Dublin 1-18 Kerry 0-15: How the Dublin team rated

Ian O’Riordan hands out the marks to the men that completed the five-in-a-row

Brian Fenton, Ciarán Kilkenny and Cian O Sullivan celebrate Dublin’s victory over Kerry in the All-Ireland final replay at Croke park. Photograph:  Dara Mac Dónaill

Brian Fenton, Ciarán Kilkenny and Cian O Sullivan celebrate Dublin’s victory over Kerry in the All-Ireland final replay at Croke park. Photograph: Dara Mac Dónaill

 

1 Stephen Cluxton

Their monument and pillar throughout, nailed 100 per cent of his kick-outs in the first half, super-sized himself to block Stephen O’Brien’s close-range shot at goal on 53 minutes which would have brought Kerry back level, all while as unmoved as during his victory speech. Rating: 9

2 David Byrne

Had his hands and shoulders full with a revived Paul Geaney, who took him for four points, missing a few more. Still he held his confidence and usual mobility, chipping in a point off his left foot during Dublin’s opening flurry. A stellar season. Rating: 7

3 Michael Fitzsimons

Took on David Clifford from the throw-in, sticking tight to the impossible as Clifford shot three in the first half, later moving onto Geaney and staying tireless to the death, unruffled by being misidentified for the foul on Tadhg Morley. Consistency remains his middle name. Rating: 8

4 Jonny Cooper

Astutely placed and operated, acting as the spare man in the half-back line initially, roaming more into the defensive role, covering Clifford as required. A redemption song and repaid the faith showed by Jim Gavin. Rating: 7

5 Jack McCaffrey

A marked man in every visible and physical sense, Diarmuid O’Connor taking on part of the task, helping to make sure there would be no 1-3 this time. Rolled his ankle towards the end of the first half such was his effort, and replaced by Diarmuid Connolly. Rating: 7

Con O’Callaghan gets away from Kerry’s Tom O’Sullivan at Croke Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho
Con O’Callaghan gets away from Kerry’s Tom O’Sullivan at Croke Park. Photograph: James Crombie/Inpho

7 John Small

Solid and strong. Curbed his occasionally impulsive nature to stick to his task at hand, mainly to get some grip on Seán O’Shea, who still found space to hit two from play. The engine room of the half-back line again. Rating: 7

24 Eoin Murchan

Wow. Replaced Michael Darragh Macauley at the start, took on Stephen O’Brien, still no one expected what unfolded at the start of the second half when he won the throw-in off David Moran, darting down the field to score THAT goal. Legs broke down before the hour, his work perfectly done. Rating: 8

8 Brian Fenton

Again not in the form or spirit that won him footballer of the year in 2018, Jack Barry again ensuring his influence was cancelled, his only shot at goal going wide, Still he held that calming head as Dublin closed out the drive for five. Rating: 7

6 James McCarthy

Back to his more comfortable and influential best around midfield, helped to ensure Dublin won all their first-half kick-outs. Still able to press forward too, his simply lavish point inside the last 10 minutes helped to turn the screw on Kerry. Rating: 8

10 Niall Scully

Well marshalled and marked by Brian Ó Beaglaoich, still he turned provider for both Ciarán Kilkenny and Con O’Callaghan, before adding a point of his own on 57 minutes, latching onto a pass from Diarmuid Connolly he might well have directed under the bar. Rating: 7

Dublin manager Jim Gavin celebrates with Brian Fenton. Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Inpho
Dublin manager Jim Gavin celebrates with Brian Fenton. Photograph: Oisín Keniry/Inpho

11 Ciarán Kilkenny

Owned the field and all those around him, throwing his weight and class around throughout despite the attention of Gavin Crowley. His two points inside the opening minutes laid down the marker in every sense. Super athletic all-round performance to drive the five home. Rating: 9

12 Brian Howard

More subdued than the drawn game but was serving in abundance, patient as ever on the ball, moving into the middle of the field as the game closed out to apply further pressure on David Moran. An All Star season. Rating: 8

13 Paul Mannion

Still a little off his usual best, caught a little off balance at times and also shot Dublin’s first wide of the game on 44 minutes. Still his four points from play proved crucial, his last opening up a gap of four on Kerry and breaking some of their spirit too. Rating: 8

14 Con O’Callaghan

Immense. Upped his game as expected and also chipped in with four points, all from play in keeping with the theme of Dublin’s game, even in the close company of Tom O’Sullivan. Defensively covered as much ground as anyone. And still only maturing. Rating: 8

15 Dean Rock

Quietly influential, had Jason Foley for close company throughout and given little to do from placed balls. Still his two points from play in either half came at key moments, his final 45-metre free at the death Dublin’s only score not from play. Rating: 7

Subs

Diarmuid Connolly skewed a few passes, but nailed enough to make his presence felt, Cian O’Sullivan and Kevin McManamon bringing steadiness into the closing act. Rating: 7

Management

Jim Gavin came to Croke Park on the brink of history and left on the right side of it, winning what no manager in football or hurling had previously won. The five-in-a-row complete, his place in history now equally assured. Rating: 10

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.