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Kerry v Antrim in the Joe McDonagh Cup final — with Kingdom boss Fintan O’Connor

Kerry hurling manager Fintan O’Connor previews their Joe McDonagh Cup final clash with Antrim, and talks about Waterford v Limerick

Kerry hurling manager Fintan O’Connor previews their Joe McDonagh Cup final clash with Antrim, and talks about Waterford v Limerick.

BY SHANE STAPLETON
Kerry hurling manager Fintan O’Connor says his team want to make the most of their trip to Croke Park on Sunday.

The Kingdom were in a straight shootout to relegated into the third tier of the championship in the summer of 2019, but won their do-or-die clash with Offaly.

While the Faithful will remain in the Christy Ring Cup for 2021, Kerry have a chance to gain promotion to the Liam MacCarthy Cup should they beat Antrim in the Joe McDonagh Cup final on Sunday.

O’Connor, who was formerly a selector with Waterford under Derek McGrath, spoke of the challenges his side has faced this season, and the prospect of the big day.

“Yeah look, it’s a massive amount of excitement in Kerry,” says O’Connor.

“It’s a huge opportunity to play in an All-Ireland final on Sunday that maybe Kerry wouldn’t always have a chance to do.

“I was saying to someone during the week, the excitement there is huge, but when you get there you want to do it.

“That’s what we want to do and I’m sure Antrim are in the same boat.”

Click play on the video at the top of the page as O’Connor talks about the rivalry with the Saffron County, the prospect of playing in Leinster next year rather than Munster, and knowing so many Deise players who will be hurling on Sunday.

JOE McDONAGH CUP FINAL: ANTRIM v KERRY
They meet for the second time in four weeks, with Antrim holding the psychological advantage after winning the group game by seven points in Corrigan Park last month.

Conor McCann scored 2-23 and Ciaran Clarke 0-9 (0-7 frees) for Antrim while Shane Conway was Kerry’s top scorer on 1-7 (0-3 frees).

Antrim also beat Kerry in the 2A final in October, winning by 2-23 to 2-20. The Ulster men won the 2A group game by six points last spring.

PATHS TO THE FINAL
ANTRIM

Antrim 4-25 Westmeath 1-15
Antrim 5-16 Carlow 2-25
Antrim 3-18 Kerry 2-14
Antrim 2-30 Meath 3-10

KERRY
Kerry 1-20 Meath 0-13
Kerry 2-19 Westmeath 0-14
Antrim 3-18 Kerry 2-14
Kerry 2-22 Carlow 1-23

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