All-Ireland Senior Football Championship semi-final – Kerry v Tyrone – Croke Park – 3. 30 pm – RTE
Kerry will go head to head with Ulster rivals Tyrone at Croke Park in Dublin on the 28th of August at 3.30 pm in the second All-Ireland Senior Football Championship semi-final shown live on RTÉ.
The game was scheduled for the 15th of August, but due to high covid numbers in the Tyrone panel, the game was pushed back to the 28th of August.
Both teams are coming into this game, winning their provincial titles.
Tyrone fought hard in a thrilling and close-knit affair against Monaghan to claim their first Ulster title since 2017, winning the Anglo-Celt Cup with a 0-16 to 0-15 scoreline, putting them joint second with Monaghan on 16 Ulster titles.
All-Ireland challengers Kerry re-claimed the Munster Cup with a demolition job of old rivals Cork in Killarney with a 4-22 (34) to 1-09 (12) victory.
With the Kingdom claiming their 82nd provincial title and their 16th Munster Cup since 2000.
Now, The All-Ireland Senior Football Championship (Kerry v Tyrone) will be the second semi-final of the 2021 Championship campaign.
Since the start of the Allianz League campaign, the Kingdom has looked and played like the best team in the country.
Sharing the league title with Dublin, remaining unbeaten in the process.
During their Munster escapades, they defeated Clare in the quarter-finals easily, winning 3-22 (31) to 1-11 (14). A match that saw Sean O’Shea (1-07) and David Clifford (1-06) run riot.
They overcame Tipperary in the semi-finals with a score of 1-19 (22) to 1-08 (11) before dismantling Cork.
They face off against old rivals Tyrone on the 15th of August to determine who will make the All-Ireland final.
The last time these two faced off with one another was in the Allianz Football League Division 1 semi-final where Kerry demolished Tyrone in Killarney.
Retaining their league title with a scoreline of 6-15 (33) to 1-14 (17).
At the start of this years campaign, Tyrone looked like a team void of idea’s, running on empty and in desperate need of a facelift.
Finishing second in their group, but, looking unconvincing throughout.
Scoring a combined total of 4-72 (84) for a county like Tyrone is relatively poor in today’s football landscape.
Defensively, they conceded 8-57 (81).
Not much was expected from Tyrone by the time the Ulster championship came around.
In the quarter-finals, they defeated reigning Ulster champions, Cavan.
By the time the Ulster semi-final came around, pundits and fans alike already had Donegal steamrolling Tyrone.
However, Donegal was dumped out of the championship with a motivated performance by The Red Hand County, winning 0-23 (23) to 1-14 (17) to set up an Ulster final clash with Monaghan.
Capturing their 16th title in the process.
Strengths and Weaknesses
Manager Peter Keane has some of the best talents at his disposal as Kerry manager.
Arguably boasting the best young crop of players in the country that have been a breath of fresh air to the county that went through a transitional period after some veteran players departed in recent years.
Full-forward David Clifford is one of the best forwards in the country and at the age of 22, he already has 3 Munster titles and two All-Stars to his name.
All in all, Kerry’s main strength is the starting 15, players such as Stephen O’Brien, Paul Geaney and Paudie Clifford are on top of their game and with the rise of star Seán O’Shea, they will be strong contenders for years to come.
Managers Feargal Logan and Brian Dooher have a strong midfield as the core of their team, while Mattie Donnelly is the main focus of their squad.
Without Donnelly, not much emphasis will be put on this Tyrone side as major contenders.
If returning players such as Conor McShane and Conor McKenna are fit enough to start, they will cause problems for a leaky Kerry defence.
Throughout the early 2000s, there was no greater rivalry than Kerry v Tyrone.
When they faced off against one another, they were the total opposite of each other. Boasting different football ideologies, with Kerry being the free-flowing, skilful and attacking team that everyone admired.
Mickey Harte’s Tyrone side was lambasted for their negative style, hard tackling and the infamous ”blanket defence” that many teams implemented after Tyrone perfected it.
From 2003 to 2008, they faced off in three All-Ireland finals, with Tyrone prevailing in each one.
Debated by many on who were the ”team of decade” Kerry may have not beaten them in a final but they did accomplish consecutive All-Ireland wins on more than one occasion, unlike Tyrone.
History does mean something when it comes to this fixture, for years, Tyrone, under Mickey Harte was Kerry’s bogey team. Tyrone were to Kerry, to what Kerry was to Cork during that era.
Looking back on the two sides overall now, Kerry is much stronger in all departments, stronger in attack, more variety in their scoring options, while Tyrone can get at their full-backs, and will have much to prove after their league encounter, Kerry is just superior.
Pyscholigally, Kerry have the momentum and going by their past 3 championship encounters, Kerry has defeated Tyrone, in 2012, 2015 and 201, two of which were semi-finals.
The winner will face off against Mayo on September 11th 2021
The All-Ireland Senior Football Championship semi-final (Kerry v Tyrone) will be live on RTÉ.
Prediction: Kerry by 8 points
Starting Teams – TBC