turned up in a big way. Just unmarkable. 9.5

Paul Geaney: Needed a big display after the semi-final but didn’t get it. Pointed from an early mark but was off target with two other efforts and struggled against Kieran Molloy. Off at the break. 5


Killian Spillane: Two big scores, including the fisted one to put Kerry into the late lead they’d keep until the end. Hand in another score, plus one bad wide. 7.5

Adrian Spillane: Busied himself around half-forward but was indecisive in possession. 6

Jack Savage: Blood sub, not on long enough to be rated. 5.5

Micheal Burns: Made a huge difference. Ran himself silly with the 20 minutes he got and had his hands on loads of ball. Nothing spectacular but hugely effective. 7

Paul Murphy: Solid last ten minutes. 6

Joe O’Connor: No time to impact but nice that the official captain got on at the death.

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