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Stunning O'Shea point hands Kerry dramatic All-Ireland semi-final win over Dublin

Galway will face Kerry in the final on 24 July.

Kerry 1-14

Dublin 1-13

SEÁN O’SHEA STOOD over the free, 50 yards from goal with the ball placed on the ground in front of him and a packed Croke Park focusing their gaze on the Kenmare attacker as 76 minutes had elapsed on the clock.

sean-oshea-scores-a-goal-despite-evan-comerford Sean O'Shea strikes home Kerry's early goal.

The last act rested with O’Shea in an All-Ireland semi-final where Kerry were in control from the moment the same player netted early in the game until Dublin’s resistance sparked a fierce second-half fightback.

And the Kerry captain delivered with stunning execution, the ball sailing between the posts and clearing the crossbar in front of Hill 16 with plenty to spare.

Paddy Neilan’s whistle sounded soon after and Kerry had booked a final date with Galway, at last breaking free from the grip Dublin have held them in over the last decade. O’Shea was the hero at the finish but it was a game where David Clifford’s scoring brilliance again underpinned Kerry’s challenge, he finished with 0-6 to his credit and five of those were swung over in an exhibition of accuracy in the first half.

tom-lahiff-blocked-by-gavin-white Tom Lahiff's shot is blocked by Gavin White. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Mixed with the post-match joy for Kerry was a sense of relief. They only scored twice between the 43rd and 73rd minutes, Paudie Clifford notching a pair of points, as Dublin reeled them in. Kerry had been five up at the interval, 1-8 to 0-6, and were six clear early in the second half but the game threatened to unravel as Dublin mounted a revival, inspired by towering displays from Ciaran Kilkenny and James McCarthy.

The score that really ignited the charge was Cormac Costello’s terrific goal in the 44th minute, Dublin seized possession after David Moran had spilled the ball and a swift counter-attack culminated in a sublime finish to the net.

From there the contest was ferocious until the end as the teams traded blows. Kerry were still in the ascendancy on the scoreboard, Paudie Clifford kicking a score in the 51st minute and punching one over ten minutes later that pushed them three clear.

Dublin’s spirit kept them going on an afternoon when they were struggling in several areas. It was captured by McCarthy hoisting over a marvellous point on 62 and from the resultant kickout Dublin snatched possession before Kilkenny split the posts. The same player brought the teams level in the 69th minute and in injury-time the scoring rates were spiked as the points became more loaded with significance.

david-clifford-and-james-mccarthy David Clifford and James McCarthy. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

O’Shea slotted a close-range free to edge Kerry ahead, Dean Rock tied it up soon after and then came the glorious scoring intervention that won the game. It was a magnificent kick from a player who began the day in style by rolling home the 4th minute goal that provided Kerry with an early boost.

O’Shea had a clear chance to raise another green flag in the 31st minute but his connection from the penalty spot was poor and Evan Comerford was able to smother it easily. The spot kick had been awarded after Gavin White was fouled by Lorcan O’Dell, an incident during a turbulent period for Dublin as they lost John Small to a black card.

They seemed likely to be cut adrift early in the second half yet rallied impressively. Kerry looked unsure but they steadied themselves and at last emerged from the test they craved, O’Shea’s right boot settling the matter.

killian-spillane-and-adrian-spillane-celebrates-with-sean-oshea-at-the-final-whistle Kerry players celebrate at the final whistle. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Scorers for Kerry: Seán  O’Shea 1-4 (0-2f), David Clifford 0-6 (0-1f, 0-1 mark), Paudie Clifford 0-2, Dara Moynihan 0-1, Tom O’Sullivan 0-1.

Scorers for Dublin: Ciarán Kilkenny 0-3, Dean Rock 0-3 (0-3f), Cormac Costello 1-0, Lee Gannon 0-1, John Small 0-1, Seán Bugler 0-1, Brian Fenton 0-1, Paddy Small 0-1, Brian Howard 0-1, James McCarthy 0-1.

Kerry

1. Shane Ryan (Rathmore)

2. Graham O’Sullivan (Dromid Pearses), 3. Jason Foley (Ballydonoghue), 4. Tom O’Sullivan (Dingle)

7. Gavin White (Dr Crokes), 6. Tadhg Morley (Templenoe), 5. Brian Ó Beaglaoich (An Ghaeltacht)

8. David Moran (Kerins O’Rahilly’s), 25. Jack Barry (Na Gaeil)

9. Diarmuid O’Connor (Na Gaeil), 11. Sean O’Shea (Kenmare Shamrocks – captain), 12. Stephen O’Brien (Kenmare Shamrocks)

13. Paudie Clifford (Fossa), 14. David Clifford (Fossa), 15. Paul Geaney (Dingle)

Subs

10. Dara Moynihan (Spa) for O’Brien (41)

18. Killian Spillane (Templenoe) for Geaney (41)

26. Adrian Spillane (Templenoe) for Moran (52)

19.  Paul Murphy (Rathmore) for O’Sullivan (62)

21. Joe O’Connor (Austin Stacks) for White (inj) (66)

Dublin

1. Evan Comerford (Ballymun Kickhams)

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2. Eoin Murchan (Na Fianna), 3. Michael Fitzsimons (Cuala), 4. Lee Gannon (Whitehall Colmcille)

6. Jonny Cooper (Na Fianna), 5. John Small (Ballymun Kickhams), 21. James McCarthy (Ballymun Kickhams),

8. Brian Fenton (Raheny), 9. Tom Lahiff (St. Jude’s)

11. Brian Howard (Raheny) 12. Ciarán Kilkenny (Castleknock), 7. Seán Bugler (St. Oliver Plunkett’s/Eoghan Ruadh)

13. Cormac Costello (Whitehall Colmcille), 14. Dean Rock (Ballymun Kickhams), 25. Lorcan O’Dell (Templeogue Synge Street)

Subs

15. Paddy Small (Ballymun Kickhams) for O’Dell (39)

19. David Byrne (Naomh Olaf) for Cooper (42)

20. Seán McMahon (Raheny) for Murchan (inj) (57)

10. Niall Scully (Templeogue Synge Street) for Howard (62)

24. Cian Murphy (Thomas Davis) for Fitzsimons (71)

Referee: Paddy Neilan (Roscommon)

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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