The wait is down to mere hours now and, with the coming of the moment, a chance for the Kerry minor and senior football teams to bask in glory on this, the third Sunday in September. Both teams face Donegal sides in Croke Park later today to decide the destination of the Tom Markham and Sam Maguire Cups and the honour and glory all that bestows on the communities they represent.
It is also the time of year in which Scartaglin man, Paul Murphy decorates the family home in Gortacoppal in Scartaglin with an array of green and gold memorabilia in support of the Kingdom and its almost annual aspirations.
What started off with just a couple of flags on the lawn has now developed into an oasis of green and gold objects of all shapes and sizes. It’s all there, from bunting, all around the perimeter of the lawn, to small, medium and huge flags to a good luck banner. However, the star attraction of goalposts and three mannequins dressed in the Kerry colours is what sets Paul’s efforts apart.
“Work usually commences on this display when Kerry begins the Munster championship and with each game the display gets bigger and bigger developing into what we see today.
It’s something I enjoy doing every year. I also enjoy the chat with people when they ask about the display and enquire as to when the ‘men’ will be making an appearance,” said Paul.
“I’ve been following them closely this season and have been impressed by their determination, teamwork and skill in reaching the final. They overcame Clare in the first round to reach the Munster final where they played Cork. They dominated that game and won easily in the end by kicking some fantastic scores in what was a sweet victory in Cork to claim another Munster title,”said the well tuned supporter.
“While the victory over Galway was not as convincing as they would have liked they did enough to reach another All Ireland semi final against Mayo. Previous games between the two sides showed Kerry winning well. However, what transpired was anything but.
“These games will live long in the memory of all GAA fans throughout the country. Those lucky to be there saw some superb fielding, scoring and defending, a never say die attitude by both teams. And just when you thought that one of the teams was beginning to get a grip on the game there was another twist in the drama.
The substitutes all played their part and the fans created an atmosphere unlike anything I have ever experienced,” said Paul.
“In the end it was a victory Kerry cherished as witnessed after the game as players and supporters celebrated together and looked forward to another final and with it a chance to win a 37th All Ireland title.
The minors are also in action in the curtain raiser as they look to win a first title for the county since 1994. Under the stewardship of Jack O’Connor and his selectors the minors remain undefeated so far in what has been an impressive outing by his young guns.
Traveling to the game on this Sunday morning I go in great confidence that what we’ll see will be two closely fought games that Kerry will no doubt win. And that will make the return from Dublin on Monday all the sweeter. Ciarraí Abú,” – Paul concluded.