One of the key traits of a proper team is how they react to frustrating set-backs, and whether they have the mental and physical resilience to respond positively in adverse times. Do they sink or swim when the pressure is at its highest and their back is really against the wall?
Kerry was the scenario facing minor footballers after the Munster final at Pyr Ui Rin. Destroying Cork by 14 points three weeks ago, then hammering itself 3-11 to 0-9 by the same opposition was as unexpected as it was a concern for the state management.
Of course, in this age group, unpredictability is often the order of the day, and while it may have been more pleasant for James Costello and his selectors to classify the provincial decider as a bad night in office, they knew that It was not that easy. Corrective action has to be taken.
To make the situation more precarious, Tyrone was a formidable handicap that had to be jumped in the All-Ireland quarter-finals in Portlaois last Saturday. It was a red handed outfit that already had nine unbeaten competitive fixtures throughout the season, and Tom Markham was the likely favorite to go ahead and lift the Cup.
It was a surefire case of cork going from the frying pan to the proverbial fiery fire of Ulster Champion. Without a shadow of a doubt, this 2022 was a defining moment for the young state prodigy’s collection. His season was completely on the line in a span of 60 minutes. The back door was now completely locked and the key was thrown away.
Called into the field were Desmonds corner-back Ruerry Burke, Austin Stax centre-back Colm Brown, Balliduff midfielder Evan Boyle and Ardfurt corner-forward Odron Ferriss. Coming back from all the different injuries and spells on the treatment table, there was no time to rest myself. It was straight into the lion’s den and make sure you didn’t get eaten.
The fact that Carey now has an All-Ireland semi-final to look forward to against Mayo over the weekend tells you all you need to know about what happened at O’Moore Park on Saturday afternoon . In a comprehensive test of their characters, their self-confidence and their collective resilience, the youth of the state stood up and were counted.
While Burke helped bolster the full-back line, and Ferris discussed with great intent in a day that was not conducive to attacking invention, Brown and Boyle were absolutely critical in securing Carey. Were. At first, he gave the team extra height, which was a significant plus, but, more importantly, he negated Tyrone’s perceived strength in two important areas.
The weather conditions ensured that this would never be an encounter that would be remembered in the minds of football purists, but for a brief period of four minutes in the first half when Carey scored just one in response to his opponents. scored four points for , Boyle’s brilliant fielding of two red-handed kick-outs that led directly to those two carey white flags was crucial.
Boyle’s tall, handsome figure – the latest production from the conveyor belt of that wonderful sports family, and a young again next year – certainly justifies his selection. Brown was a revelation, pocketing the highly-rated figure of Tyrone captain Eoin McElholm in his usual defensive duties, but also taking the time to break lines relentlessly on his direct and powerful burst upfield.
Carey was more confident than with Boyle and Brown, but it was all about the effort of the team, and it certainly had to be because there were also many difficult moments during the afternoon where there was never three between sides. More points than that, and such was the case in the immediate aftermath of Tyrone’s seventh-minute goal.
Costello’s charges were not shaken by that initial setback, a clear indication of his overall state of mind, and that purple patch before the interval enabled him to take a very credible one-point 0-6 to 1-2 lead. Make. Half-time break, captain Cormac Dillon really stepped up to the plate with three fine scores in the opening 30 minutes.
When Eddie Healy’s Herculean figure, a constant source of inspiration from start to finish, rose from a surprising 40m right foot point in just six minutes into the second half, and now with the wind in his favor, Carey went to kick Appeared ready. However, no one believed that they would fail to score for the next 22 minutes.
During that barren spell, Kingdom was indebted to goalkeeper Sha O’Meara for two solid and capable saves from Tyrone’s Noah Grimes and first goalscorer Colon Donnelly, while also getting him a black card to Ballymac wing-forward Niall Collins. Had to fight. Apparently to celebrate the victory of Carey sideline turnover.
Kingdom really had to dig through that ten-minute period where they were at a numerical disadvantage, but led by Brown’s dominant back division, Tyrone could only manage a single point in that spell, well, Kerry’s. The scoring drought was broken by Fionne Murphy with a brilliant 45m in the 58th minute.
Like Brown, Healy, Boyle, Jack Clifford, and others who helped Kerry gain a serious foothold in the middle of the park, thwarting Tyrone’s attempt to control the game from there, Rathmore Man Murphy took a wide Had impressive presence, always looking forward to burst and getting into the Tyrone rearguard when in possession.
The Ulster side tried valiantly to reclaim the position in the dying moments, but Jack O’Sullivan made some crucial defensive interventions, with Carey holding firm for a fully deserved victory. It wasn’t pretty, it was never going to be that kind of game, but it sure was bloody effective. It erased memories of the Cork debacle, that’s for sure.
Carey now prepares for Mayo in the Final Four, excited and battle-hardened by everything she’s done over the past two weeks. With Darragh O’Connor returning from suspension and Jake Foley, hopefully, back in the mix after injury, Costello will have more options to consider.
Whatever happens from here, this team has shown they have a big-match bottle. The class of ’22’ will now seriously stop.