Kerry boss Fintan O'Connor instructed his players not to celebrate in front of their Offaly counterparts after they relegated the once-mighty Faithful County to the Christy Ring Cup on Saturday.
"As I said to the Offaly lads in the dressing-room afterwards, there was nobody celebrating after the game," O'Connor told the Irish Daily Star following the Kingdom's 1-18 to 1-16 victory in Tralee.
"The atmosphere was dead, very flat and sombre. We came off the field quickly because while there was satisfaction in winning, there is no satisfaction in watching the disappointment and misery on the faces of the Offaly players."
O'Connor says staying in the Joe McDonagh Cup was imperative for Kerry.
"It means an awful lot to us because of the importance of the match, and what we have been trying to do for the last two or three years. It would have been a huge setback for the group and for everything they stand for if we were relegated."Tweet