As part of our Jameson Caskmates & Tonic Social Serve Series, Gaelic football legends Kieran Donaghy and Ryan ‘Ricey’ McMenamin sat down to discuss the depth of the Tyrone-Kerry rivalry as well as sharing their hugely interesting views on one another.
Kerry icon Donaghy was straight down to business, discussing the sides’ intense rivalry in the 2000s. He asked McMenamin what made it so special. “(There were) so many good players in every position, there was always a battle”.
But what really set it all up for McMenamin was the 1986 All-Ireland final, where Kerry defeated Tyrone.
Donaghy reminisced over watching the memorable game on VCR - the footage had gone grainy from watching it so often! He especially focused in on the infamous missed penalty and speculated that if he were managing at the time, he would have insisted on putting it over and taking the point.
Moving on, they made it into their big decade of rivalry. Starting with the 2003 final, McMenamin explained the need they had to win it for respect on the national stage. Thinking then on the victory, having Dooher and Canavan in the side, ‘Ricey’ said, “we had enough armoury to take them.”
Donaghy then mentioned that, after the tragic passing of Cormac McAnallen in 2004, they hadn’t been at their best, so in 2005, he was excited to play the Tyrone team. He also said that Tyrone deserved the win that year and that it was a testament to McAnallen.
The Tyrone icon then had the chance to relive marking Colm ‘The Gooch’ Cooper. He knew he needed to be as physical as possible but said there was no point diving in or trying to tackle the ball from him for fear of looking foolish after a dummy. McMenamin knew that ‘The Gooch’ would get a few points but, as long as that was all he got, ‘Ricey’ was happy.
After a little bit more discussion they ended up at the big question: who was the team of the decade?
Donaghy was humble about Kerry’s five All-Ireland wins to Tyrone’s three, saying that the argument can be made for Tyrone to be number one if one considers that they beat Kerry twice in the final.
You can watch the full interview on all of the Off The Ball social channels.
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