Was The 2013 All Ireland Semi Final The Greatest Game Of All Time?

Dublin and Kerry - All Ireland Semi Final 2013

Ahead of this weekend’s All Ireland Semi Final we take a look at an absolute classic between Dublin and Kerry

Dublin 3-18
Kerry 3-11

Once again Dublin will take on Kerry this weekend. And with a slot in this year’s All Ireland Football Final at stake, we couldn’t go through this week without looking back on some of the greatest games between these two titans.

For many Dublin supporters, young and old, the 2013 All Ireland Semi Final between the titanic pairing trumps the rest. For some it even overshadows Dublin’s 2011 All Ireland Final win over the Kingdom.

Late goals from Kevin McManamon and Eoghan O’Gara saw an incredible end to an epic contest between the best two teams of the year by a mile. Dublin came from behind to fend off Kerry by 3-18 to 3-11

Kerry hit Dublin for three in stunning first half

Three first half goals from James O’Donoghue (2) and Donnchadh Walsh had stunned Dublin. Paul Mannion found a green flag for the Dubs but they trailed by 3-05 to 1-09 at the break. Both sides had dominant spells in the second half. But it was McManamon who settled the match with an incredible goal on the 70th minute. And Eoghan O’Gara put the sine on the result with their third in additional time.

Dublin got off the mark first but were put on the back foot in the seventh when James O’Donoghue found the net for Kerry. Four minutes later Donnchadh Walsh found the net from a Darren O’Sullivan pass.

The rapture of the Kerry support was muted less than a minute late when Paul Mannion punched a beautiful Diarmuid Connolly pass over Brendan Kealy and into the net. But in the 20th minute Stephen Cluxton hauled down Walsh conceding a penalty. O’Donoghue converted perfectly giving them a three point advantage.

A couple of scores for Ciaran Kilkenny after points from Colm Cooper and O’Donoghue left two between the sides at the break.

“It was the game of the year, maybe the game of the decade” – Darragh Maloney (RTÉ)

Dean Rock’s introduction immediately reaped reward as he scored with his first touch. And Dublin just kept plugging and narrowing the gap. Diarmuid Connolly eventually pushed their noses in front, arrowing an incredible ball over the bar. Kerry regained composure.

They drew level twice through Cooper and O’Donoghue before O’Sullivan gave them the lead again in the 63rd. But the game was to take an unbelievable twist.

McManamon gained possession 50 metres out, drove through and planted the perfect shot past Kealy. And in stoppage time O’Gara’s drive smashed against the crossbar and over the line with Rock ensuring it would count.

Dublin Scorers:

Bernard Brogan 0-06 (2f)
Diarmuid Connolly 0-04 (1f)
Paul Mannion 1-00
Eoghan O’Gara 1-00
Kevin McManamon 1-00
Ciaran Kilkenny 0-02
Dean Rock 0-02
Stephen Cluxton 0-01 (1f)
Michael Darragh Macauley 0-01
Cian O’Sullivan 0-01
Paddy Andrews 0-01

Kerry Scorers:

James O’Donoghue 2-03
Colm Cooper 0-04 (2f)
Donnchadh Walsh 1-00
Paul Galvin 0-02
Darran O’Sullivan 0-01
Declan O’Sullivan 0-01


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

Dublin Substitues:

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


Brendan Kealy
Mark O’Se
Mark Griffin
Shane Enright
Tomas O’Se
Peter Crowley
Fionn Fitzgerald
Anthony Maher
Johnny Buckley
Paul Galvin
Colm Cooper
Donnchadh Walsh
Darran O’Sullivan
Declan O’Sullivan
James O’Donoghue

Kerry Substitutes:

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