There have been magnificent days in this year’s football championship but last Sunday’s semi-final between Kerry and Dublin was simply best, writes Ciarán McGowan.
Both teams (and their supporters) contributed to one of greatest sporting occasions in recent years - this was GAA football way it should be played. Unfortunately, there had to be a loser and Kerry will be bitterly disappointed that for second time in three years, they were out gunned in closing minutes by a resilient Dublin team. With sides level in 70th minute, Dublin went on to score two goals and a point in three minutes to secure a flattering seven point win.
GAA football needed this game. A packed Croke Park of 82,000 supporters were treated to exhibition football by country’s finest practitioners, with notable performances from Colm Cooper and James O’Donoghue for Kerry and from Bernard Brogan and Diarmuid Connolly for Dublin –latter was awarded man of match.
Kerry has to be commended for leaving everything on pitch. Few were expecting this level of performance from these players but they stepped up mark and Gooch delivered a master class in first half that in itself was worth admission ticket. For Dublin, this was a real test of their character and they will take some confidence from fact that their system works. They are a fast running, high scoring outfit that are incredibly fit and with a great panel to pick from. Roll on September 22nd for final against Mayo, scramble for tickets has started!!
GAA fixtures this weekend – 2013 GAA Hurling Final
Sunday 8th September
Clare v Cork (15:30 GMT)
Although Cork are favourites, I am giving nod to Clare. I think this Clare team will be around for a few years and may even exert a period of dominance in Munster and possible country. They have fantastic young players that exude confidence and while I expect it to be a close affair, Clare will have telling class that will be difference.
Prediction - Clare