Wednesday 28 September 2016

The best of the best in the modern era

Published 30/08/2016 | 02:30

Dublin’s Ciarán Kilkenny catches the ball ahead of Kerry’s Paul Murphy and David Moran during Sunday’s All-Ireland SFC semi-final at Croke Park. Photo: Sportsfile
Dublin’s Ciarán Kilkenny catches the ball ahead of Kerry’s Paul Murphy and David Moran during Sunday’s All-Ireland SFC semi-final at Croke Park. Photo: Sportsfile

Colm Keys assesses where Sunday's thrilling encounter lies in the pantheon of great games

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1. 2016 All-Ireland semi-final

Dublin 0-22, Kerry 2-14

Possibly edges 2013 as the best game of modern times because it effectively went the distance with incredible endeavour from both sides.

2. 2013 All-Ireland semi-final

Dublin 3-18, Kerry 3-11

With three minutes of normal time remaining Kerry led by a point. When it finally rested they were seven adrift. That was Dublin then and that's still pretty much Dublin now as they struck for two late goals.

3. 1977 All-Ireland semi-final

Dublin 3-12, Kerry 1-13

Pat Spillane has suggested in the past that it was "the result the Dublin media wanted" that made it so great. But in the context of the era all the chips from the previous three years were on the table in this one.

4. 2008 All-Ireland final

Tyrone 1-15, Kerry 0-14

More Kerry misery in an epic game as Tyrone hit five unanswered points in the last 13 minutes to break Kingdom resilience in the era's defining game.

5. 2005 All-Ireland semi final

Tyrone 1-13, Armagh 1-12

Peter Canavan's late conversion of a free frames this most primal of All-Ireland semi-finals as Tyrone and Armagh left a nasty Ulster final replay at Croke Park some weeks earlier behind them with an epic contest.

6. 1994 Ulster quarter final

Down 1-14, Derry 1-12

The context here was the rise of Ulster football with three different All-Ireland winners in the three previous years. Before 30,000 at Celtic Park, Mickey Linden kicked six points to make the difference.

7. 1997 Leinster s/f replay

Meath 2-20, Kildare 3-17

Two incredible rallies by the then 'kings of the comeback' Meath as they came from five and then six points down in extra-time.

8. 1982 All-Ireland final

Offaly 1-15, Kerry 0-17

Difficult conditions and the football didn't always flow but the drama and tension of Kerry being denied five-in-a-row through Seamus Darby's late goal make this arguably Gaelic football's most famous match.

9. 2006 All-Ireland semi-final

Mayo 1-16, Dublin 2-12

Ciaran McDonald's late winner came after Mayo found themselves down by eight points early in the second half. But in eight minutes they had wiped out that deficit.

10.1991 Leinster 1st Rnd third replay

Meath 2-10, Dublin 0-15

Much like the 1982 All-Ireland final the concluding stages redeem anything that was lost in quality. Kevin Foley's equalising goal spanned the length of the field after Dublin had for so long looked likely winners in the fourth game between them.

Irish Independent

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