Goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton was the unlikely scoring hero as Dublin won the All-Ireland senior football crown on a day that saw Tipperary’s youngsters win the minor title.
Cluxton came up from his goals to point a free-kick two minutes into injury time at the end of a pulsating final to seal a 1-12 to 1-11 win over Kerry.
The goalkeeper’s score sparked scenes not seen in the capital since 1995 when Dublin last brought the Sam Maguire home.
The minor decider was just as dramatic with Tipperary coming back from the dead to pip Dublin by just a point in another thriller.
Dublin fans disappointed by their team’s defeat in the Minor match were on the edge of their seats throughout a pulsating senior clash.
Kerry lived up to their favorites tag for long spells of an end top end game and actually led by four points at one stage during the second-half.
A brilliant Colm Cooper goal in the 17th minute helped the Kingdom into an early lead but Dublin if not resilient on the day.
They were a point ahead, 0-6 to 1-2, by half-time thanks to a couple of wonderful scores apiece from the Brogan brothers Alan and Bernard.
The game swung both ways in a rip-roaring second-half as Kerry’s greater experience on the big stage looked certain to play a major role.
Cooper levelled the scores at 1-5 to 0-8 in the 44th minute before two points each from Bryan Sheehan and Cooper had the Kerrymen ahead by four just after the hour mark.
Then came a major turning point as Dublin substitute Kevin McManamon took an Alan Brogan pass in his stride and brilliantly finished the ball to the net in the 64th minute.
A swift Bernard Brogan point put Dublin in front. Ciaran Donaghy then levelled it again for Kerry and the game looked all set for the replay both teams deserved.
Fate had decided otherwise however. There were only seconds on the clock when McManamon was dragged down and Cluxton, a regular enough free-taker all season, was called up to attempt to kick the match winning point.
He did just that and the rest is history. Dublin are All-Ireland champions again and the capital city will be alive, alive oh for many days and nights to come.
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