Ronan O’Gara disputes Pat Spillane’s reasoning behind Kerry’s loss to Tyrone

Spillane

Ronan O’Gara has rubbished the notion that Kerry lost to Tyrone in their All-Ireland football semi-final because the Ulster champions wanted it more.

RTE pundit and Kerry legend Pat Spillane was highly critical of his county’s performance at half-time, full-time and after extra-time, and argued that Tyrone ultimately came out on top because they wanted to win more.

O’Gara, who has played his fair share of high pressure games with Munster and Ireland and now coaches La Rochelle, argued that Kerry would have wanted to win just as much as their opponents did.

Ronan O’Gara on Pat Spillane’s comments.

“For someone to think ‘they wanted it more’ in a semifinal… Please think it about it again… I am pretty sure Kerry wanted to win desperately without knowing much,” O’Gara tweeted.

While Spillane wasn’t impressed by Kerry’s performance, he was complimentary of Tyrone, especially in the latter stages of the game.

Tyrone substitute Cathal McShane scored a goal and three points after being introduced on the 44th-minute mark, and Spillane believes his goal summed up the performances of both teams.

“That goal just highlighted it, that goal from Cathal McShane. It was a great shot from Darragh Canavan, a great save from Shane Ryan,” Spillane said.

“But it was Jason Foley’s 80 per cent ball, it was Cathal McShane’s 40 per cent ball. But Cathal McShane wanted that ball more. He went for it, he got it and he reaped the reward.”

Kerry’s seven-year-long wait for the Sam Maguire goes on.

Kerry have now gone seven championships without getting their hands on the All-Ireland title, and may just have squandered their best opportunity in years to end their drought.

Most pundits had predicted that Kerry and Dublin would contest this year’s All-Ireland final, but brilliant performances from both Tyrone and Mayo have massively upset the odds.

The Kingdom were actually the favourites to win this year’s championship before Dublin were knocked out by Mayo, and looked even more likely to win their first All-Ireland title since 2014 after the Leinster champions’ exit.

Kerry ultimately played below their potential against Tyrone however, and without David Clifford’s influence in extra time, the Munster champions often looked bereft of ideas.

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