"They didn't look like history was weighing them down"

September 10, 2019

Kerry's John O'Keeffe.
©INPHO/James Crombie.

Kerry legend John O’Keeffe was impressed by how Dublin finished the drawn All-Ireland SFC final.

Down to 14 men since late in the first half, the Dubs’ five-in-a-row bid was hanging by a thread when they trailed the Kingdom in injury time, but the holders kept their cool to find an equaliser and set up Saturday’s replay.

Winner of seven All-Irelands, seven leagues and five All Stars, the 1975 Footballer of the Year was on the Kerry team denied a fifth successive Sam Maguire Cup success by Offaly in 1982. While the Kingdom retreated into themselves that day and were ultimately undone by Seamus Darby’s goal, he detected a marked different in Dublin’s demeanour last Sunday week:

“We allowed Offaly to come on to us, instead of playing our game and tagging on a score or two,” he told The Irish Times. “That was the mental side of the weight of history and we weren’t able to react against it. It shouldn’t have happened but it did.

“That’s why I was impressed by Dublin at the end, last week. They didn’t look like history was weighing them down. They were a point down and looked composed going after it. We were the opposite, ahead and trying to hold onto the lead.”

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