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Play it again Sam: Dublin and Kerry play out draw in enthralling All-Ireland final

Dublin 1-16 Kerry 1-16

Dublin's Dean Rock misses a late free to win the game. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne
Dublin's Dean Rock misses a late free to win the game. Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

By Sean McGoldrick

An All-Ireland final for the ages failed to produce a winner at Croke Park. Dublin's dream of a historic five titles in a row remains alive, but only just.

Reduced to 14 men before half time when Johnny Cooper was dismissed after he picked up a second yellow card for fouling David Clifford, Dublin were forced to rely on all their survival instincts in the second half.

They were outscored 1-8 to 0-7 points and fell behind in the 66th minute for the first time after super-subs Killian Spillane, who had scored a crucial goal in the 56th minute, hit a super point.

But their nerves deserted them when it was needed most and they failed to add to their tally in the remaining 11 minutes of play – there were just over seven minutes of injury-time played.

Dean Rock – who tied with Sean O'Shea at the game's top scorer with a 0-10 contribution – finally kicked the equaliser in the fourth minute of injury-time and they could have snatched it at the death but Rock's free from the Cusack Stand sideline drifted wide on the near side.

Only four Dublin players got on the score sheet but Jack McCaffrey - who had three different markers - hit 1-3 which proved crucial.

The Kerry bench contributed 1-1 with Tommy Walsh's introduction a game-changer just when it seemed that Dublin, who were leading by five points at the time, would pull away.

The GAA were the big winners with a €3m bonanza for the replay – although it is likely they will reduce ticket prices for the game which is scheduled for Saturday, September 14 at 6pm.

Irish Independent

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