Kerry’s subsequent step, Mayo’s problem, the chance for Galway and Armagh

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1. Kerry’s subsequent step…

It’s just below three months since Kerry headed down the street from Croke Park, the league trophy in tow, the title of spring champions fixed to them and a way of positivity as they turned the nook in direction of the championship. They blitzed Mayo that day by 15 factors and there was no slippage since by way of resounding victories – 12 factors away from Cork and 23 factors away from Limerick.

It’s not new data that they had been comfortably away from the opposition in Munster, one other provincial crown merely reaffirms it. However translating that right into a scorching streak of type in Croke Park is the subsequent step they have to take. Burning up the bottom at dwelling in Killarney is one factor, final yr generated sufficient regrets for Kerry of their exhibiting within the All-Eire collection, to immediate warning now.

Nonetheless they’re a formidable unit. Their defence is spearheaded by speedsters, Shane Ryan has introduced consistency to the primary submit, Diarmuid O’Connor is rising in stature at midfield and Paul Geaney appears to be like a revived determine in assault. The squad information sees Adrian Spillane and Jack Barry out, Dara Moynihan and David Clifford in. The presence of the latter linking up along with his brother Paudie and Sean O’Shea supplies a substantial drawback for Mayo to resolve.

Kerry have the shape, now’s the chance to solid apart issues they haven’t been road-tested sufficiently to succeed in full velocity.

2. Mayo’s problem…

We’ve been right here earlier than. Mayo stuttering and stumbling their means by the championship earlier than catching hearth when the wanted was biggest. They tapped into a few of their finest stuff within the 2017 All-Eire quarter-final replay towards Roscommon and within the 2019 Tremendous 8s conflict with Donegal. Each these wins had been preceded by unconvincing and patchy shows, much like the current qualifiers towards Monaghan and Kildare.

lee-keegan
Mayo’s Lee Keegan.

Can they step it up once more at a important stage? Accidents proceed to harm their trigger, very similar to Cillian O’Connor’s absence finally hampered them towards Tyrone final yr, there’s a sense they’re now feeling the ache of neither Tommy Conroy or Ryan O’Donoghue being accessible near aim. A number of the stars of these previous exhibits of defiance have slipped into retirement, changing them was by no means going to be a easy course of.

They nonetheless have Lee Keegan giving towering performances, they nonetheless have Oisin Mullin after a winter the place he appeared certain for Australia and so they nonetheless have some hope that they will elevate themselves once more. However their type and that of Kerry’s, means this represents an enormous problem.

tomo-culhane-liam-silke-and-owen-gallagher-celebrate-with-the-cup
Galway gamers have a good time their Connnacht closing win.


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3. The chance for Galway and Armagh…

The quarter-final that has sparked most debate within the makes an attempt to forecast a winner. The provincial champions which have impressed in taking down Mayo, Leitrim and Roscommon, after beforehand claiming Division 2 promotion. The qualifier outfit which have rebounded in some model from Ulster disappointment with assertion wins achieved over the reigning All-Eire champions and the group that had handed them off in Ballybofey in April.

It’s a conflict dripping with potential but additionally one loaded with significance for each camps. With huge weapons on the other sides of the draw, there may be an All-Eire semi-final place at stake and a viable pathway to a closing. Galway haven’t been within the closing since 2001 and their solely fashionable semi-final look was in 2018, Armagh’s final closing exhibiting was 2003 and their most up-to-date final 4 contest was 2005.

kieran-mcgeeney-with-fans
Armagh boss Kieran McGeeney.

Padraic Joyce and Kieran McGeeney had been two of essentially the most celebrated figures within the recreation throughout their enjoying period. For all of the plaudits their groups have obtained thus far this summer season, they’ll know the chance to push on additional is an enormous one.

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