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All-Ireland Final: Sam Set To Return To The Hills

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All-Ireland Senior Football Final

Kerry v Donegal

Donegal have been a dominant force in Ulster in the last few years are aiming for their second title in three years, while Kerry hope to end a five year spell without claiming Sam Maguire. Kerry with their history of success in the championship means they are a hard side to write off, but Donegal’s impressive display against Dublin and other teams during the championship certainly gives them the favourites tag.

Looking at both teams in depth, we’ll start with the defence of both sides. Donegal’s defence has been fairly rock solid all year as they have limited the score ability of the opposition with their tight knit defence. Kerry on the other hand have been quite poor in defence so far this season conceding some easy goals from players making long direct runs towards goal. Kerry will need to improve immensely and can’t afford to concede these goals in the final. Donegal have been impressive so far and their defence has been quite impressive with the McGee brothers Eamon and Niall from Gweedore being key players in their defence.

Kerry’s midfield has improved greatly this year with David Moran showing a lot more intent and ball winning ability so far in this championship. Donegal’s mobility around the middle of the field could cause Kerry some problems if they start running directly at the defence particularly towards the end of the game. Donegal’s counter attacking play is the highlight of their game as this was very evident in their wins over Dublin and Antrim in the championship.

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The forwards are always a crucial part of any team, Kerry have certainly the edge when it comes to forwards, but their main focus is how to get space to shoot, if Donegal adopt a blanket type defence. I think Kerry will have to have another way to beat the blanket defence than relying on Kieran Donaghy. Donegal have certainly shown that they too have excellent forwards within their team with the cool heads of Michael Murphy and Colm McFadden being prominent. Ryan McHugh will certainly be one player to watch after his display against Dublin in the semi-final. Donegal will need to keep an eye on James O’Donoghue who is a very elusive player for the Kingdom.

Kerry and Donegal will certainly have their work cut out for them this weekend with both sides more than capable of winning this game, but I feel that Donegal has shown to be the better balanced of the two sides at the minute.

Verdict: Donegal

All-Ireland Minor Football Final

Kerry v Donegal

This will be another fascinating encounter as both sides hope to end a long wait in the minor championship for victory. Donegal have been impressive in the opening part of the minor championship with some good displays but haven’t been at their best when they played against Roscommon and Dublin in the previous round in what was a low scoring encounter. Looking at the sides a little bit in depth shows that clearly Donegal need to show more attacking potential than they did in their previous few games, they haven’t been getting enough scores on the board. Donegal’s defence was been superb so far in this minor championship, but I don’t think they will be able to contain the Kerry forward line especially the likes of Killian Spillane. It is hard to judge how this game will go, but I would fancy Kerry to come out on top in this game due to having better forwards and having a little bit more cutting edge up front. Donegal will certainly play defensively put I don’t think it will help their cause.

Verdict: Kerry

Images courtesy of GAA.ie

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