All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Semi-Final – Dublin 0-22 Kerry 2-14

Dublin defeated Kerry by 0-22 to 2-14 in the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Semi-Final on Sunday August 28th at Croke Park.

All-Ireland SFC Semi-Final – Dublin edge out Kerry

Dublin 0-22 Kerry 2-14

By John Harrington at Croke Park for

When the story of this Dublin team is written, this thrilling All-Ireland semi-final will surely feature prominently in it. The resolve they showed in the face of serious adversity proved once again they have serious grit to complement the outstanding ability in their ranks.

There can be no doubts now that their appetite has been in any way diminished by last year’s All-Ireland success, because they wouldn’t have survived this epic battle with Kerry if it was. Five points down at half-time and still trailing by three with 62 minutes played, Dublin were standing on the precipice. But they dug their heels in, showed tremendous grunt and guile, and found a way to win the game without ever being at their absolute best.

In a match of very fine margins, Dublin’s mixture of fire and focus in extra-time ultimately proved to be the difference. No-one summed up those two qualities more than the brilliant Kevin McManamon. He edged Dublin ahead with an outrageous left-footed point from a tough angle, and then put in a massive hit on Kerry’s Peter Crowley that stopped Kerry dead in their tracks as they came looking for a late equaliser.

Dublin went down the field from there and Diarmuid Connolly kicked the insurance point that sealed the victory. When the final whistle blew the emotional celebrations of the Dublin players told you just how much this victory of the nature of it meant to them.

As they fist-pumped, jumped for joy, and screamed to the heavens, all around them Kerry men fell to the ground in utter devastation. They had given everything of themselves and were both brave and smart in terms of how they took the game to Dublin, but in the end it wasn’t enough.

As a contest, this match had everything, and there was intrigue before a ball was even kicked as both teams made a number of changes to the selections they’d named earlier in the week. Michael Darragh MacAuley and Kevin McManamon came in for Dublin in place of Denis Bastick and Paul Mannion, while Kerry brought in Aidan O’Mahony, Anthony Maher, and Darran O’Sullivan with Brian Ó Beaglaoich, Stephen O’Brien and James O’Donoghue.

That meant Kerry lined out with both Kieran Donaghy and Colm Cooper in their full-forward line, a clear indication they were targeting the Dublin full-back line. That statement of intent didn’t translate to much conviction from Kerry on the field of play in the early stages of the match, though.

Dublin monopolised possession and came rolling forward in wave after blue wave as Kerry struggled to extricate themselves from their own half. Their kick-passing in the first twenty minutes was sloppy, but most damaging of all was their inability to retain possession from their own kick-outs.

By the 12th minute Dublin were 0-4 to no-score ahead and Kerry were already sucking for air. It was Paul Geaney who breathed some life into their challenge by kicking some really clinical scores when the ball finally made its way up to him. Three points from the classy full-forward by the 25th minute helped keep Kerry in touch as they trailed by 0-9 to 0-5, but you got the feeling they were only holding on by their finger-nails.

Then, suddenly, the whole mood of the contest changed when Kerry scored their first goal of the match after 31 minutes. They rolled the dice by pushing right up on Stephen Cluxton’s kick-out so they only had two men inside their own half marking four Dublin forwards.

It’s the sort of thing you see a lot in Australian Rules Football and is a risky tactic, but it paid off in a major way as Geaney intercepted a poor Cluxton kick-out and passed the ball to Donnchadh Walsh who palmed it with precision timing to the onrushing Darran O’Sullivan who roofed it to the net.

Their high-press was effective again from the following kick-out as Geaney won a free that Cooper converted to put Kerry into the lead for the first time in the match. The Kerry supporters and really found their voice by now and nearly took the roof off Croke Park when Geaney then scored their second goal.

Anthony Maher skied a shot for a point that came down on the edge of the Dublin square where Geaney was waiting to get a fist to it. Cluxton scrambled backwards to claw the ball away, but the umpire ruled it had crossed the goal-line, and rose his green flag. Cooper kicked another free just before half-time, so in the space of six minutes Kerry had turned a four-point deficit into a five-point lead. Dublin were reeling, but the half-time break gave them the opportunity to refocus and reset.

Had Kerry managed to kick on again at the start of the second-half then they would have won this match, but instead it was Dublin who seized the initiative as they set about chipping away at Kerry’s lead. They huffed and puffed and struggled to really find their rhythm, but they were doing enough and steadily reeled Kerry in thanks mainly to the accurate free-taking of Dean Rock.

In a match of very fine margins, a few moments stood out as decisive ones. One of them came when Colm Cooper had a very kickable chance on 50 minutes to put Kerry two ahead, but Cluxton stretched ever sinew to catch it above the cross-bar and from there Dublin moved the ball down-field to Brian Fenton who kicked an equaliser.

