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5 of the most memorable Allianz Football League Division 1 finals

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Dessie Farrell, Dublin, in action against Donegal's Barry McGowan, 4 and John Duffy, left. 1993 National Football League Final. Picture credit; Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

Dessie Farrell, Dublin, in action against Donegal's Barry McGowan, 4 and John Duffy, left. 1993 National Football League Final. Picture credit; Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

Dessie Farrell, Dublin, in action against Donegal's Barry McGowan, 4 and John Duffy, left. 1993 National Football League Final. Picture credit; Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

1993 – Dublin 0-10 Donegal 0-6 (replay)

“Tommy Carr should get himself sent off more often,” read an Irish Independent report.

“If he had played his brilliant best for the full 60 minutes of the National Football League final replay against Donegal he could not have had a more inspirational impact on his 14 team-mates as when he was ordered off.”

Carr was sent to the line just a few minutes into the game. And with many feeling like they had missed their chance in the drawn game, Dublin looked to be facing into an uphill battle against the side that had upset the odds and beaten the Dubs in the previous September’s All-Ireland final.

The drawn game had been a hot-tempered affair and as such, the replay drew a crowd of 59,703 to Croke Park to see Pat O’Neill’s men overcome the odds.

SCORERS – Dublin: P Clarke 0-5 (3 ’45s, 2f); V Murphy, N Guiden 0-2 each; J Gavin 0-1. Donegal: M Boyle 0-3 (3f); A Molloy, J McHugh, B Cunningham 0-1 each.

DUBLIN – J O’Leary; C Walsh, D Deasy, P Moran; E Heery, P Curran, M Deegan; J Sheedy, P Bealin; J Gavin, T Carr, N Guiden; P Clarke, V Murphy, M Doran.

DONEGAL – G Walsh; JJ Doherty, M Gallagher, B McGowan; D Reid, N Hegarty, M Shovlin; A Molloy, B Murray; J McHugh, B Cunningham, J McMullen; D Bonner, T Boyle, M Boyle. Subs: Maguire for McMullen, M Gavigan for Shovlin, M McHugh for Cunningham.

2011 – Cork 0-21 Dublin 2-14

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The Dublin and Cork teams during the pre-match parade. 2011 Allianz Football League Division 1 Final. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

The Dublin and Cork teams during the pre-match parade. 2011 Allianz Football League Division 1 Final. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

The Dublin and Cork teams during the pre-match parade. 2011 Allianz Football League Division 1 Final. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

In winning here, Cork moved into heady territory not visited for 74 years as they emulated Mayo by winning successive leagues, separated by the major September prize.

And if this success, coming as it did off the back of a stirring comeback that saw Cork eight points down after 40 minutes, looked like it could have been the start of something special for the Rebels, it actually served as a springboard for Dublin.

Pat Gilroy’s side had collapsed down the home straight and were outscored by 0-11 to 0-2 echoing some big Croke Park no-shows in previous seasons. Gilroy, however, launched an impassioned defence of his players.

“Do you think I’m going to say yes to that now, in fairness?” Gilroy replied when asked if the Dublin team had a mental block.

“If I really believed that, I should walk out the door here and never be in front of that team again.

“This team have character and guts to put up with the kind of stuff that surrounds them every day, and they get back out there and they train and they work.

“And I tell you, they’re the most honest guys and they’ll get stick for this – we had an eight-point lead and we lost.

“People will say what you just said, and we’ll deal with that. And we have to deal with it because that’s our job, because we are the Dublin team and we have to listen to that. And when we have the All-Ireland – someday – that’s when we’ll stop hearing that.”

Little did we know . . .

SCORERS – Cork: C Sheehan, D Goulding (2f) 0-4 each; P Kelly, D O’Connor (3f), P O’Neill 0-3 each; J O’Sullivan, N O’Leary, F Goold, F Lynch 0-1 each. Dublin: B Brogan 1-3 (1f); T Quinn 1-2; K McManamon 0-5; D Connolly 0-2; B Cahill, K Nolan 0-1 each.

CORK – K O’Halloran; R Carey, M Shields, J O’Sullivan; N O’Leary, J Miskella, P Kissane; A O’Connor, P O’Neill; P Kerrigan, P Kelly, F Gould; D Goulding, D O’Connor, C Sheehan. Subs: F Lynch for Goold (26, inj), D O’Sullivan for Miskella (28, inj), D Goold for Kerrigan (37, inj), N Murphy for O’Connor (65).

