Dublin went where Kerry could not in 1982 when they claimed a fifth consecutive All-Ireland crown against the Kingdom in September’s historic victory. Dean Rock missed his chance to seal the deal, kicking a last-gasp free wide in the drawn final, which was tied at 1-16 a piece. However, Jim Gavin’s men would march into the record books without needing to score a free in their 1-18 to 0-15 replay triumph.
The capital’s ladies footballers made history by completing an All-Ireland hat-trick on the same weekend which saw the men’s momentous five-in-a-row. Sinéad Goldrick and Hannah O’Neill goals, added to Lyndsey Davey’s imperious performance, helped secure a 2-3 to 0-4 win over Galway and paved the way for the Dubs’ double in Croke Park.
On the back of their 2018 World Cup final appearance, Ireland’s women made more waves by qualifying for their first Olympics in November. Ayeisha McFerran added to her place in hockey folklore when making three vital saves in a penalty shoot-out, which they won 4-3, in the qualifier against Canada to secure their ticket to Tokyo.
Vinny Perth continued where former boss Stephen Kenny left off by retaining the Lilywhites’ League of Ireland title, despite falling 14 points behind Shamrock Rovers in April. The County Louth outfit also added the EA Sports Cup, President’s Cup and Unite the Union Cup to their silverware collection this season.
The Tribeswomen claimed their third All-Ireland title, and first since 2013, with their 3-14 to 0-17 final victory over Kilkenny this year. Niamh Kilkenny, who scored four points herself, played a pivotal part in this triumph, helping fend off the Cats' second-half rally and setting up two of the goals which led Galway to dreamland.
The significance of Tiger Roll’s Grand National triumph was laid bare in the emotion etched across the faces of trainer Gordon Elliott and jockey Davy Russell as the nine-year-old crossed the finish line at Aintree in April. Tiger Roll succeeded where so many failed by becoming the first back-to-back winner since Red Rum in 1974, and did so as the shortest-priced Grand National-winning favourite in a century.
Seven weeks from the depths of Munster final despair, where they suffered a 12-point defeat to Limerick, Liam Sheedy led his side to a 3-25 to 0-20 triumph over 14-man Kilkenny. Niall O'Meara's first-half goal gave the Premier County the winning momentum and by the time John 'Bubbles' O'Dwyer struck the back of the net after the break, Liam MacCarthy was on its way to Tipperary.
For just the second time in this country's history, the Ireland U-20s swept all before them to be crowned Six Nations winners. The future of Irish rugby seems bright as Noel McNamara's charges dominated the competition with Leinster fly-half Harry Byrne the tournament’s top scorer (36 points) and Connacht's Dylan Tierney-Martin top try scorer (four).