GAA Football

Dublin successful in 'Drive for Five'

Dublin skipper Stephen Cluxton produced a near flawless performance on Saturday. Pic Philip Walsh.
Diarmuid Pepper

Dublin has prevailed in its 'Drive for Five' and claimed the Sam Maguire for the seventh time in nine years after yesterday's six-point defeat of Kerry.

Having been pushed to their absolute limit in the final two weeks ago, the Dubs came out on top thanks to a superb second half performance which was indicative of the Jim-Gavin era.

Both teams went into the changing rooms at half time with nothing to separate them.

In a pulsating first half of football, the teams were tied with 10 points a piece, most of which came from open play. 

But less than 30 seconds after the throw-in for the second half of play, Dublin opened up a three point lead which Kerry were not able to claw back. 

Kerry's David Moran broke the ball from the throw-up but it was Dublin's Eoin Murchan who claimed possession of the ball.

He cantered into the Kerry half and no Kingdom player was able to prevent his surge. When he found himself in shooting range, he placed the ball into the far side of the Kerry goals with a calmness that belied his age. 

While Kerry fought and battled to the very end, and even came within one point of Dublin in the second half, the Boys in Blue were able to kick on in the final quarter, as they so often have done in Jim Gavin's reign. 

Having reached the absolute summit of Inter-County football after yesterday's history making victory over the Kingdom, speculation turned to whether Jim Gavin would remain in the Dublin hot-seat to oversee a campaign for an unprecedented sixth All-Ireland win-in-a-row. 

Gavin told RTÉ: "I’ll sit down with the county board and obviously review it.

"I've a profession outside of this role that I've been asked to do for Dublin GAA. Then I've family commitments as well and it all goes into the mix but now isn't the time.

"I have committed to next year so we'll reflect on it in a couple of weeks' time."


Dublin: Stephen Cluxton; David Byrne (0-01), Michael Fitzsimons, Jonny Cooper; Jack McCaffrey, Eoin Murchan (1-00), John Small; Brian Fenton, James McCarthy (0-01); Niall Scully (0-01), Ciarán Kilkenny (0-04), Brian Howard; Paul Mannion (0-04), Con O'Callaghan (0-04), Dean Rock (0-03, 1 ’45').

Subs: Diarmuid Connolly for McCaffrey HT; Philly McMahon for Murchan 54 mins; Cormac Costello for Scully 57 mins;Cian O’Sullivan for Byrne 67 mins; Kevin McMamamon for Mannion 67 mins; Michael Darragh Macauley for Howard 73 mins.

Kerry: Shane Ryan; Jason Foley, Tadhg Morley, Tom O’Sullivan; Paul Murphy, Gavin Crowley, Brian Ó Beaglaoich; David Moran, Jack Barry; Diarmuid O’Connor, Seán O’Shea (0-05, 3f), Stephen O’Brien; David Clifford (0-05, 1f), Paul Geaney (0-04), Adrian Spillane (0-01).

Subs: Gavin White for Adrian Spillane 51 mins; Jack Sherwood for Ó Beaglaoich 51 mins; Tommy Walsh for O’Connor 54 mins; Killian Spillane for Murphy 59 mins; James O’Donoghue for Barry 64 mins; Dara Moynihan for Crowley 71 mins.

Referee: Conor Lane (Cork)

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