At that moment Dublin looked like the side with all the momentum, but you have to give Kerry a lot of credit for the way they found a second-wind and moved three points ahead again thanks to some great shooting from Barry John Keane, Paul Geaney, and substitute James O’Donoghue.

When Paul Murphy landed another sweet score after 62 minutes, Kerry were still three points ahead, but they just couldn’t hold on. They visibly tired down the home straight, retreated into their own half, and invited Dublin onto them. Philly McMahon raided downfield for a point that gave Dublin renewed hope, and Dean Rock followed up with two pointed frees to level the game before McManamon edged his team again with that special point in injury-time.

There was one last kick in Kerry when Steven O’Brien briefly brought them level with a fisted effort, but Dublin patiently worked their way down the field to create an opening for Eoghan O’Gara that he took brilliantly.

Then came the McManamon hit on Crowley that Kerry will argue should have earned them a free, and Dublin swept down the field again to seal the deal with a typically classy point from Diarmuid Connolly. It was a seriously gutsy victory for the Dubs, but Kerry earned a lot of honour in defeat.

Scorers for Dublin: Dean Rock 0-12 (8f, 2 ’45), Kevin McManamon 0-3, Diarmuid Connolly 0-2, Bernard Brogan 0-2, Philly McMahon 0-1, Eoghan O’Gara 0-1, Brian Fenton 0-1.

Scorers for Kerry: Paul Geaney 1-4, Colm Cooper 0-5 (4f), Darran O’Sullivan 1-0, David Moran 0-1, Stephen O’Brien 0-1, Paul Murphy 0-1, James O’Donoghue 0-1, Billy John Keane 0-1.

Dublin: Stephen Cluxton; Philip McMahon, Jonny Cooper, David Byrne; James McCarthy, Cian O’Sullivan, John Small; Brian Fenton, Michael Darragh MacAuley; Paul Flynn, Kevin McManamon, Ciarán Kilkenny; Dean Rock, Diarmuid Connolly, Bernard Brogan. Subs: Paddy Andrews for Paul Flynn (46), Paul Mannion for John Small (50), Eoghan O’Gara for Michael Darragh MacAuley (60), Michael Fitzsimons for Jonny Cooper (67), Cormac Costello for Bernard Brogan (71)

Kerry: Brian Kelly; Shane Enright, Mark Griffin, Kilian Young; Aidan O’Mahony, Peter Crowley, Tadhg Morley; Anthony Maher, David Moran; Paul Murphy, Colm Cooper, Donnchadh Walsh; Paul Geaney, Kieran Donaghy, Darran O’Sullivan. Subs: Stephen O’Brien for Darran O’Sullivan (40), James O’Donoghue for Kieran Donaghy (50), Barry John Keane for Donnchadh Walsh (52), Brian Ó Beaglaoich for Tadhg Morley (56), Bryan Sheehan for Anthony Maher (59), Marc Ó Sé for Paul Geaney (67)

Ref: David Gough (Meath)

Fixture Details

28.08.2016 (Sun)
GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final
Páirc an Chrócaigh 15:30
Áth Cliath v Ciarraí
Referee: David Gough (An Mhí)

Team News

The Kerry Senior Football Team to play Dublin in the All Ireland Senior Football Championship Semi Final in Croke Park on Sunday (3:30pm) shows just one change in personnel from the side that defeated Clare in the All Ireland Quarter Final; Colm Cooper returns to the forward line following injury to the exclusion of Darran O’Sullivan. Michael Geaney and Johnny Buckley also return to the match day squad following injury.

The team, captained by Killian Young is as follows:
1. Brian Kelly Killarney Legion
2. Shane Enright Tarbert
3. Mark Griffin St Michaels/Foilmore
4. Killian Young (C) Renard
5. Brian Ó Beaglaoich An Ghaeltacht
6. Peter Crowley Laune Rangers
7. Tadhg Morley Templenoe
8. Kieran Donaghy Austin Stacks
9. David Moran Kerins O’Rahillys
10. Paul Murphy Rathmore
11. Colm Cooper Dr Crokes
12. Donnchadh Walsh Cromane
13. Stephen O’Brien Kenmare
14. Paul Geaney Dingle
15. James O’Donoghue Killarney Legion
Fir Ionaid:
16. Brendan Kealy Kilcummin
17. Darran O’Sullivan Glenbeigh-Glencar
18. Bryan Sheehan St Marys
19. Barry John Keane Kerins O’Rahillys
20. Marc Ó Sé An Ghaeltacht
21. Jonathan Lyne Killarney Legion
22. Fionn Fitzgerald Dr Crokes
23. Anthony Maher Duagh
24. Aidan O’Mahony Rathmore
25. Michael Geaney Dingle
26. Johnny Buckley Dr Crokes

Bainisteóir: Eamonn Fitzmaurice (Finuge)
Róghnóirí: Diarmuid Murphy (Dingle), Mikey Sheehy (Austin Stacks), Padraig Corcoran (Dingle), Liam Hassett (Laune Rangers).

