As All Ireland Memories go securing an historic five in a row in last year’s All Ireland Championship will live forever
Kerry tried in 1982 but their attempt was foiled. Now Dublin have created a new chapter in the GAA history books.
All credit to Kerry for pushing that dream out by two weeks but ultimately it was Dublin’s day.
In a hugely improved performance from two weeks ago, Dublin got everything right. Kerry were worth the ticket price in the first half but Dublin’s dominance in the second, tied with Gavin nailing his bench changes, saw his side comfortably seal the deal.
As the second half got underway the unlikely hero Eoin Murchan darted towards the Davin end. Leaving his post marking Sean O’Shea, Murchan grabbed the end of a David Moran punched down ball and ran right down the middle of the Croke Park pitch.
As he approached Shane Ryan’s goal his nerves of steel shone through as he smashed the ball into the top right corner. And from there Dublin never looked like losing their lead with Con O’Callaghan pointing seconds later.
Unshakable To The Bitter End
Kerry to their credit knocked off three scores to get within a point of Dublin by the 45th minute but could get no closer as Dublin held them to only two more scores in the half. A goal chance in the 53rd was shut down by an amazing Stephen Cluxton stop on Stephen O’Brien’s shot.
Dean Rock sealed the deal with the last scores of the game. Diarmuid Connolly could have shattered Kerry hearts even further but for the estute goalkeeping of Ryan.
The opening half was a proper man to man contest. As Finals go this was a tight as a neutral would want with the teams finishing with ten scores each at the interval.
Dublin came out the gate like a ravenous pack of wolves, always eyeing goalward.
O’Callaghan, Ciaran Kilkenny and Paul Mannion had bagged early points to get the reigning champions up and running early. By the eight minute they’d opened a four point lead at 0-05 to 0-01.
Kerry however didn’t just come to make up the numbers and slowly chipped back at the lead, thanks to attacking trio David Clifford, Sean O’Shea and Paul Geaney. Between them they bagged 0-14.
But today belonged to Dublin. The players can be assured of a place in history forever. And you would question who, if anyone will win five in a row again or anytime soon.
Scorers for Dublin:
Ciaran Kilkenny 0-04
Con O’Callaghan 0-04
Paul Mannion 0-04
Dean Rock 0-03 (1 ’45)
Eoin Murchan 1-00
David Byrne 0-01
James McCarthy 0-01
Niall Scully 0-01
Scorers for Kerry:
Seán O’Shea 0-05 (3f)
David Clifford 0-05 (1f)
Paul Geaney 0-04
Adrian Spillane 0-01
1. Stephen Cluxton
2. David Byrne
3. Jonny Cooper
4. Michael Fitzsimons
6. James McCarthy
7. John Small
8. Brian Fenton
24. Eoin Murchan
10. Niall Scully
11. Ciarán Kilkenny
12. Brian Howard
13. Paul Mannion
14. Con O’Callaghan
15. Dean Rock
19. Diarmuid Connolly for McCaffrey (HT)
22. Philly McMahon for Murchan (55)
20. Cormac Costello for Scully (58)
25. Cian O’Sullivan for Byrne (68)
23. Kevin McManamon for Mannion (68)
9. Michael Darragh MacAuley for Howard (74)
1. Shane Ryan
2. Jason Foley
3. Tadhg Morley
4. Tom O’Sullivan
5. Paul Murphy
6. Gavin Crowley
7. Brian Ó Beaglaoich
8. David Moran
9. Jack Barry
23. Diarmuid O’Connor
11. Sean O’Shea
12. Stephen O’Brien
13. David Clifford
14. Paul Geaney
15. Adrian Spillane
10. Gavin White for Adrian Spillane (51)
19. Jack Sherwood for Ó Beaglaoich (51)
21. Tommy Walsh for O’Connor (55)
18. Killian Spillane for Murphy (59)
26. James O’Donoghue for Barry (64)
20. Dara Moynihan for Crowley (71)