The All Ireland Senior Football Semi Final in 2013 between Dublin and Kerry epitomises a storied rivalry

Dublin 3-18
Kerry 3-11
September 1st, 2013. Croke Park

In the Senior Football Championship there is definitely one thing you can always bank on. If it’s a game between Dublin and Kerry, you’ll always get a classic. But the 2013 All Ireland Senior Football Semi Final will probably go down in history as the greatest game between these two massive footballing counties.

Late goals from Kevin McManamon and Eoghan O’Gara won an epic last four clash for Dublin as they fended off Kerry by 3-18 to 3-11.

Kerry stunned the Dubs with three first half goals, two from James O’Donoghue and one from Donnchadh Walsh. Paul Mannion netted for Dublin, but they trailed by 3-05 to 1-09 at the break.

The second half was as nip and tuck as nay battle between these rival sides. But it was McManamon who settled it with a brilliant solo goal in the 70th minute. O’Gara’s strike in stoppage time sealed it. And set up a meeting with Mayo in the Sam Maguire Cup decider.

Michael Darragh Macauley and Bernard Brogan got Dublin up and running early. But they were knocked on their collective backsides when James O’Donoghue netted a seventh minute goal from Donnchadh Walsh’s threaded pass.

Kerry fans were in a frenzy when Walsh fired in a second goal four minutes later from Darran O’Sullivan’s assist.

But their joy lasted less than 60 seconds, with Dublin hitting the net in a devastating counter-attack. Diarmuid Connolly floated in a perfect ball from the left, and a flying Paul Mannion rose to punch to the net past a helpless Brendan Kealy.

Dublin’s attacking style outlasts Kerry’s forward drive

Despite Darran O’Sullivan and Colm Cooper being a constant threat, Dublin continued with an attacking game plan. And they were duly rewarded with a free from Stephen Cluxton and one from play from Bernard Brogan to close the gap to the minimum.

The Dubs conceded a third goal in the 20th minute. Cluxton hauled down Walsh, and O’Donoghue drilled home the penalty for a three points advantage.

From here on until seconds from time it was anybody’s game. Dublin and Kerry went blow for blow, an eye for an eye in a 45 minute period of pure attacking football at its finest.

But as the clock struck the 69th minute, Cluxton launched up a colossal  kick out and among the scramble for the breaking ball Michael Darragh MacAuley got a fist to it.

His fist found Kevin McManamon. He ran into the heart of the Kerry defence and broke Kerry hearts with a beautiful strike past Brendan Kiely into the top right corner.

Croke Park erupted, and it didn’t quiet down after. In injury time, Diarmuid Connolly marched forward and struck over a phenomenal point before an excellent MacAuley run found Eoghan O’Gara who blasted past Kealy again to give Jim Gavin’s team a seven point victory.

A befitting end to one of the greatest games of football ever witnessed in Croke Park. Dublin were in an All-Ireland final, but it was by no means as easy as the scoreline suggested. It was a battle.

Dublin Scorers:

Bernard Brogan 0-6 (2f)
Diarmuid Connolly 0-4 (1f)
Paul Mannion 1-00
Kevin McManamon 1-00
Eoghan O’Gara 1-00
Dean Rock 0-02
Stephen Cluxton 0-01 (1f)
Michael Darragh Macauley 0-01
Cian O’Sullivan 0-01
Ciaran Kilkenny 0-01
Paddy Andrews 0-01
Philly McMahon 0-01

Kerry Scorers:

J O’Donoghue 2-03 (1-00 pen)
C Cooper 0-04 (2f)
D Walsh 1-00
P Galvin 0-02
Darran O’Sullivan 0-01
Declan O’Sullivan 0-01

Dublin:

Stephen Cluxton
Kevin O’Brien
Rory O’Carroll
Jonny Cooper
James McCarthy
Ger Brennan
Jack McCaffrey
Michael Darragh Macauley
Cian O’Sullivan
Paul Flynn
Ciaran Kilkenny
Diarmuid Connolly
Paul Mannion
Paddy Andrews
Bernard Brogan

Dublin Substitutes:

Philly McMahon for O’Brien
Denis Bastick for Brennan
Dean Rock for Kilkenny
Eoghan O’Gara for Mannion
Kevin McManamon for Brogan

Kerry:

Brendan Kealy
Marc O’Sé
Mark Griffin
Shane Enright
Tomás O’Sé
Peter Crowley
Fionn Fitzgerald
Anthony Maher
Johnny Buckley
Paul Galvin
Colm Cooper
Donnocha Walsh
Darran O’Sullivan
Declan O’Sullivan
James O’Donoghue

Kerry Substitutes:

David Moran for Buckley
Eoin Brosnan for Enright
Kieran Donaghy for Galvin
Aidan O’Mahony for Griffin
Jack Sherwood for Crowley

(Video: Dubs Supporters Page via Youtube)