DUBLIN – S Cluxton; M Fitzsimons, P Brogan, P McMahon; B Cahill, G Brennan, K Nolan; D Bastick, M D Macauley; P Flynn, K McManamon, B Cullen (capt.); T Quinn, D Connolly, B Brogan. Subs: D Daly for Cullen (47, inj), P Burke for Brogan (51, inj), D Kelly for Connolly (55), P Andrews for Daly (63), D Lally for Cahill (72).

2013 – Dublin 0-18 Tyrone 0-17

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Jack McCaffrey, Dublin, 7, scores what proved to be his sides winning point. 2013 Allianz Football League Division 1 Final, Dublin v Tyrone. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Jack McCaffrey, Dublin, 7, scores what proved to be his sides winning point. 2013 Allianz Football League Division 1 Final, Dublin v Tyrone. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

Jack McCaffrey, Dublin, 7, scores what proved to be his sides winning point. 2013 Allianz Football League Division 1 Final, Dublin v Tyrone. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE

“If the sign-off game from NFL 2013 holds any indication of what the championship has in store, then it’s going to be a wonderful summer,” wrote Martin Breheny in the Irish Independent.

This game hinted at what was to come. Dublin won their first league title in 20 years and would go on to win that year’s All-Ireland crown.

And as would often be the case in the years that followed, Dean Rock played a crucial role.

Despite losing Stephen O’Neill to a freak pre-match injury when he damaged his ankle after slipping on a ball, Tyrone defied pre-match odds of 3/1 and had their noses in front for long periods.

However, two points from Rock, who replaced Bernard Brogan in the 58th minute, and one by Jack McCaffrey in the final four minutes steered Dublin to victory after they had trailed six times in the second half.

SCORERS – Dublin: B Brogan 0-5 (5f); P Mannion 0-4 (1f); D Connolly, D Rock 0-2 each; S Cluxton (f), B Cullen, J McCaffrey, P Andrews, P McMahon 0-1 each. Tyrone: N Morgan 0-5 (5f); S Cavanagh 0-4 (f); C McAliskey 0-3; M Penrose 0-2 (2f); C Gormley, Matt Donnelly, Mark Donnelly 0-1 each.

DUBLIN – S Cluxton; K O’Brien, J Cooper, D Daly; J McCarthy, G Brennan, J McCaffrey; MD Macauley, C O’Sullivan; J Whelan, D Connolly, B Cullen; P Mannion, P Andrews, B Brogan. Subs: S Carthy for Whelan (35), K McMenamon for Cullen (45), D Bastick for O’Sullivan (46), P McMahon for McAuley (51), D Rock for Brogan (58).

TYRONE – N Morgan; PJ Quinn, C Clarke, C McCarron; C Gormley, D Carlin, Justin McMahon; C Cavanagh, S Cavanagh; Matthew Donnelly, Mark Donnelly, Joe McMahon; M Penrose, C McAliskey, P McNeice. Subs: A Cassidy for Carlin (32), P Kane for Justin McMahon (35), K Coney for McNeice (58), R McKenna for Gormley (65), A McCrory for Cassidy (71).

2017 – Kerry 0-20 Dublin 1-16

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Kerry captain Fionn Fitzgerald with the cup following the 2017 Allianz Football League Division 1 Final win over Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Kerry captain Fionn Fitzgerald with the cup following the 2017 Allianz Football League Division 1 Final win over Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Kerry captain Fionn Fitzgerald with the cup following the 2017 Allianz Football League Division 1 Final win over Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

The game that saw the GAA’s Invincibles finally beaten. Under Jim Gavin, Dublin had become a juggernaut and coming into this game they had gone a staggering 36 games unbeaten.

A few weeks earlier, they had equalled the record which was held by the Kerry side of the 1920s and ’30s, when they took a draw out of Tralee after a brilliant game. And in Croke Park it came down to the width of the post.

Dublin were five points behind with 12 minutes remaining and still three in arrears as the game ticked into four minutes of injury-time, but somehow clawed themselves back into the game.

And at the death, Dean Rock was presented with a long-range free to tie the match. His kick was well hit but the post intervened and Dublin’s run had finally come to an end.

