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Dublin: 4°C Tuesday 26 January 2021


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Dublin 0-11 Kerry 1-14 (FT)

Hello, and welcome to our second GAA liveblog of the evening.

With Kerry still undoubtedly licking their wounds from last year’s All-Ireland final defeat, this could very well be a tasty encounter.

And we’re underway…

James O’Donoghue shows great feet to escape his marker and score the first point of the game for Kerry.

Here is the Kerry team for today:

Brendan Kealy, Shane Enright, Marc Ó Sé, Peter Crowley, Tomás Ó Sé, Killian Young, Brian Maguire, Seamus Scanlon, Bryan Sheehan, Paul Galvin, Darran O’Sullivan, Sean O’Sullivan, James O’Donoghue, Kieran Donaghy, Barry John Keane

And here is the Dublin lineup:

Stephen Cluxton, Michael Fitzsimons, Rory O’Carroll, Philly McMahon, James McCarthy, Ger Brennan, Craig Dias; Ross McConnell, Michael Dara Macauley, Paul Brogan, Kevin McManamon, Bryan Cullen, Diarmuid Connolly, Eoghan O’Gara, Tomás Quinn.

Kerry have started the better of the two teams and Sean O’Sullivan has just added to their advantage following a series of slick passes.

Dublin finally produce a response, but it’s been a less than encouraging start for Pat Gilroy’s men.

And Diarmuid Connolly has just kicked what looked a straightforward free woefully wide.

Luckily for them, Dublin earn another free almost immediately after and on this occasion, Tomas Quinn makes no mistake.

James O’Donoghue has extended Kerry’s lead with another point. Dublin, meanwhile, are still looking sluggish.

Nice play from Ross McConnell sets up Bryan Cullen, who takes his opportunity well.

Barry John Keane has added to Kerry’s advantage. It’s been a great opening, with the game currently being played at a breakneck pace.

Tomas Quinn makes it a one-point game once again, with a well-taken free.

Some familiar (masked) faces made an appearance prior to throw-in (Image credit: INPHO/James Crombie).

Kerry have already racked up eight wides. They’ll need to be more clinical if they want to stay in this game.

Kerry’s wastefulness is clearly infectious, as Ross McConnell strikes a good opportunity wide.

Poor play from O’Gara, who sloppily spills possession in a promising position.

While Dublin have yet to lead this game, they’re clearly growing into it and improving on their slow start.

Meanwhile, Kerry have just registered their tenth wide, and haven’t scored in a very long time.

Deary me. A wonderful move from Kerry ends with Donaghy dragging a shot wide from close range. Kerry’s forwards appear to be cursed at the moment.

Down the other end, Connolly hits another terrible free wide, provoking laughter from the Dublin bench.

This first half has been an exhibition in how not to finish.

Finally, Tomas Quinn evades his marker and registers the first point of the game in a while. It’s also the first time Dublin have led.

Shortly thereafter, Stephen Cluxton makes no mistake with a free, prompting the loudest cheer of the night.


After a frantic opening, the last twenty minutes of the first half contained a staggering dearth of points.

Dublin will count themselves lucky to be leading at the break, while Kerry only have themselves to blame, given the amount of opportunities they’ve missed.

Dublin begin the second half as they started the first – conceding possession all too easily on more than one occasion.

Great footwork by James O’Donoghue to draw the free. He then picks himself up and scores his third point of the evening.

Shades of the All-Ireland final there, as Kevin McManamon gets in behind the Kerry defence and slots over, though he’ll probably be disappointed not to have scored.

It’s déjà vu all over again, as Kerry hit their fourteenth wide of the evening.

Kerry fans presumably have a hearts-in-mouth moment as Darran O’Sullivan goes down injured, but he picks himself up after a while and jogs on gingerly.

Diarmuid Connolly has just hit his fifth wide of the evening. Despite the occasional sublime pass, he has generally looked a little off the boil tonight.

Bryan Sheehan draws Kerry level with a free, following a terrific run from a fully recovered Darran O’Sullivan.

Another Bryan Sheehan free puts Kerry in the lead again. However, if their finishing had been better, they could well be out of sight at this stage. They’ve been far superior in general play.

Sheehan kicks his fifth wide of the night. Meanwhile, Kerry’s fans collectively tear their hair out.


O’Sullivan collects an incisive through pass and coolly slots home. However, worryingly for Kerry, he pulls up again while celebrating… Nonetheless, it looks like he’s willing to continue on.

Kerry have now established a sizable advantage. And with the job almost done, Darran O’Sullivan finally limps off.

Cluxton enables Dublin to move within four points of Kerry, with a free that’s in an incredibly similar position to his famous All-Ireland winner.

Barry John Keane gets another point to surely put the game beyond Dublin.

And surprisingly, there’s no sign of the Brogan brothers (both of whom are on the bench) yet.


It’s a straight red, and deservedly so, as Fennell violently elbows Sheehan off the ball.

The newly-proclaimed Irish Maradona, Darran O’Sullivan, has just been voted Man of the Match by the Setanta viewers.


So despite racking up 18 wides, Kerry have ultimately won this game rather comfortably, and deservedly too.

Pat Gilroy, meanwhile, will be disappointed with this all-too-lacklustre performance, but he can at least take solace in the fact that they were missing a few important players, including the Brogan brothers.

Man of the Match Darran O’Sullivan has cited a greater level of “composure” from their forwards, as the difference between the side’s first and second performance.

Meanwhile, Jack O’Connor has admitted his side were “rusty,” but also praised their fitness and their performance in the middle of the field.

Here are tonight’s results in full:

Allianz Football League Division 1

Dublin 0-11 Kerry 1-14

Laois 0-08 Mayo 1-11

Down 1-10 Donegal 1-09

Allianz Football League Division 2

Kildare 0-12 Tyrone 2-11

Meath 1-15 Monaghan 1-09

Allianz Football League Division 3

Antrim 0-13 Sligo 0-12

Okay, that’s it for tonight. Thanks for reading and commenting, and do join us for more Premier League and Six Nations liveblogs tomorrow. And I think I speak for everyone at TheScore when I say: “Come on Ireland!”

About the author:

Paul Fennessy