Monday 22 October 2018

1978: 'Bomber' leads Kerry rout

Kerry 5-11
Dublin 0-9

Mikey Sheehy's cheeky goal, plus 'Bomber' Liston's three-goal blitz are still widely recalled from a game where treble-seeking Dublin were demolished, but it was the manner in which the trend changed so dramatically which left observers totally baffled.

Dublin had beaten Kerry in both the 1976 All-Ireland final and the 1977 semi-final and were well fancied to run up a third successive win. It looked as if they were on their way when they raced into a five-point lead (0-6 to 0-1) in the first half -- indeed there were fears among Kerry supporters that they were about to witness a heavy defeat. Dublin were adventurous and innovative, stretching Kerry across all their lines and they seemed to have their opponents in such a tight grip that there would be escape.

Then, all changed. John Egan flashed home a Kerry goal and shortly afterwards Sheehy's opportunism enabled him to chip the ball to the Dublin net from a free. It was Sheehy at his instinctive best as he steered the ball over Paddy Cullen as the startled Dublin goalkeeper retreated towards his line in a desperate attempt to avert the danger.

Should the goal have been allowed? It's a source of debate to this day, but it certainly played a huge part in shaping the game.

Dublin were shell-shocked to find themselves trailing by two points (2-3 to 0-7) at half-time, but there was much worse to come in the second half when 'Bomber' Liston scored three further Kerry goals to leave Dublin trailing by 17 points.

Dublin had put 5-12 on Armagh in the 1977 final and would have never have foreseen that, in the space of 12 months. they would lose by an even bigger margin. It was the start of a four-in-a-row run by Kerry, a remarkable period of dominance which certainly didn't look likely when they found themselves five points down in the first half of the 1978 final.

Dublin re-grouped in 1979 and qualified for a sixth successive All-Ireland final, but once again, found Kerry far too strong. Kerry won by 3-13 to 1-8 but many would feel that the real damage was done a year earlier when Kerry overwhelmed them. It was Kerry at their vintage best as they wound up for an extended period of dominance.

Kerry -- C Nelligan; J Deenihan, J O'Keeffe, M Spillane; P O Se, T Kennelly, P Lynch; J O'Shea, S Walsh; G Power, D 'Ogie' Moran (capt), P Spillane; M Sheehy, E Liston, J Egan. Sub: P O'Mahony for Deenihan.

Dublin -- P Cullen; G O'Driscoll, S Doherty, R Kelleher; T Drumm, K Moran, P O'Neill; B Mullins, B Brogan; A O'Toole, T Hanahoe (capt), D Hickey; B Doyle, J Keaveney, J McCarthy.

Ref -- S Aldridge (Kildare).

Attendance -- 71,503.

Irish Independent

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