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Kerry need to be vigilant 2015-08-01 16:31:00


Kerry V Kildare - Match Preview: Kerry need to be vigilant
By John Ivory

Kerry face Kildare in their All-Ireland quarter final this Sunday in Croke Park at 2pm. Following on from their Munster final replay victory over Cork two weeks ago, Éamonn Fitzmaurice’s side will be hoping to advance to the last four for the third year in a row.

Kerry started out their championship campaign with a tough away win against an up-and-coming Tipperary team in Semple Stadium. A strong second half performance saw the reigning Munster and All-Ireland champions pull clear to eventually run out six point winners.
A Munster final clash with Cork took place on July 5th and after a helter-skelter encounter, the two sides finished level, 2-15 to 3-12. Kerry made several changes in personnel for the replay two weeks later and in dour conditions won on a score line of 1-11 to 1-06.

Kildare are no strangers to a replay in this year’s championship either. They drew with Laois before comprehensively defeating them in the replay, 3-19 to 1-11. This meant they faced Dublin in a Leinster semi-final where they were trounced 5-18 to 0-14.
Since that traumatic defeat on June 28th, the Lilywhites have gone from strength to strength in an impressive qualifier run. A narrow win over Offaly, followed by a big victory over Longford saw Jason Ryan’s charges pitted against Cork last Saturday evening.
In a shock result, Kildare ran out impressive winners against the defeated Munster finalists, 1-21 to 1-13. Cork had to contend with a seven day turn around and it is something Kildare face into now against Kerry.

The energy and enthusiasm of this Kildare outfit is something that has been commented on regularly following on from their win over the rebels last weekend. Kildare had eight different scorers against a good, if dispirited Cork team, so they don’t rely on any one player.
Their side is a good mix of youth and experience and in Emmet Bolton, Ollie Lyons, Niall Kelly and Paul Cribbin, they are not short of leaders.
Against Cork they had to be patient in the face of up to 13 defenders at times, but through an effective running game and accurate kick passing, they were able to unlock Cork’s defence.

Kerry will have to be aware of the very real danger Kildare pose, and using Aidan O’Mahony as a sweeper, like they did in the replay against Cork, could be a very sensible ploy.
Kerry have no injury concerns ahead of this clash, aside from long-term absentee, Kieran O’Leary.
Manager Éamonn Fitzmaurice may have been happy to have a replay against Cork, as it broke up what would have been a four week gap between games.
Kerry looked solid at the back in their win over Cork and Fitzmaurice will be hoping they will be able to contain Kildare’s attack. The movement and work ethic of the forwards was very good the last day out and in the open planes of Croke Park they should be able to find even more space to exploit.
Kerry have some of the country’s top forwards and are used to hitting their stride around this time of year. They will need to be vigilant against this Kildare side, but will be hoping their experience will get them over the line.