SCORERS – Dublin: D Rock 0-6 (4f); P Mannion 1-2; C Kilkenny, C Reddin 0-2 each; P Flynn, D Connolly, P McMahon, J McCarthy 0-1 each. Kerry: P Geaney 0-8 (5f); D Moran 0-3 (1 ’45); D Walsh, M Geaney 0-2 each; P Murphy, A Maher, K McCarthy, Jack Savage, B Sheehan 0-1 each.

DUBLIN – S Cluxton; P McMahon, M Fitzsimons, D Daly; J McCarthy, C O’Sullivan, E Lowndes; B Fenton, C Reddin; P Flynn, C Kilkenny, D Connolly; D Rock, P Andrews, B Brogan. Subs: N Scully for D Connolly (black-card) (30), P Mannion for P Andrews (41), K McManamon for C O’Sullivan (48), MD Macauley for C Reddin (48), D Byrne for E Lowndes (60), E O’Gara for P Flynn (67).

KERRY – B Kealy; F Fitzgerald, M Griffin, R Shanahan; P Crowley, T Morley, P Murphy; D Moran, J Barry; J Lyne, M Geaney, D Walsh; K McCarthy, P Geaney, J Savage. Subs: G Crowley for J Lyne (black-card) (23), D O’Sullivan for J Savage (59), BJ Keane for K McCarthy (63), B Sheehan for D Walsh (67), A Maher for J Barry (69), A Spillane for M Geaney (71).

2019 – Mayo 3-11 Kerry 2-10

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The Mayo team celebrate with the cup following the 2019 Allianz Football League Division 1 Final win over Kerry. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

The Mayo team celebrate with the cup following the 2019 Allianz Football League Division 1 Final win over Kerry. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

The Mayo team celebrate with the cup following the 2019 Allianz Football League Division 1 Final win over Kerry. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Trailing by four points at half-time, it looked to be a very familiar story for Mayo and Croke Park finals.

Coming into this game, they hadn’t won a decider at HQ in ten attempts, stretching all the way back to 2001 when they won their most recent league title.

But here they produced a brilliant second half that saw them raise three green flags to take a deserved win.

As ever, they made their supporters sweat. Paul Geaney brought Kerry back to within two while Mayo were reduced to 14 late on when Aidan O’Shea walked on a second yellow card.

Kerry brought it back to the minimum through David Clifford before Ciarán Treacy found the net to finally secure a national title for some storied players, including Andy Moran who had seen more than his fair share of pain.

“When the final whistle goes there is a massive sense of relief, let’s be honest about it,” he said after the game. “I’m playing since 2003, made my debut in the league in 2003 up in Down so is there a sense of relief there? Yes.

“Is there a sense of relief there for me? Yes. But for the team more-so in terms of . . . we have been on the road since 2011, this group of players really, adding young fellas into it as we go along and to win a national league. I still remember losing one in ’07 to Donegal and that was a hard one to take. I suppose we’re here 12 years later winning one so it’s great.”

SCORERS – Mayo: D O’Connor 1-2; M Ruane 1-1; C Treacy 1-0; J Carr 0-2 (m); F Boland 0-2; J Doherty 0-2 (f); P Durcan, D Coen 0-1 each. Kerry: S O’Shea 0-5 (5f); G Crowley 1-1; S O’Brien 1-0; D Clifford 0-2; J Barry, Paul Geaney 0-1 each.

MAYO – R Hennelly; C Barrett, B Harrison, K Higgins; P Durcan, L Keegan, D Vaughan; M Ruane, A O’Shea; F Boland, J Doherty, D O’Connor; Kn McLoughlin, D Coen, J Carr. Subs: A Moran for D Coen (51), C Boyle for D Vaughan (58), E Regan for J Carr (62), C Treacy for Jn Doherty (67).

KERRY – S Ryan; P Crowley, J Sherwood, G O’Sullivan; G Crowley, P Murphy, T O’Sullivan; J Barry, D O’Connor; D Moynihan, S O’Shea, S O’Brien; D Clifford, T Walsh, K McCarthy. Subs: J O’Donoghue for D Moynihan (h-t), J Foley for J Sherwood (40), M Griffin for K McCarthy (42), P Geaney for T Walsh (54), G O’Brien for G Crowley (66).


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