GAA: MINI COOPER NEEDS SERVICE; MUNSTER FOOTBALL FINAL Cork V Kerry, Pairc UI Chaoimh, Tomorrow, 4.15 O'Connor Calls for Kingdom Forwards to Help Out
Byline: Jackie CAHILL
KERRY boss Jack O'Connor has urged his attackers to take some of the heat off the 'Gooch' at Pairc Ui Chaoimh tomorrow.
Colm 'Gooch' Cooper will be a marked man on Leeside after his heroics for Kerry against Limerick in the provincial semi-final.
The gifted corner forward contributed 2-5 of Kerry's 2-10 winning total - and O'Connor wants to see more players chipping in with the goods.
Limerick had Kerry on the rack at the Gaelic Grounds, leading by 0-7 to 1-1 at the break after completely dominating the first-half.
Cooper, the only Kerry player to score in that game in the first-half, goaled after just 35 minutes but over half an hour elapsed before he kicked a free.
And in the second period, he turned up the heat with another 1-4 to sink the Shannonsiders.
But if Cooper's shackled by the Cork defence tomorrow - and it looks like he'll come in for some heavy-duty marking - Kerry will have to find scores from elsewhere.
Cork will look to stop the supply of ball into Cooper at source but if it does arrive, he'll be hit, and hit hard by more than one home defender.
But Kerry can use Cooper's brilliance to their advantage - if he's targeted by the Cork defence, space will invariably open up for others to exploit.
Mike Frank Russell in the other corner is due a big game and Dara O'Cinneide should contribute from play and placed balls.
But the half forward line is renowned as more of a working trio than a scoring trio - wing men Paul Galvin and Liam Hassett will run and track back all day long but O'Connor wants to see them more involved in the scoring stakes.
"We would love to have all our forwards scoring but they are not all there for that sole purpose," O'Connor explained.
"It's not a major problem when forwards are not scoring a lot once they are working and contributing and I think that the other Kerry forwards are contributing in that sense.
"If their work rate dropped along with their scoring returns, then that would be a worry.
"But I would agree that we need a more even spread among the forwards because the day might come when Colm Cooper has an off-day or gets injured.
"So yes, our over- reliance on one man up front for scores is a concern," O'Connor admitted. …