GAA Expert & Columnist
Peter Canavan: Kerry won't get a better chance against Dublin
Watch the All-Ireland replay live on Sky Sports on September 14
Last Updated: 03/09/19 6:45am
Sky Sports analyst Peter Canavan gives his thoughts following the drawn All-Ireland final.
In the aftermath of Dublin games, many are usually left talking about their dominance, splitting the county in two, or money issues. After Sunday, it was all about the football, such was the pulsating nature of the match.
Before we delve into the game itself, both sets of players deserve immense credit for the way they went about their business, contributing to a spectacle.
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As for the game itself, one can't help but feel that Kerry left it behind.
Playing against 14 men for the entire second half and things going their way, I don't think they'll get a better chance. Dublin were leggy from the very start.
The reigning champions gave away the ball cheaply. They were uncharacteristic in their shot selection at times, and key players didn't perform anywhere near their true potential.
James McCarthy, Brian Fenton, Ciarán Kilkenny, Con O'Callaghan and Paul Mannion weren't at their best.
Kerry had some exceptional performances. David Moran showed real leadership in the middle of the park, while David Clifford and Seán O'Shea are a delight to watch.
If Kerry were in that position again, they would go for the jugular in the last 10 minutes instead of holding onto the ball and seeing out the clock.
Their game management wasn't what it should have been. Perhaps Kerry hadn't done enough planning, discussing at length what they would do if they were in the position. They're a young team, with a lot of inexperienced players, that's understandable.
Should Tommy Walsh have started?
I can understand Peter Keane being reluctant to start him, but he could start in the replay.
To only bring him on in the last 20 minutes, he definitely could have done with more game-time.
Look how well he performed when he did come on.
They only hit one ball into the edge of the square in the first half, and they got a penalty from it. So if he had been in from the start, I know they played more measured football in the second half, but it would have given Kerry another string to their bow going forward.
Uncharacteristic Dublin errors
Dublin had some poor shot selections late on, but the Kerry rearguard was so hard to break down, I think they were forced into doing that. Diarmuid Connolly was entitled to have his shot. Cormac Costello's wide, he was entitled to shoot too.
But John Small was out on the wing, he should have recycled the ball.
All in all, you'll see a more ruthless Dublin side in the replay.
They could easily have lost. But like true champions, they hung in there. They fought gamely, their hunger to turn Kerry over in the last seven/eight minutes was remarkable.
It's the one aspect that Jim Gavin will be delighted with. They tackled in packs, and they gave it everything they had. That's a testament to the Dublin character.
Dublin have more room to improve
Of course, Peter Keane will highlight his own players with aspects of their game to improve, but overall I think there's more improvement in the Dublin team when you consider that Michael Darragh Macauley and Brian Fenton were totally outplayed by Jack Barry and David Moran.
I didn't give Kerry a chance going into it and I think were it not for the red card, Dublin could have kicked on and won the game with something to spare - they were four points up when Jonny Cooper was dismissed.
To have a man extra for much of the game, to be shading things in midfield and to not win the game is disappointing from a Kerry point of view.
I'd expect Dublin to have the upper-hand the next day, to shade it with more ball going into their forwards.
Watch Dublin vs Kerry in the All-Ireland final replay live on Sky Sports on Saturday, September 14.