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Peter Keane: “Relieved Or Disappointed? A Bit Of Both”

peter keane

While most of the country was glued to Shane Lowry’s success at The Open in Portrush, Kerry and Donegal were playing out a classic in Croke Park.

It was a ding-dong of a battle that could have gone either way. In the end, however, the two sides came away with a point apiece following a 1-20 to 1-20 draw.

The game will be remembered for a second-half that was filled with drama from start to finish. The sides were level on 16 occasions and went tit-for-tat on the scoreboard following a grandstand finish in front of over 40,000 at HQ.

Following the draw, Peter Keane expressed that he was both relieved and disappointed.

peter keane

However, the Kerry manager was pleased with the character shown by his team who kept fighting until the end.

“Relieved or disappointed… A bit of both I suppose. At the end of the day, it is championship football but it is a mini-league. Look you’re coming in, hoping at the end of the day you’d have four points out of the three games. Look, you have three so it’s better than two.

“I thought we fought like hell towards the end. I thought there was a never say die attitude by us. There were a couple of frees that went against us that were bordering on not being frees. I think every time we were getting ahead they were getting back into it in some way or another. I thought we fought, and fought well.”

Kerry were handed the tough test today that didn’t come last weekend against Mayo and they turned to experienced full-forward, Paul Geaney, for guidance on a day where Donegal dealt with the threat of David Clifford very well.

peter keane

Geaney finished with 1-4 on what was one of his finest ever games in a Kerry shirt. According to Keane, Geaney has been “motoring well” since their Munster final victory over Cork.

“Paul has been going well. I think since our Munster final we have been playing a lot of football and our football has been very good and Paul has been one of those guys who has been motoring well. What did he get today (1-4)? That is nice kicking in any game, isn’t it?”

Both teams lost key men in the build-up to this game with the news of Eoghan Ban Gallagher’s broken ankle making headlines around the country.

Keane admitted he felt sorry for Gallagher but that it didn’t affect the way Kerry prepared for the game.

“I heard during the week that Eoghan Ban Gallagher was going to be out – he broke his ankle or something. That’s a killer for any player to have a break like that in the middle of the season. So you would be disappointed for a fella that he is not in a position to play.

“You don’t overthink where they’re at because once you get into the midway week you are focussing on where you are at yourself and where you want to be.”

Kerry had their own injuries worries with David Moran replaced before the kick-off due to a foot injury sustained in last week’s clash while his midfield partner, Jack Sherwood, was also withdrawn before the throw-in.

Keane was forced into making three late changes in total, with Killian Spillane coming into the Kerry forward line and putting his best foot forward in terms of starting the next day out.

peter keane

“He (David Moran) will be fine for Meath, hopefully. We lost Gavin White on top of it. Throw in Jack Barry as well. We were a few bodies down so we are hopeful that we will be at full tilt (against Meath) David got a bit of a bang last weekend against Mayo.

“I was very happy. Like by and large you have a panel. Like you know you have a panel and you need to keep a panel fresh. So like you lose a guy and another guy comes in. Killian had his chance today and he took it.”

Kerry would have wanted to secure their semi-final spot today, however, as things stand they must go to Navan in two week’s time and avoid defeat against a plucky Meath outfit.

Keane was short and to the point when asked about his next opponents and what’s on the line for them.

“Look it is a championship game you are going to go up and win it and that’s what you want.”

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