Dublin v. Kerry All-Ireland fi...

Football

Dublin v. Kerry All-Ireland final will be a truly historic occasion


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The two aristocrats of Gaelic Football, Dublin and Kerry, will serve up a momentous occasion in the All-Ireland senior championship final on September 1st. 

If there is one county that won't fear Dublin, despite the logic, despite the dominance, it's the Kingdom.

With 37 All-Ireland titles, Kerry are the most successful county in the history of the game. For 34 years, between 1977 and 2011, they had Dublin's number time and time again.

The 2011 All-Ireland final was the turning point, as the Dubs' late surge culminated in Stephen Cluxton's winning point and the end of a 16-year famine for the 'Boys in Blue'.

Jim Gavin has taken Dublin into another galaxy, with the Metropolitans on the cusp of a historic five-in-a-row.

Wexford were the first team to attempt the feat in 1919, but failed, as did Kerry in 1933.

Kerry were then expected to create history in 1982, but Martin Furlong saved Mikey Sheehy's penalty, Seamus Darby crashed in a goal in the dying moments and Offaly won by a point.

It's sad that the late Eugene McGee won't be on hand to talk about this final, to give the no-nonsense, erudite analysis for which he was famed.

In hurling, five-in-a-row has also not been achieved. Cork and Kilkenny have tried and failed.

Dublin haven't lost a Championship game in five years. Their annihilation of Mayo in the first ten minutes of the second half on Saturday was breathtaking. In Brian Fenton they have a colossus in midfield, but the talent is everywhere. Con O'Callaghan and Paul Mannion had the scoring boots on in the All Ireland semi-final, but on another day, it could be someone else. That's the scary thing.

Kerry cannot play the way they played in the first half against Tyrone, otherwise, it will be time to wave the white flag.

However, legs won't be an issue, and they have quality in David Clifford, Stephen O'Brien (suspension permitting) and Sean O'Shea. Shutting Dublin out is the concern.

One would wonder how the Dublin players will feel over the next three weeks. As amateurs, surely they will be playing the five-in-a-row talk like a song in their heads. The upside is that every time they have been tested in recent years, they have come through, and there's nobody better than Gavin to keep them grounded.

However, sport is sport and while we all predict a Dublin win, it's not guaranteed, unlike say, a Leinster final at the moment.

This is going to be a seismic day in the 135-year era of the GAA. Dublin will reach the mountain top, or Kerry will spoil the party and keep the five-in-a-row as an elusive mirage.

If Dublin do it, hopefully they'll be lauded as the brilliant team they are, arguably better than Mick O'Dwyer's Kerry of the 1970s and 1980s.

Hopefully, there won't be talk of funding and of playing games in the capital.

One thing is for certain. There will be a huge demand for tickets, now at €90 a pop.

Have you got yours sorted?

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