Fitzmaurice would have sensed that his former team-mate was coming towards the Red Wings Jersey end of his career and he’s moving ahead with a new generation of Green and Gold stars. The future looks bright for Kerry, with a three in-a-row of All-Ireland minor titles, two Colleges ‘A’ crowns on the bounce courtesy of St Brendan’s and an impressive Munster winning Under-21 team all coming on stream. Adrian Spillane and Eric Lowndes But that’s the future, but in the present Kerry have a problem with Dublin. They beat them in the League in 2010 and they beat them in the same competition at the start of March 2015 – the last game in either League or Championship that the Boys in Blue have lost. In that time the Kingdom have come off second best against Dublin in two All-Ireland finals, two semi-finals and a League decider. They locked horns again in Division 1 just over three weeks ago in a spiteful game in Tralee that the home side seemed to have locked down, only for the visitors to score two stoppage time points to earn a draw and preserve their record. It was an encounter that threatened to get out of control on a number Flames Womens Jersey of occasions, with referee Seán Hurson running to put out fires all over the field. That was a sign of just how badly Kerry wanted to beat the Dubs – and just how badly the men from the capital didn’t want to lose any game, particularly one against the Kingdom. On an exciting final day of the regular League season both of these teams were in and out of the final as scorelines ebbed and flowed. Bernard Brogan and Shane Enright Fitzmaurice’s men charged late up the rails to claim second spot on the table with their big win over Tyrone. Jim Gavin’s men looked to have lost the chance of winning a fifth Division 1 crown on the bounce until Jack McCaffrey’s late winning goal mugged Monaghan, with Mayo’s win over Donegal confirming that final combination. The cavalry is returning for Dublin, with former Footballer of the Year winners Michael Darragh Macauley, Bernard Brogan and McCaffrey along with Diarmuid Connolly all coming off the bench against Monaghan. This time last year the talk was that Kerry needed a win over Dublin and they got handed a heavy Division 1 final defeat. A narrow All-Ireland semi-final loss followed at Croke Park in August. The Kingdom could do with getting one over the Dubs at GAA Headquarters to break the spell, though it’s looking a tougher task than ever to achieve.

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