Dublin V Kerry: How they rated

Dublin captain Stephen Cluxton waves to the crowd after the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final Replay between Dublin and Kerry at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Dublin captain Stephen Cluxton waves to the crowd after the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final Replay between Dublin and Kerry at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Stephen Cluxton (Parnells): If this is his final bow, what better way to do it? Kerry didn’t make his life too difficult as he restarted but he was still varying his kick-outs well. His save from Stephen O’Brien was an easy one but he was so good with the high ball that came his way. 7

Davy Byrne (St Olafs): Mick Fitzsimons is probably the strongest contender for an All-Star in the Dublin full-back line but Byrne isn’t too far behind him. Wasn’t as good here as he was in the first game as Paul Geaney had his shooting boots on. 6

Mick Fitzsimons (Cuala): It was always going to be a game of damage limitation against David Clifford and Fitzsimons did fine on him but even better on others like O’Brien when they came into his domain. Unfairly singled out by Conor Lane in the first half. 8

Jonny Cooper (Na Fianna): Enjoyed the freedom provided by Kerry sticking with two inside forwards and bringing out Adrian Spillane to crowd out the middle. With Ciarán Kilkenny playing more advanced, Cooper orchestrated a lot of things and redeemed himself after the sending off in the drawn game. 7.

Jack McCaffrey (Clontarf): Presented himself as a menace occasionally in the first half but he had nothing like the space he enjoyed last Sunday week as Diarmuid O’Connor and Brian Ó Beaglaoich worked hard to fill the gaps in front of him. Injured a hamstring and didn’t appear for the second half. 8

John Small (Ballymun Kickhams): Discipline was going to be the key for Small going into this one and he kept his head against Seán O’Shea although having Jonny Cooper as an extra outlet made his life easier. The hand injury he picked up in the drawn game hardly hampered him. 6

Eoin Murchan of Dublin shoots to score his side's first goal during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final Replay between Dublin and Kerry at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile
Eoin Murchan of Dublin shoots to score his side's first goal during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final Replay between Dublin and Kerry at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

Eoin Murchan (Na Fianna): The one change from the team that began last Sunday week, he was a livewire throughout and made some timely interventions aside from scoring that goal and putting some pace into Dublin’s forays. Was in man of the match territory before he picked up that leg injury. 8

Brian Fenton (Raheny): At half-time, it appeared he was going to leave a second successive final game behind him only to rediscover himself and become a lot more present in Dublin’s plays. Could have slinked his way in for a couple of points too. 7

James McCarthy (Ballymun Kickhams): He didn’t look himself at all in the first half as he contended with David Moran but restored to his more preferred half-back role he was much more comfortable. He had been carrying an injury into this and the first game but he more than coped. 7

Niall Scully (Templeogue/Synge Street): Nobody can deny the intent of Scully. In full flight, he is one dangerous footballer and he did send over a point in the 57th minute but for all his audacity not enough came from him. Brian Ó Beaglaoich did well on his time shadowing him. 6

Ciarán Kilkenny (Castleknock): As an under-age player, Kilkenny was arguably the best finisher in those glittering Dublin under-age sides and his marksmanship was a highlight here from the off. This was as close to a perfect all-round performance as you can get for a player who had only shown flickers of his class in recent matches. 9

Brian Howard (Raheny): In the first half, he didn’t look anything like the player who made up for the shortcomings of others in the first match but he was back to his best in the second when he moved to midfield, making some timely interventions and clever plays. 7

Paul Mannion (Kilmacud Crokes): Like he did in the drawn game, Mannion started hot and then he went out of the game, kicking a couple short and one wide only to kick another brace in the final quarter. Frustrated to give away a couple of frees further out the field. 8

Con O'Callaghan of Dublin in action against Tom O'Sullivan of Kerry during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final Replay between Dublin and Kerry at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Con O'Callaghan of Dublin in action against Tom O'Sullivan of Kerry during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final Replay between Dublin and Kerry at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

Con O’Callaghan (Cuala): A most definite All-Star and possible footballer of the year contender as he set the tone for Dublin in the closing stages. A real ding-dong battle with Tadhg Morley and remained a threat as much as he finished up his scoring in the 37th minute. 8

Dean Rock (Ballymun Kickhams): On another day, in another final, he would have been replaced due to the general quietness of his display but there he was in the closing stages to score the last two points of the game and give Dublin a cushion to enjoy those dying moments. 6

SUBS FOR DUBLIN:

Diarmuid Connolly (St Vincent’s, 6) a busy time on the field but could have been more of a team player.