Additional Info:
Colm Cooper – Plays in his 85th Championship game for Kerry – he is 3rd behind Tomás and Marc Ó Sé in the list of Championship appearances for Kerry.

Kieran Donaghy – Plays in his 60th Championship game for Kerry having made his debut against Cork in 2005 – has scored 13-32 in championship.

Brian Ó Beaglaioch (An Ghaeltacht) – Made his Championship debut against Clare in the Munster semi final having made his League debut against Dublin in the AFL Round 1 earlier in the year. He also played in the McGrath Cup in January. Brian won an All Ireland Minor medal with Kerry in 2014 in the full back position and has 2 Hogan Cup (2014 & 2015) and 3 Munster Colleges (Corn Uí Mhuirí) medals being joint Captain with Mark O’Connor for Pobal Scoil Chorca Dhuibhne last year.

Tadhg Morley (Templenoe) – A Primary Teacher who made his Championship debut against Clare in the Munster semi final, Tadhg played Minor for Kerry in 2010 and 2011 and Under 21 for the county in 2012 and 2013. He was centre back on the Kerry team that won the All Ireland Junior title last year. He captained Templenoe to County, Munster and All Ireland Junior Club titles 2015/16.

All Ireland Final 2015 – In all, the team shows 6 changes in personnel from the side that took the field in the All Ireland Final last September – Brian Kelly, Mark Griffin, Brian Ó Beaglaoich, Tadhg Morley, Kieran Donaghy and Paul Murphy replace Brendan Kealy, Fionn Fitzgerald, Aidan O’Mahony, Jonathan Lyne, Anthony Maher and Johnny Buckley.

Dublin (SFC v Kerry): Stephen Cluxton; Philly McMahon, Jonny Cooper, David Byrne; James McCarthy, Cian O’Sullivan, John Small; Denis Bastick, Brian Fenton; Paul Flynn, Paul Mannion, Ciaran Kilkenny; Dean Rock, Diarmuid Connolly, Bernard Brogan.


It’s one of the great rivalries in Gaelic football and it’s coming your way for the 29th time in Croke Park next Sunday (3.30) when Dublin and Kerry meet in the second All-Ireland semi-final to decide who plays Mayo in the final on September 18.

The senior game will be preceded by the Kerry v Kildare Electric Ireland minor semi-final (1.30) to decide who plays Galway in the final.

Dublin v Kerry is a repeat of last year’s final which Jim Gavin’s men won by three points in what was their third successive championship victory over Kerry, having also won the 2013 semi-final and 2011 final. It leaves Kerry seeking their first win over their great rivals since 2009.

This will be the third meeting between the counties this year, with Dublin having won the previous two in the Allianz League. They won by 2-14 to 0-14 in the first round and by 2-18 to 0-13 in the final.

Dublin 2-21 Laois 2-10 (Leinster quarter-final)
Dublin 0-21 Meath 0-11 (Leinster semi-final)
Dublin 2-19 Westmeath 0-10 (Leinster final)
Dublin 1-15 Donegal 1-10 (All-Ireland quarter-final)

Dean Rock…… …….1-33 (0-27frees, 0-1 ‘45’)
Diarmuid Connolly…..1-11
Bernard Brogan………1-7
Kevin McManamon…..1-6
Kerry 2-23 Clare 0-17 (Munster semi-final)
Kerry 3-17 Tipperary 2-10 (Munster final)
Kerry 2-16 Clare 0-11 (All-Ireland quarter-final)
Paul Geaney….. ……2-12 (0-4frees)
Stephen O’Brien…..1-7
James O’Donoghue…0-9 (0-5 frees)
Darran O’Sullivan…..1-5

This will be the 29th championship meeting between the counties since they first met in 1892. Kerry have won 17 times to Dublin’s nine while there were two draws from the previous 28 clashes.

