In The Lead Up To The 1983 Dublin v Cork Game All The Predictions Favoured A Cork Win
For this episode of ‘Through The Championship Years’ we take a look back at the Dublin v Cork 1983 All Ireland semi final replay which was played in Pairc Ui Chaoimh.
It’s a game that is still spoken about today and is part of Dublin GAA folklore, Dublin supporters flocked in their thousands by trains and cars to Leeside, outnumbered the home support in the Cork venue and created an unforgettable carnival atmosphere.
It was certainly Dublin in the rare auld times as the Dubs shocked then reigning All Ireland champions Offaly in the Leinster Final to make the All Ireland Semi Finals and a meeting with Cork.
Cork after years in the shadows of Kerry were once again the top team in Munster in 83’ and were the form team coming into the semi and although Kevin Heffernan’s side had a habit of coming out the right side of Dublin v Cork games all the pre-match predictions were in favour of a Cork win.
Those predictions seemed justified entering the dying embers of their semi-final meeting in Croke Park as Cork led by 2-11 to 1-11. But Cork dropped deep trying to protect their lead and Dublin drive on in search of the equaliser.
Brian Mullins picked up the ball and fed it out to corner-back Ray Hazley who was flying down the left wing and the St Vincents man made an unstoppable run deep into Cork territory, he kicked the ball across the face of the goal and master poacher Barney Rock buried it into the back of the net to draw the team’s level.
So the teams would have to do it all over again, normally that game would have been played in Croke Park but Cork protested to the powers that be in GAA headquarters that Croke Park was effectively Dublin’s home venue (does that sound familiar) and that Cork should be permitted to host the replay.
There were no objections from Dublin and one could sense that the wily fox Kevin Heffernan could use it to Dublin’s advantage.
It was a different world back in ’83, soccer hooliganism had taken a full hold across the water and there was a small group of unruly characters who had attached themselves to the Dublin support and in the build-up to the game there were concerns about the threat of crowd violence at the game and security was increased at the game.
And so to the game, thousands of Dublin fans flooded into the Leeside venue and there were blue flags and blue colour to be seen all around the stadium particularly at the Blackrock end which was christened ‘Hill 17’.
The Dublin players took a pre-match stroll onto the pitch to take in the atmosphere and their appearance on the pitch was greeted with a huge roar from the thousands of Dubs already inside the ground.
Under blue skies the stadium was crackling with electricity and for all the fears leading up to the game about crowd trouble there was a good natured vibe among the supporters from both counties.
Dublin got off to a cracking start in the game when they were awarded a penalty In the third minute after Cork goalkeeper Michael Creedon took down Barney Rock.
Up stepped Brian Mullins to take the spot-kick, Dublin fans held their breath as Mullin’s kick hit the post before rebounding back across the goal and into the net.
That goal gave Dublin all the momentum they needed and Cork had no answers to a rampant Dublin side who raised three more green flags scored by Barney Rock, Ciaran Duff and Joe McNally.
Dublin fans flooded onto the pitch at the final whistle to proclaim their heroes and the game, performance and atmosphere was forever etched into the memories of those who had made the long trip down south.
Dublin would go on a few weeks later to lift the All Ireland title in that infamous final against Galway as the ’12 Apostles’ overcame their numerical disadvantage and claim the Sam Maguire Cup.
B Rock 1-04 (0-4f)
K Duff 1-03
J McNally 1-03
B Mullins 1-0 (1-0pen)
T Conroy 0-02
J Ronayne 0-01
A O’Toole 0-01
J Caffrey 0-01
D Barry 2-01 (1-0 pen)
J Cleary 0-07 (0-6f)
J Kerrigan 0-01
T Murphy 0-01
Dublin: J O’Leary; M Holden, G Hargan, R Hazley; P Canavan, T Drumm, PJ Buckley; J Ronayne, B Mullins ; B Rock, T Conroy, K Duff; J Caffrey, A O’Toole, J McNally. Sub: J Kearns for Caffrey.
Cork: M Creedon; M Healy, K Kehilly, J Evans; M Hannon, C Ryan, J Kerrigan; D Creedon, C Corrigan; T Murphy; E O’Mahony, D Barry; D Allen, J Allen, J Cleary.
Referee: PJ McGrath (Mayo).