Another year gone as we edge ever close to 100 years since the last All Ireland. All sorts of records set for the wrong reasons in Newbridge last night. But there’s always Fergal Conway. Normally we use a picture of the man-of-the-match on these Ratings posts but we’ve run out of ones of Ferg. So here’s Chris Healy chasing Mattie Donnelly.
Mark Donnellan (5) – Kick outs were one-dimensional ie. “where’s Kev?” and you’ve got to ask whether he has the distribution skill set for the modern game. There was no need for him to catch the ball that was called for a ’45. Not his best day.
Mark Dempsey (5) – Been ever present in the championship but each game a big learning experience. Really needs to be stickier as man-marking is what he’s there for but far too loose on Curry.
Mick O’Grady (4) – McShane had him “up a stick”. Mick gave him far too much room and McShane was a big influence as a result. Picked up an unnecessary yellow and made a schoolboy error missing the hop that led to sending off. Bad day at the office.
Peter Kelly (6) – Best of the full back line but better moments were coming forward. Deft hand-pass (legal?) for the goal and kicked a point. A collector’s item.
Cian O’ Donoghue (5) – Half back line taken to the cleaners. Failed to overlap when we needed wing backs going wide to beat the blanket.
Eoin Doyle (5) – Was sweeping but not effectively.
David Hyland (5) – Didn’t get involved to any great degree. Needed him driving from the back but it wasn’t happening. Tyrone destroyed our half-back line.
Kevin Feely (8) – Outnumbered as Tyrone crowded this area and Kildare tried to find Feely all the time it seemed. He worked like a dog all day though, scoring 1-2. His second point off his left and unbalanced was masterful. Can’t really have asked for much more from him.
* Fergal Conway (9) – No shame in defeat whatsoever for him. Debates will continue to rage about his best position but he’s grown into the sort of leader we need badly. We just need four or five more of them. Brilliant brilliant points when we badly needed them and he set up the goal via Peter Kelly and Keith Cribbin. Faded a little in the second half but deserved MOTM (once more).
David Slattery (5) – Would he be a better wing back or corner back? No influence on the game as an attacker.
Chris Healy (6) – Unpopular opinion perhaps but I thought he was the one forward who tried to make things happen in the first-half. Gradually faded out of it and replaced.
Keith Cribbin (5) – Kept his head for the goal. Not the worst out there but didn’t contribute a whole lot either.
Adam Tyrrell (5) – Didn’t get into it really although he grabbed one magnificent point and was good on frees other than the early miss. Needs to find a way to play himself into games when faced with a blanket. As does the entire team.
Ben McCormack – Sadly not on long enough although start was promising. So injury prone.
Neil Flynn (5) – Like Tyrrell he tends to struggle against defensive teams and needs to learn how to deal with those. Not at the races really.
Jimmy Hyland (6) – Worked tirelessly and won himself a couple of frees with his indsutry. Fella beside me was criticising him every few minutes. Unfair.
Tommy Moolick (6) – You know what you get with Tommy and we got it really, including the obligatory point.
Mark Barrett (5) – Thrown to the wolves with O’Grady’s sending off. Won’t remember his championship debut with any fondness.
Eoghan O’Flaherty Not on long enough. Disappointing season back on the panel for Eoghan and you’d wonder will he back for more?
Kevin O’Callaghan- Not on long enough.
Cathal McNally – Not on long enough. Rasper off the woodwork his main contribution.