Donegal will meet Kerry for the All-Ireland Football Final on Sunday September 21 at Croke Park. After a number of months of speculating and discussion, the final will be played by two teams that were not expected to be here.
However, Donegal players with the help of manager Jim McGuinness did not read the script and eliminated Dublin and its incredible front line on a great performance.
Kerry was thought of as an aging squad with little in the line of prospects. However, Kerry did not read the script either and deserve the place they have in the decider on Sunday.
The clash on Sunday will have two teams with conflicting styles. There will be great physicality and if it lives up to its expectations, it could be a game like no one has seen for ages.
Both McGuinness and Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice are vibrant and young managers and that rubs off on their teams’ performances.
Up to this point, the campaigns of both sides have been mixed. Donegal was lucky during the first round against Derry. They defeated Antrim comfortably, by struggled against Monaghan. However, question marks remain nevertheless.
The questions were not completely answered in their quarterfinal against Armagh, but against Dublin they looked like a transformed team in the semifinal. After struggling to start, they inserted Christy Toye and that changed the game.
It has not been easy for Kerry to reach this point either. They were challenged by Clare early on. Their wins over Galway and Cork were a bit clearer cut, but they were not at top form either.
Yet, similar to Donegal, Kerry met Mayo in the semifinal and exploded out of the blocks with tenacity and physicality that was absent in its previous matches.
The players for Kerry were drained in the tough two matches over two days. However, they proved experience comes with age, but weariness.
Despite the many comments about these two teams and their defensive systems and blanket defenses, both are fully capable on the attack.
Kerry will have great hunger with vast experience, which will see them to victory.