The Dublin v Tyrone 1995 All Ireland Final Had Is Fair Share Of Controversy

In this edition of ‘Through The Championship Years’ we go back to the Dublin v Tyrone 1995 All Ireland Final in Croke Park On September 17th.

Dublin headed into that game looking to bridge a long gap and win their first All Ireland title in 12 years.

The early 90’s hadn’t been kind to the Dubs as they suffered heartbreak after heartbreak in their pursuit of the ultimate prize.

With no backdoor system it was pure knockout and old rivals Meath ensured Dublin’s summer journey was to be a short one in both 1990 and 91.

A Colm O’Rourke goal separated the sides in the 90’ Leinster Final as Sean Boylan’s side collecting the Delaney Cup after a 1-14 to 0-14 win.

The following year and once again it was to be The Royals who were to inflict further disappointment on the Dubs as they produced a stunning comeback in the fourth game of the 91 saga that captured the imagination of the country.

More heartache was to follow in 1992, 93′ and 94′. Under the management of Paddy Cullen Dublin qualified for the 92’ All Ireland Final.

The Dubs were red hot favorites to win, but a Declan Bonner and Manus Boyle inspired Donegal outfit were in no mood to follow that particular script and took the victory by 0-18 to 0-14.

Dublin were to come up short at the penultimate stage in 93’ as Derry fought back from six points down to pip the Dubs by a single point with the final score 0-15 to 0-14.

That Dublin squad though was full of character and put that defeat behind them and qualified for the 94’ All Ireland Final, but on that soaking wet September Sunday they somehow despite dominating possession lost to Down by 1-12 to 0-13.

So heading into the 1995 All Ireland Final there was some talk that for this aging Dublin team which had been on the road since 88’ that it was possibly the last chance saloon for them to claim an All Ireland title.

Peter ‘The Great’ Canavan was the talk of the town and seen as the ace in the hole for Tyrone to unlock the Dublin defence.

Dublin’s regular full-back Dermot Deasy was ruled out through injury but Canavan came up against an equally formidable opponent in the shape of Ciarán Walsh.

Ciarán held the Tyrone man to just one point from play and although Canavan converted 10 frees on the day only one was directly conceded by Walsh.

Dublin Had Their Own Ace In The Hole In The Shape Of Jason Sherlock

Dublin had their own ace in the hole up front in the diminutive figure of 19 year old Jason Sherlock who had terrorised defences in his debut season.

Although Sherlock didn’t score in the final, his part in the decisive goal of the game more than made up for it. He beat the Tyrone keeper in a foot race for the ball and toe poked it towards goal for the on-rushing Charlie Redmond to finish to the net.

There was plenty of controversy in the game and Redmond was caught in the thick of it.

Charlie only played after passing a late fitness test, he wasn’t though fully fit and was unable to take all the frees.

In a free-ridden game and the free taking duties spread around a number of players who weren’t as accurate as Redmond, those missed opportunities allowed Tyrone to stay in the game.

Tyrone got off to a flying start and led by three points, but Dublin settled into the game and quickly drew level.

That Charlie Redmond goal in the 25th minute helped Dublin to take a 1-08 to 0-06 lead into the Croke Park dressing rooms at the break.

It was a tense second half, in the 46th minute Redmond was deemed to have head-butted an opponent in an off the ball incident.

Referee Paddy Russell sent Charlie off, but he didn’t leave the field and it was a further two minutes before the referee noticed the Dublin forward was still on the pitch and ordered him off a second time.

Dublin would have to play with 14 for the remaining 25 minutes of play and with the smell of blood in their nostrils Tyrone piled on the pressure and started to whittle away at the Dublin lead.

There was further controversy in the dying seconds of the game. With just a point between the sides Seán McLaughlin thought he had earned his side a draw when he scored a point from a pass from Peter Canavan.

But the referee ruled that Canavan had touched the ball on the ground in the build up and awarded a free out to Dublin and with it the All Ireland title they so craved.

After the previous years heartbreaks it was all the sweeter and just reward for a group of players who had given everything to the cause and showed tremendous character and courage to keep coming back year after year.

Dublin Scorers: D Farrell 0-04 (1f), C Redmond 1-01 (0-1f), P Clarke 0-02 (1f), K Barr 0-01 (f), J Gavin 0-01, P Curran 0-01.

Tyrone Scorers: P Canavan 0-11 (10f), J Gormley 0-01.

Dublin: J O’Leary (capt); P Moran, C Walsh, K Galvin; P Curran, K Barr, M Deegan; P Bealin, B Stynes; J Gavin, D Farrell, P Clarke; M Galvin, J Sherlock, C Redmond.

Subs: P Gilroy for K Galvin; R Boyle for M Galvin; V Murphy for Farrell.

Tyrone: F McConnell; P Devlin, C Lawn, F Devlin; R McGarrihy, S McCallan, S McLaughlin; F Logan, J Gormley; C Corr (capt), Pascal Canavan, C Loughran; C McBride, Peter Canavan, S Lawn.

Subs: M McGleenan for C Loughran; B Gormley for S Lawn; P Donnelly for S McCallan.

Referee: P Russell (Tipperary)

Video Credit: Official GAA via YouTube.