National Football League – Saturday, 18th March Kerry 0-13 Dublin 0-13

Dublin were under the cosh but again managed found a way to preserve their remarkable record and equal Kerry’s 84-year-old record of 34 matches unbeaten.

Trailing 0-13 to 0-11 entering injury time, Dean Rock converted a free before Paul Mannion rescued this contest in the third minute of added time.

This game won’t be remembered as one of the classic battles between these two traditional rivals.  Numerous scuffles dominated with 12 yellow cards as neither side gave an inch.

For Kerry, victory was required to maintain a realistic chance of making the league final.  Eamonn Fitzmaurice’s team started with two scores for Peter Crowley and Paul Geaney before Rock got Dublin’s first on 11 minutes.

Kerry led 0-4 to 0-2 by the 27th minute as scoring was at a premium as Geaney and a Brendan Kealy 45 sandwiched a Conor McHugh point before three unanswered Dublin frees from Rock put the visitors one ahead.

Geaney levelled at half-time (0-5 apiece) but that was the first of five-in-a-row for the Munster champions as further white flags for Geaney (2), David Moran and Kevin McCarthy had Kerry 0-9 to 0-5 ahead within eight minutes of the restart.

The game saw momentum shift regularly and Dublin responded with six to go in front with 10 minutes left.  Rock’s shooting was key with four more points while McHugh and Eoghan O’Gara also split the posts to make it 0-11 to 0-9.

It looked like Dublin would drive for home but Kerry managed to find one more spell that set them up for victory.  Geaney added two more frees with Barry John Keane and Donnchadh Walsh pushing the hosts ahead before the Metropolitans dug deep to keep their two-year run intact.


Kerry – Paul Geaney 0-7, Peter Crowley 0-1, Brendan Kealy 0-1, David Moran 0-1, Kevin McCarthy 0-1, Barry John Keane 0-1, Donnchadh Walsh 0-1.

Dublin – Dean Rock 0-9, Conor McHugh 0-2, Eoghan O’Gara 0-1, Paul Mannion 0-1.

Starting Line-ups:

Kerry: Brendan Kealy; Shane Enright, Mark Griffin, Ronan Shanahan; Peter Crowley, Tadhg Morley, Killian Young; David Moran, Jack Barry; Adrian Spillane, Paul Murphy, Donnchadh Walsh; Kevin McCarthy, Paul Geaney, Jack Savage.

Dublin: Stephen Cluxton; Philly McMahon, Michael Fitzsimons, David Byrne; Darren Daly, John Small, Eric Lowndes; Brian Fenton, Michael Darragh Macauley; Niall Scully, Dean Rock, Shane Carthy; Ciaran Kilkenny, Paddy Andrews, Conor McHugh.


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