Friday 20 September 2019

Rock and goal: Barney soared like a star but nothing beat his 1987 goal against Cork for comedy gold

28 August 1983; Barney Rock, Dublin, takes a sideline kick. All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Semi-Final Replay, Dublin v Cork, Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Cork. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
28 August 1983; Barney Rock, Dublin, takes a sideline kick. All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Semi-Final Replay, Dublin v Cork, Páirc Uí Chaoimh, Cork. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

Kevin Nolan

Barney Rock scored 30 goals during his glittering Dublin senior playing days including some right gems.

It was the Ballymun Kickhams sharpshooter who found the net late on against Cork in the 1983 All-Ireland semi-final that forced the replay by the Lee.

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In that year's final Rock showed incredible technique and precision to lob Galway keeper Pádraig Coyne in the 11th minute from 40 metres.

However, none could match his goal in the 1987 NFL quarter-final on April 5 for comedy gold!

That goal, at the Canal End, brought a farcical conclusion to the Dubs extra-time victory (1-10 to 1-7) over Cork in Croke Park.

With time almost up in normal time, the Leesiders were awarded a penalty when ref Michael Greenan adjudged that Glenn O'Neill had handled the ball on the ground in the square.

Up stepped Cork legend Niall Cahalane to fire past John O'Leary and push his side ahead by a point.

Dublin launched one last attack, which culminated in Rock equalising, Dublin 0-10 Cork 1-7, as the final whistle sounded.

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Extra-time was announced over the public address system but after 15 minutes only Dublin had emerged.

The Cork panel, management and officials were now heading for the station to catch their train home!

So with just Dublin players on the field in their positions ref Greenan threw the ball in, Declan Bolger fielded it, kicked it long down the middle to Rock who soloed in carefully close to goal before firing to the net from eight metres.

Who says refs always play for replays!

The Dubs went on to become NFL champions that season after defeating Galway in the semi-final and Kerry in the final, when Declan Bolger gave a powerhouse display at midfield and Kieran Duff scored a superb early goal after being picked out by a stunning crossfield ball from Joe McNally.

A successful and colourful conclusion to a NFL campaign that had started with three defeats in-a-row to Meath (2-13 to 0-9), Monaghan (2-10 to 2-8) and Kerry (0-10 to 0-8) before Dublin recovered with victories over Armagh (0-11 to 1-6), Mayo (0-8 to 0, 0-6), Down (2-12 to 2-8) and Roscommon (1-11 to 0-8) to finish fourth in the table and progress to the quarter-finals.

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