2015: Dublin 0-12 Kerry 0-9 (All-Ireland final)
2013: Dublin 3-18 Kerry 3-11 (All-Ireland semi-final)
2011: Dublin 1-12 Kerry 1-11 (All-Ireland final)
2009: Kerry 1-24 Dublin 1-7 (All-Ireland quarter-final)
2007: Kerry 1-15 Dublin 0-16 (All-Ireland semi-final)
2004: Kerry 1-15 Dublin 1-8 (All-Ireland quarter-final)
2001: Kerry 2-12 Dublin 1-12 (All-Ireland quarter-final replay)
2001: Kerry 1-14 Dublin 2-11 (All-Ireland quarter-final)
1985: Kerry 2-12 Dublin 2-8 (All-Ireland final)
1984: Kerry 0-14 Dublin 1-6 (All-Ireland final)
1979: Kerry 3-13 Dublin 1-8 (All-Ireland final)
1978: Kerry 5-11 Dublin 0-9 (All-Ireland final)
1977: Dublin 3-12 Kerry 1-13 (All-Ireland semi-final)
1976: Dublin 3-8 Kerry 0-10 (All-Ireland final)
1975: Kerry 2-12 Dublin 0-11 (All-Ireland final)
1965: Kerry 4-8 Dublin 2-6 (All-Ireland semi-final)
1962: Kerry 2-12 Dublin 0-10 (All-Ireland semi-final)
1959: Kerry 1-10 Dublin 2-5 (All-Ireland semi-final)
1955: Kerry 0-12 Dublin 1-6 (All-Ireland final)
1941: Kerry 2-9 Dublin 0-3 (All-Ireland semi-final replay)
1941: Kerry 0-4 Dublin 0-4 (All-Ireland semi-final)
1934: Dublin 3-8 Kerry 0-6 (All-Ireland semi-final)
1932: Kerry 1-3 Dublin 1-1 (All-Ireland semi-final)
1924: Kerry 0-4 Dublin 0-3 (All-Ireland final)
1923: Dublin 1-5 Kerry 1-3 (All-Ireland final)
1908: Dublin 0-10 Kerry 0-3 (All-Ireland final)
1904: Kerry 0-5 Dublin 0-2 (All-Ireland final)
1892 Dublin 1-4 Kerry 0-3 (All-Ireland final)

This will be the 11th semi-final meeting between them, with Kerry having won
six to Dublin’s three with one draw from the previous ten.
2013: Dublin 3-18 Kerry 3-11
2007: Kerry 1-15 Dublin 0-16
1977: Dublin 3-12 Kerry 1-13
1965: Kerry 4-8 Dublin 2-6
1962: Kerry 2-12 Dublin 0-10
1959: Kerry 1-10 Dublin 2-5
1941: Kerry 2-9 Dublin 0-3
1941: Kerry 0-4 Dublin 0-4
1934: Dublin 3-8 Kerry 0-6
1932: Kerry 1-3 Dublin 1-1

Dublin have won two, lost two and drawn one of their last five semi-finals;
Kerry have won three, lost one and drawn one.

2015: Dublin 3-15 Mayo 1-14 (replay)
2015: Dublin 2-12 Mayo 1-15 (draw)
2014: Donegal 3-14 Dublin 0-17
2013: Dublin 3-18 Kerry 3-11
2012: Mayo 0-19 Dublin 0-16

2015: Kerry 0-18 Tyrone 1-11
2014: Kerry 3-16 Mayo 3-13 (replay –aet)
2014: Kerry 1-16 Mayo 1-16 (draw)
2013: Dublin 3-18 Kerry 3-11
2011: Kerry 1-20 Mayo 1-11

Dublin 2-18 Kerry 0-13 (24 April, Croke Park)
Dublin led by 0-10 to 0-8 at half-time and by 0-13 to 0-11 when Kerry had Aidan O’Mahony sent off in the second half. Dublin out-scored Kerry by 2-3 to 0-0 in the final ten minutes.

Dublin: S Cluxton; P McMahon, J Cooper (0-1), D Byrne; J McCarthy, C O’Sullivan, J Small; B Fenton (0-1), D Bastick; P Flynn (1-0), D Rock (0-5, 0-3 frees, 1-0 pen) C Kilkenny (0-2); P Mannion (0-1), D Connolly ((0-1), B Brogan (0-4).
Subs: MD Macauley for Bastick; K McManamon (0-2) for Connolly, C Costello (0-1) for Rock, M Fitzsimons for McMahon, E Lowndes (1-0) for

Kerry: B Kealy; M O Se, M Griffin, S Enright; P Crowley (0-2), A O’Mahony, F Fitzgerald; K Donaghy (0-1), D Moran; B Sheehan (0-3 frees), P Murphy (0-1), D Walsh (0-1); D O’Sullivan (0-2), C Cooper (0-1), S O’Brien (0-2).
Subs: K Young for Fitzgerald; B O’Sullivan for Walsh, J Lyne for Griffin, BJ Keane for O’Brien; P O’Connor for Crowley, M Geaney for Murphy.