Sunday 11 December 2016

Flashback - This weekend in past seasons

Published 21/08/2015 | 02:30

Cork's Donncha OConnor
Cork's Donncha OConnor
Ger Farragher, Galway
Maurice Fitzgerald, Kerry

5 Years ago this week - O’Connor fires Rebels through

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Cork 1-15 Dublin 1-14

ALL-IRELAND SFC SEMI-FINAL

Cork came from behind in the closing four minutes of this one to book their place in the final for the second year running, having lost the big one to Kerry in 2009.

The Dubs burst out of the blocks and Footballer of the Year elect Bernard Brogan, who also finished as man of the match, bagged the game’s first goal after just 65 seconds.

Using the ultra-defensive system masterminded by manager Pat Gilroy and honed during the summer, the Boys in Blue remained in front and when a Conal Keaney free put them two up on 66 minutes, 1-13 to 1-11, the deal looked done. But the Rebels had been hunting Sam Maguire for several years and they weren’t about to end their search there. They pushed hard, forcing Dublin into indiscipline and three late frees from Donncha O’Connor plus a Derek Kavanagh point saw them suddenly two up.

Brogan cut the gap to the minimum to bring his personal haul to 1-7 for the day, though Cork held on. Dubs midfielder Ross McConnell was sent off close to the final whistle for a sloppy foul, which O’Connor punished.

10 Years ago this week - Farragher stars in upset

Galway 5-18 Kilkenny 4-18

ALL-IRELAND SHC SEMI-FINAL

Galway triumphed in one of the most remarkable All-Ireland SHC semi-finals of all time, squeezing through by three points following a nine-goal thriller.

Man of the match Ger Farragher finished with 2-9 for the Tribesmen, both of his goals coming in the first half, while Niall Healy got a second-half hat-trick to set up a final date with Cork.

This game was enthralling from the start, though Kilkenny weren’t showing any of their normal defensive solidity as they leaked goals. That said, the Cats started like a bullet from a gun.

With Eddie Brennan taking Damien Joyce for 1-2 early on

they smartly opened a 1-3 to 0-2 lead.

Ultimately though it was two goal sprees, one in each half, that proved their undoing. Farragher got his two just before the break while Healy added his three close to the end of the game.

Kilkenny kept fighting though and came from 5-17 to 3-12 down late in the game to almost force a replay.

Brennan (2), John Hoyne and Henry Shefflin got the goals for the Cats.

To many, this remains one of the greatest games of all time.

15 years ago this week - Maurice Fitz the bill for Kerry

Armagh 2-11 Kerry 2-11

ALL-IRELAND SFC SEMI-FINAL

Maurice Fitzgerald may not have started this game, but he certainly finished it in style.

Left on the bench by boss Páidí Ó Sé, the Kerry genius came into the action shortly after half-time and stamped his authority all over this contest.

He grabbed a goal that looked to have won it for the Kingdom and then in injury-time he kicked a pressure free to equalise after an amazing Armagh comeback.

A replay was the least these two teams deserved after an absorbing contest. Kerry led by 1-3 after just six minutes thanks to Dara Ó Cinnéide’s goal, but the Orchard County refused to lie down.

Barry O’Hagan got their first goal and, still trailing near the end, Andy McCann raised the green flag in the last minute of normal time to equalise.

Kieran McGeeney fired over the lead score as this game ticked into injury-time, leaving Kerry reeling. As he had done so often before though, Fitzgerald showed nerves of steel to drive over the equaliser on 74 minutes.

Seamus Moynihan was named man of the match, proving his versatility by standing in as full-back for Kerry.

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