Saturday 18 January 2020

How All-Ireland treble bids crumbled . . .

Photo: Sportsfile
Photo: Sportsfile Sportsdesk

KERRY 1971

Having beaten Offaly and Meath respectively in the 1969 and 1970 finals, Kerry were fancied to complete the county's first treble since 1939-40-41,only to suffer a heavy fall in the Munster final when they lost to Cork by 0-25 to 0-14. Kerry led by 0-11 to 0-7 at half-time but were swamped by a red deluge in the second half.

"Not even the most venerable of ancients of my acquaintances could recall an occasion when the winners had so rampaged through the Kingdom in a provincial decider."

- John D Hickey (Irish Independent)


Having beaten Galway to take the title for the first time in 1971, Offaly retained it in 1972 (they beat Kerry in a replayed final). They completed a Leinster three-timer in 1973 but the All-Ireland treble dream was ended by Galway in the semi-final (0-16 to 2-8).

"So lacking in ideas were the losers and so destitute of inspiration beyond the half-back line that it was, at times, difficult to accept that this was the team which had played wondrous football over the last two years and indeed in the second half of the Leinster final against Meath."

- John D Hickey (Irish Independent)


Three All-Ireland wins in four seasons, including a double in 1976-77, followed by League and Leinster wins in 1978 set Dublin up for the All-Ireland treble until Kerry wiped out a five-point half-time deficit to win to win by 5-11 to 0-9.

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"A priceless piece of opportunism by Kerry's Mikey Sheehy sparked off the greatest "conflagration" since Mrs O'Leary's cow burned down Chicago at rain-sprinkled Croke Park yesterday and when the smoke had cleared, all that remained of the Dubs' fond memories of a three-on the-trot were charred memories."

- Donal Carroll (Irish Independent)

MEATH 1989

Cork had failed to stop Meath in either the 1987 or 1988 (replay) finals but Dublin ended the Royals treble bid in the 1989 Leinster final (2-12 to 1-10). Despite playing poorly, Meath, who had Colm Coyle sent off early in the second-half, led by a point just past the hour mark before a Vinny Murphy goal turned the game Dublin's way.

"Tense, tight, sometimes tough, the first half was squalid, the second, riveting."

- Donal Keenan (Irish Independent)

CORK 1991

They saw off Mayo and Meath respectively in the 1989 and 1990 finals but the Rebels' treble quest perished in Killarney in the 1991 Munster semi-final when they lost to Kerry (1-10 to 0-11), a second half goal by John Cronin proving decisive.

"Kerry discarded their great bunker of memories and chose to build themselves a future. They did so in a temper, the kind that can turn hopelessness into faith."

- Vincent Hogan (Irish Independent)

KERRY 2008

Different to previous three-in-a-row attempts by any county in that Kerry were not provincial champions but, having revived their bid via the qualifiers, they lost to Tyrone (1-15 to 0-14) in the All-Ireland final.

"Kerry repeated too many of the mistakes of 2003 and 2005 (when they lost to Tyrone) and, in addition, they committed a series of errors which will certainly eliminate the recent talk of this being one of the greatest Kerry teams of all time."

- Eugene McGee (Irish Independent)

Irish Independent

The Throw In: From 1955 heartbreak to 2019's five in-a-row - Inside the Decades of the Dubs

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