Kerry have qualified for their first All-Ireland final since 2015 after defeating Tyrone 1-18 to 0-18 in Croke Park this afternoon.
Tyrone looked in control for most of the game but the Kingdom turned it up a gear in the final quarter in large part thanks to Stephen O’Brien and David Clifford who contributed 1-4 between them in the final fifteen minutes.
Kerry looked a new team in the second half, Jack Sherwood come at the break to inject some impetus into the side while Tommy Walsh’s cameo caused plenty of headaches for the Tyrone rearguard. However, Peter Keane felt that all the substitutes contributed to Kerry’s victory and that is exactly what is expected of them.
“Well, I think our subs all responded and gave us something. And look, at the end of the day, that’s what you’re looking from any team and any panel, and that’s why you’re building a panel and that’s why you’re bringing fellas around with you – that when they get the opportunity that they’ll add something to it. And you’re right, the two boys did very well but the other fellas did well too when they came in.”
Kerry looked out of sorts in the opening half but Keane felt their movement improved in the second which set them up to meet Tyrone head-on heading down the home stretch.
“The first half was very tactical. I suppose we kicked a lot of wides in that first half which didn’t help our situation, but the second half was much better.”
“Look, that’s what we did expect, that it would be a tactical game, and we managed to open up a bit more in the second half. Thankfully we got out on the right side of that.”
“I think our movement was much, much better. I think we squeezed them a small little bit more further up the field as well. And I think we prepared to take them on, which we weren’t doing that well in the first half. And, again, the accuracy was better in that second half than it was in the first half.”
However, there was some worrying news following the game as speculation mounted surrounding Stephen O’Brien’s availability for the final after receiving his third black card of the season but Keane wasn’t to be drawn on whether Kerry will appeal the ban or not.
“Ah, there are some fellas outside talking about that all right when I was coming in. But, look, we’ll look at that tonight when we go home, or in the morning, and we’ll see what happens from there.”