Already it’s the day before the replay and following the hugely welcome news about Lee Keegan’s successful appeal last night, I think we’re all feeling a bit of what Joe Ruane was full of last Sunday.
The team is set to be announced a bit later on but in the meantime there’s plenty in the papers this morning about Lee’s appeal and all that – Irish Times, Irish Independent, Irish Examiner. You’ll know by now, of course, that our man got off on a technicality – David Coldrick stated in his report that Lee was sent off for kicking Buckley when what happened was that he’d attempted to do so. The law and order brigade can, with some justification, point out that both offences carry the same penalty but I’d say most people (well, outside Kerry at any rate) would agree that if the ref saw it as an attempted kick he probably wouldn’t have sent him off in the first place.
All’s well that ends well, at least from our perspective, and so we can look forward to taking the field tomorrow evening with a full-strength team. Incidentally, I’m probably not going to be around when the team is announced as I’m off into town for a meeting shortly and won’t be back ’till lunchtime so, as you did last night in relation to the Kerry team announcement and Lee’s appeal, you’ll have to break the news yourselves. Fair play to you.
That Irish Examiner piece is interesting, by the way, as it states that a deputation from our side were down at the Gaelic Grounds on Monday with their tape measures to get details of the exact dimensions of the pitch. It also says that we’ve looked for access to the Gaelic Grounds this evening for our goalkeepers and freetakers. Kerry, whose players will be more familiar with the place, haven’t made any such request.
Tomás Ó Sé, in his weekly column in today’s Irish Independent, reckons that both teams would be well advised to have a kick-around at the Gaelic Grounds this evening, given the pitch’s different size compared to Croke Park. Tomás has a few words of caution for us in his column, by the way, pointing out that Kerry won all the replays he was involved in. He reckons that this was because they’d done their homework in advance and it’s obviously the case that the team which learns most from the drawn game and uses this learning to plot a plan for the replay is likely to come out on top. Tomás concludes that’ll be Kerry but he would say that, wouldn’t he?
Back to the Irish Examiner where Larry Tompkins comes out with his hands up over the slagging off he gave us last week. I know you could accuse him of being a bit self-serving in doing so – the man has pints to sell, after all – but it’s a fulsome enough apology and so should be taken at face value.
Finally, while you’re waiting for the team announcement, why not try your hand at this excellent test posed by The Score? It’s a visual quiz where you have to name a number of provincial GAA grounds. I did it and it turns out I’m a diehard, having only got one wrong (and I should have got that one right too, as I was suckered by the colours – I’m colour-blind, remember? – of the seats in the stand). See how you fare out with it.
Back later with some discussion on the team announcement.