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Dublin: 17 °C Monday 15 July, 2019
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'If Kerry were in any other province I don't think they'd be in the Super 8s right now' - Cavanagh

The GAA pundit says the Kingdom were far from convincing after collecting their seventh Munster SFC title in-a-row.

Kerry just about managed to survive the Cork fightback in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
Kerry just about managed to survive the Cork fightback in Páirc Uí Chaoimh.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

SEAN CAVANAGH HAS suggested that Kerry might not be in the Super 8s if they were in a different province, following their lacklustre display in the Munster SFC final.

The Kingdom managed to hold off an encouraging Cork fightback to clinch their seventh consecutive provincial crown but defensive frailties left them exposed throughout.

They conceded three goals in all and coughed up a six-point advantage at the break as Cork rallied to level proceedings in the second half.

Peter Keane’s side squeezed over the line but Cavanagh insists they were far from convincing. 

“Not impressed,” he said on The Sunday Game when asked for an assessment of their performance.

If Kerry were in any other province I don’t think they’d be in the Super 8s right now.

“If you had asked me a month ago, you look at the brilliance of [David] Clifford, the brilliance of [Sean] O’Shea and you’d get excited about the forward line.

“But then you realise they’ve got a runway down the middle of their defence, most of their defenders don’t want to defend.”

He added that Kerry seem to be struggling without defender Peter Crowley who suffered a season-ending cruciate injury, before saying that the intensity levels of this final reminded him of “a challenge game.”

“You have to look at the reality here — a Division 3 team possibly should have beaten them last night. The space that was in Páirc Uí Chaoimh was ridiculous. You don’t get that in football nowadays, it was almost like a trial game or a challenge game.

“I wouldn’t totally buy that you have to give it to Cork because Cork should be at that level. Cork should be competing for Munster titles, but not impressed.” 

Dublin and Meath served up something of a dour affair in Croke Park, with the former overcoming a slow start to complete a provincial nine-in-a-row.

Both sides struggled in the poor conditions and could only muster six points between them by half-time. It took Meath 32 minutes to register their first score and finished the tie with four points on the scoreboard.

It’s an hour-and-a half we won’t get back,” said Ó Sé about the Leinster showpiece. “I found it very hard to watch.

“It’s what we predicted at the start of the year, that it would be a cakewalk. We thought Meath would put up a better battle, I think they’ll be very disappointed. I think Meath going in the back door, it’s going to be difficult to lift yourself from that.

Cavanagh added:

This was desperate stuff. I think Meath maybe were reading the media during the week and everyone saying ‘well maybe if they stay within six points…’ They looked like a team that just wanted to stay with Dublin and had no real ambition going forward.”

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