I was preoccupied with other stuff yesterday and I only caught some of yesterday’s All-Ireland JFC semi-final against Kilkenny on the radio. By the time I tuned into Midwest we were already 1-5 to 0-0 in front at O’Connor Park and while Kilkenny made a better fist of things from then on they never really threatened us seriously and we won by 1-12 to 0-8 to set up a final meeting against Kerry, who beat Wexford in yesterday’s other semi-final.
The only report on the game that I can find is this one in The 42. The photo above was supplied by The Brother, who made the trip to Tullamore for the match.
The commentary on the game on Midwest was good fun, not least to see if co-commentator Billy Fitzpatrick would, for once, be able to shake off his usual downbeat demeanour. Not a chance – every good spell we had was one where we should have been doing better, when Kilkenny got a few scores we were in right bother and when we dug in and executed several turnovers these were only the result of poor ball control by the opposition. If all the human race may be classified according to AA Milne’s Winnie the Pooh, then Billy is surely nailed-on for Eeyore.
From what I could hear, though, one valid criticism Billy had – which was voiced by the other lads behind the mic as well – was how frequently Kilkenny burst through for goal chances, none of which they managed to put away. We know from bitter experience that if you let a Kerry player in on goal in an All-Ireland final, there’s only one outcome so, no more than the seniors, it sounds like we’ve further work to do in tightening up at the back before taking the field the next day.
The final is due to be held on the weekend of 8th/9th August, which is, of course, the same weekend that the seniors’ All-Ireland quarter-final is being played. With the Kerry seniors playing their quarter the previous weekend, the most sensible option might be to shift the JFC final to the weekend of 15th/16th but I presume this option isn’t one that’ll be considered by the fixture-setting powers-that-be.
The decision on where to locate the final will also be interesting. I know this is a far lower profile contest compared to last year’s senior semi-final but, on principle, there’s no way we should agree to Limerick as the venue for it. Ennis or maybe somewhere like Ballinasloe would surely be more suitable options from our perspective.