Philly McMahon (Ballymun Kickhams, 6) brought in to take on Tommy Walsh and fared reasonably well.

Cormac Costello (Whitehall Colmcille, 6) another yellow card coming on but made a contribution.

Cian O’Sullivan (Kilmacud Crokes, 6) brought on to shore up things and did okay.

Kevin McManamon (St Jude’s, 6) thought he had a point but it tailed wide.

Michael Darragh Macauley (Ballyboden St Enda’s) furious in not being brought on earlier and wasn’t on long enough to be rated.

Kerry: How they rated

By Tony Leen

Shane Ryan of Kerry during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Dublin and Kerry at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Shane Ryan of Kerry during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Dublin and Kerry at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Shane Ryan (Rathmore): Super reflexes at the end to deny Connolly and O’Callaghan. Finished the year in a good place. Restarts worked well. No chance with the Murchan goal. 6

Jason Foley (Ballydonoghue): Looked more at home from the get-go this time. Kept tabs on Dean Rock, though the latter still snaffled two points from play. 6

Tadhg Morley (Templenoe): Was involved in one of the pivotal moments of the game when he was fouled en route to goal by Con O’Callaghan. Whatever about the referee’s sanction, could Morley have gone traighter to goal? A moot point. 6

Tom O’Sullivan (Dingle): When Dublin work Paul Mannion into that loop for the shot, it’s hard to get a block on the shot. Had little influence going forward and missed a good chance he’d normally convert. 5

Paul Murphy (Rathmore): Skipper for the day, has dropped that few yards deeper as sweeper, but also surged forward to provide an outlet wide. Picked up a second half hamstring strain and was replaced. 7

Gavin Crowley (Templenoe): Lost his bearings with Ciaran Kilkenny a couple of times in the first period and was duly punished. Never quite got to the pitch of the game. 6

Gavin Crowley of Kerry during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Dublin and Kerry at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Gavin Crowley of Kerry during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Dublin and Kerry at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Briain O Beagloaich (Gaeltacht): More involved than the drawn game, and swapped off Scully onto the dangerous McCaffrey when the need arose. Replaced on 51 minutes though as Kerry searched for offensive extras. 6

David Moran (Kerins O’Rahillys): An omnipotent force for Kerry, whether it was tracking back to cover Fenton inside or surging from defence and setting his side on the front foot. However was guilty of two bad, and ill-timed, second half wides. 7

Jack Barry (Na Gaeil): The decision to start him in the first game has evidently given Barry a surge of confidence. Didn’t waste any offensive possession either. Will get better for this but that won’t be much comfort this weekend. 6

Diarmuid O’Connor (Na Gaeil): The surprise inclusion, hadn’t started since the Donegal Super 8 game. Provided an extra option for the kickouts but wasn’t used for those or involved enough to have a material influence on proceedings. 5

Sean O’Shea (Kenmare): Not as prominent as the drawn game, through no fault of his. Still finished with five points, but Dublin kept him running away from goal this time, and he never quite got the turn on his man. 7

Stephen O’Brien (Kenmare): Finished a stellar season with another Duracell display, though he will be disappointed he didn’t get on the scoreboard. And that he didn’t square to an unmarked Geaney for the big second half goal chance. One point between the two games is not enough from such a scoring threat. 6

David Clifford (Fossa): Never quite got that’s moment’s space he required to grab the goal chance Kerry needed in the second period. Still grabbed five points, four from play. What a talent. 8

David Clifford of Kerry in action against Stephen Cluxton of Dublin during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final Replay match between Dublin and Kerry at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
David Clifford of Kerry in action against Stephen Cluxton of Dublin during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final Replay match between Dublin and Kerry at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Paul Geaney (Dingle): Sharp as a tack from the get-go, but like his sidekick, didn’t get the sight of goal he needed, though he had three-pointers on his mind throughout. Should have had a goal but O’Brien chose to shoot. Four points is a good return though. 8

Adrian Spillane (Templenoe): Kicked a good first half score on the run, and provided the energy and honesty he was selected for. Can be very happy with his campaign, but experience will bring more. 6

Subs:

Gavin White (Dr Crokes, 6) will be disappointed how his season finished.

Tommy Walsh (Kerins O’Rahillys, 7) got his hands on a lot of ball in his 25 minutes on the pitch.

Jack Sherwood (Firies, 6) has set a high bar for himself coming off the bench of late, and found it harder this time to influence proceedings.

Killian Spillane (Templenoe, 6) looked razor sharp again, but Dara Moynihan and James O’Donoghue didn’t have enough time to make the difference they were introduced for.

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