A late rally by Dublin helped them secure a famous victory over Kerry in the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final at Croke Park
Dessie Farrell’s hugely talented team scored seven of the last nine points to overhaul the 38-time winners in front of 82,300 spectators.
Online bookmakers rated Kerry as the 7/4 favourites before the tournament started, and the reigning champions were well backed to win the final.
However, the top GAA betting sites in Ireland also saw plenty of support for a Dublin side that was chasing the club’s 31st success in the prestigious tournament.
Defences were on top during the early part of the contest and it took until late in the first half before Kerry’s Paul Geaney bagged the first major goal.
They took 1-4 to 0-6 lead into the break, but a deflected Paddy Small effort in the 46th minute brought the scoreline to parity at 1-8 each.
Kerry looked to be back in control when they went three points ahead, but Dublin responded to level the game with 14 minutes remaining.
The two sides exchanged scores during a tense finale, two late efforts by Dublin saw them secure a hard-fought 1-15 to 1-13 victory.
The victory was a satisfying one for Dublin’s management team, who had been called into question following semi-final defeats in the previous two seasons.
Dublin clinched six successive titles between 2015 and 2020 – a run which included an historic five-in-a-row for legendary manager Jim Gavi.
Farrell succeeded Gavin in December 2019 before leading Dublin to their 30th All-Ireland Football title with a victory over Mayo the following summer.
However, semi-final exits in each of the past two years generated plenty of debate about whether Dublin’s 2020 success was earned due to Gavin’s previous efforts.
Farrell and his team silenced the doubters against Kerry, sparking wild celebrations among the players, management team and supporters in the stands.
Losing two consecutive semi-finals in a row undoubtedly left a mark on the Dublin set-up and Farrell admitted it was a relief to see his team emerge victorious.
“Yeah, I think for a lot of Dublin people there was a sense of something special about the victory,” Farrell said.
“You can’t really put the finger on what that was. They’re a special group of players and there’s huge affection for them within the city by the people of Dublin so probably something to do with that.”
Dublin’s success was made more special with the knowledge that the final was possibly the last time several key players would represent the club.