There was no doubting Padraig Corcoran’s great disappointment for what it was: a huge chance for his side to qualify for a county final which they would dearly go on to win.
orcoran doesn’t seem the sort to have let his mind get ahead of himself ahead of an October 30 meeting with Mid Kerry, but the Dingle manager was still processing that one-point defeat to East Kerry – torn from his side in the 65th minute by a thunderous Paul Murphy winner – a good half hour after the final whistle, trying to decode his thoughts.
“Hugely disappointing. We were a point up to the end of normal time and probably turned two balls over in the middle of the pitch and we paid for it, yes. They converted them both, a good score by Paul Murphy at the end from the distance,” said the Dingle manager.
The loss of Dingle captain Mikey Geaney to injury in the 36th minute was immeasurable, and never more so than in the final few minutes when the former Kerry forward would surely have got his hands on the ball and settled things.
“He is our captain and he has been excellent for us,” said his manager. “Unfortunately it’s now the last three years we’ve been beaten in the Championship, we’ve lost Mikey in all three of them early on. He’s a massive leader. For us he controls the game well, he gives us that outlet maybe in the half forward line, he’s good on the ball and we missed him around there in the second half so he was a big loss for us.
And the fact that East Kerry played the last 20 minutes with 14 men, does that hurt?
“Yeah, it makes it harder I guess. The wind was strong there in the second half even though we had an extra man and Shane Ryan came out a bit too, but it makes it harder to take.
“To be fair to the lads, they emptied the tank. I don’t think too many people would have expected us to win today. The players gave it their all on the pitch, they died with their boots on, I suppose that’s what you could say.”
Dingle played well, really well, in fact, and it was their economy and ability on the ball that put them in that winning position as the game moved into four minutes of added time. And yet it was a couple of turnovers that led directly or indirectly to Paul O’Shea’s 62nd minute equalizer and Murphy’s winner two minutes later.
“We held the ball well (towards the end) but they probably just put a squeeze on us, they had to go after us at that point and maybe, I don’t know…,” Corcoran said, his voice trailing off into a what-might-have-been period. “The conditions were difficult and you’re in the 61st, 62nd minute so maybe a little bit of fatigue comes into it as well and it’s easy to waste a ball and they threw everything at us.”
“As I said, the boys gave it their all on the pitch, it’s just disappointing. East Kerry are a seriously good side and the lads coming off the bench made a big impact, Paul O’Shea kicked the point, Donal O’Sullivan came on that time also down the wing, they got on the ball early and they are good football players. They’re guys with county experience as well and they made an impact on the game.”