Sunday 22 September 2019

Dublin v Kerry player ratings: McCaffrey and Rock the key men for Dubs, while Moran and O'Shea shine for Kingdom

Seán O'Shea of Kerry in action against Michael Fitzsimons of Dublin during the All-Ireland SFC final at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Seán O'Shea of Kerry in action against Michael Fitzsimons of Dublin during the All-Ireland SFC final at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

John Brennan

In a thrilling All-Ireland SFC final, Dublin and Kerry had their chances to claim glory. Here's how both teams rated...


Stephen Cluxton: A mixed bag for the Dublin captain. A brilliant penalty save in the first half, followed by a few errant kick-outs in the second period, when Dublin really needed to retain possession of the ball. 7

David Byrne: One of Dublin’s better defenders on the day. And he carried the ball forward to great effect, especially in the second half. 8

Jonny Cooper: Won’t remember the match with any fondness after struggling with David Clifford until he was sent off. 4

Michael Fitzsimons: Worked hard in defence, but was struggling to stay with the movement of the Kerry forwards. 6

Jack McCaffrey: Had an outstanding game, working hard in defence bounding forward to score a goal and a couple of points. 9

James McCarthy: Dropped the ball a few times, which was so unlike this consistent Dublin player. Another who will be looking to up his game in the replay. 6

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John Small: Tigerish defender with a little too much of the tiger in him. He had to watch himself after a first half yellow card. 7

Brian Fenton: Has he ever had such a quiet game for Dublin? I certainly can’t remember one. Another Dublin player with buckets to prove the next day. 6

Michael Darragh Macauley: The Ballyboden man worked hard in the first half, but faded as the game went on and was one of the first replaced. 6

Niall Scully: A link man and a scorer for Dublin, he was in and out of the game at Croker. 6

Con O’Callaghan: He’ll be chomping at the bit to get going the next day. Won a few good balls, but struggled to do anything with them. 6

Brian Howard: Got through an immense amount of work, including one soaring catch. Will be annoyed by the missed chance at the end. 7

Paul Mannion: A quiet day by his own standards, but there were still a few glimpses of the Mannion style. 7

Dean Rock: A star for Dublin who kept the capital’s team in the game with a flow of points. 9

Dean Rock of Dublin kicks a free during the All-Ireland SFC final at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Ciarán Kilkenny: Went back in to the half-back line for the second half, from where he 'quarter-backed' the game for the Dubs. 8

Dublin subs

Paddy Small (for Macauley 50 mins): The only Dublin sub given a decent run, he worked hard to win ball against Kerry's spare man. 7

Diarmuid Connolly & Cormac Costello: Not on long enough for a rating, but both men had a snap-shot to win the match for Dublin.


Shane Ryan: A few ropey kick-outs, and Dublin were tempting him into going for really short-ones. They’ll be trying the same thing in the replay. 6

Jason Foley: A better match than his tough day with Cathal McShane in the semi-final. He marked tightly and gave little away. 7

Tadhg Morley: Another who held his ground in defence, even if Dean Rock lost him a couple of times when the pair ventured out the field. 8

Tom O’Sullivan: Did as well as anyone has on Paul Mannion this season. But one second half tackle was on the borderline of big trouble. 8 

Paul Murphy: Didn't play as a sweeper in the first half, but did in the second when Kerry had the extra man. It's a bit of a waste of a fine footballer. 7

Gavin Crowley: Manned the middle as a centre-back must do, but will be annoyed at getting dragged out of place a few times. 7

Brian Ó Beaglaoich: Worked hard up and down the pitch, trying to get on the ball. Kept his man quiet. 8

David Moran: A brilliant display by the Tralee man Moran who really thundered into the match in the second half. 9

David Moran of Kerry shakes hands with Jack McCaffrey of Dublin following the All-Ireland SFC final. Photo by Harry Murphy/Sportsfile
Adrian Spillane: Worked hard before being replaced by his brother midway though the second half. 6

Gavin White: If he was picked to stop Jack McCaffrey, then it was a ploy that misfired. White was always stuggling. 6

Sean O'Shea: The third contender for Man of the Match. Deep into the game, he had scored all but two points of the Kerry total. 9

Stephen O'Brien: Didn’t get up to his level of performance as on previous days. One of the few Kerryman who will be looking to up his effort for the replay. 6

David Clifford: Showed for a lot of ball and won it well, giving Jonny Cooper  a huge amount of trouble. 8

Paul Geaney: Not always obvious on the ball, but he was always showing for it as Dublin struggled at times. 7 

Jack Barry: There had been a whisper all last week that he would play in the Final and Barry did his job of keeping Brian Fenton quiet. 7   

Kerry Subs

Killian Spillane (for Adrian Spillane 44 mins): Got the second half goal that Kerry needed, without it they would not have got the draw. 7

Jack Sherwood (for White 48 mins): Ran around and got on the ball well as Kerry got on top midway through the second half. 7

Tommy Walsh (for Ó Beaglaoich 52mins): Was involved in the match, but didn’t have the huge impact Kingdom fans would have hope for. 7

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