PHOTOS: Five Questions Raised After Kerry’s Victory

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Kerry’s performance yesterday gave fans food for thought as we look forward to a semi-final in three weeks. Here’s a few questions it raised…

1.  Why not open the gates sooner?

Jack Barry fetches one from the sky. Photo by Dermot Crean

Before we even get to the football, a lot of fans were very annoyed yesterday that the gates to Croke Park weren’t open until 1pm.

We were among the thousands of people on Jones Road at 12.45pm with the rains absolutely lashing down, getting soaked to the skin with nowhere to take shelter.

Some fans like to get inside early Croker to get a bite to eat and relax, read the programme, etc. Maybe open up at 12.30pm instead. They might make even more money in beer and hotdogs!

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2. Will Eamonn stick with Donaghy all the way?

Kieran Donaghy places the ball into the net for his first half goal. Photo by Dermot Crean

Kieran Donaghy rolled back the years yesterday with a towering display. He caused all manner of problems for the Galway defence and surely cemented his place for the semi-final.

Whether we meet Mayo or Roscommon, he’s the right man to lead the line — especially if we play Mayo as he has been a scourge to them over the years so they won’t fancy dealing with him.

I know we’re counting chickens here, but if we get through that semi-final challenge , will Eamonn pick him in that position for the final if Dublin, as expected, make it there?

The long ball into him hasn’t worked in the past against Dublin, particularly in the 2015 All-Ireland final and 2016 National League Final.

He’s looking incredibly sharp and mobile though, so maybe he could be another midfield option as he was in the Dublin semi-final last year.

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3. How can they stop the runners?

Peter Crowley on the ball against Galway. Photo by Dermot Crean

Too often Kerry were cut open at the back against Galway. It’s been a feature of Kerry teams in the past, but Galway had three clear cut chances on goal and Brian Kelly made some great saves.

If they went in, would Kerry have been in trouble? Probably not, as you always sensed they could have moved up a gear to deal with any setbacks.

However, if we’re exposed like that against better teams — which we will face from now on — then we’ll have real problems.

Aidan O’Mahony proved an effective sweeper last year against Dublin in spoiling their attacks, so perhaps we need Peter Crowley or someone else to concentrate more on that role from now on?

4. Will the lack of real tests come back to haunt us?

Johnny Buckley and Donnchadh Walsh in action. Photo by Dermot Crean

A lot of Kerry fans are criticising the performance yesterday, saying they were sluggish and sloppy for patches of the game.

What did they expect? Before yesterday, Kerry had played two competitive matches — against a game Clare side and an insipid Cork challenge — since April 9, when they beat Dublin in the league final.

We were playing Galway yesterday, a team we have beaten consistently over the years in the championship, the latest a seven point win in 2014 at the same stage.

Realistically, Kerry’s intensity levels were not going to be same as when facing a Mayo or a Dublin. Unfortunately, Galway couldn’t provide a proper test which we will certainly get in three weeks if Mayo get through (I genuinely believe if Roscommon win next week, we’ll beat them well in the semi).

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5. Which is the best forward line to pick?

Paul Geaney gets a shot away. Photo by Dermot Crean

Eamonn Fitzmaurice has a hell of a job in picking attackers, as the boys who jumped off the bench yesterday showed.

Jack Savage and Barry John Keane looked very sharp when they came on and could bring themselves into contention to start the next match, with James O’Donoghue not having the effect on the game we normally see from him. Stephen O’Brien for Mikey Geaney? Whoever is picked, we have the ammunition to trouble any defence from here on in. Scroll down for photos…

Midfield action during the game. Photo by Dermot Crean

Hot-tempered moments in the game. Photo by Dermot Crean

Paul Geaney puts in a challenge. Photo by Dermot Crean

Kieran Donaghy looks to the stands after scoring his goal. Photo by Dermot Crean

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