An exciting weekend in the Football championship as three of the weekend's four games went to extra time.
For those of you looking for Colm Cooper's dive click here and go to 1:07.35
Cork and Kerry played an ill tempered but lively replay in Pairc Ui Chaoimh. There's no love lost between these teams, and both teams were desperate to avoid the long qualifier road. Paul Galvin was left on the bench despite his fine cameo in the second half of lat week's game. Kerry manager Jack O' Connor said afterwards that Galvin had only trained once in the past month and couldn't have played the full match.
Cork looked much the better side early on, outworking Kerry and battering them physically. Daniel Goulding tapped in a goal in the fifteenth minute after robbing Kerry keeper Brendan Kealy. Kerry were struggling but should have scored a goal when Donaghy set up Cooper, but the Gooch sidefooted wide from ten yards out. As it was, Cork turned around four points up, 1-6 to 0-5.
Jack O' Connor had sent Galvin on just before halftime to spark some life into Kerry, but it was Donaghy who began the comeback with a well taken goal after a great pass from Cooper. Galvin was up to his usual shenanigans and might have seen red if the the referee had seen him fishooking the mouth of
Daniel Goulding Eoin Cadogan. Instead it was Cork captain Graham Canty who was sent off five minutes from the end, for a trip on Colm Cooper, who tapped over the free. Ciaran Sheehan scored a beautiful point over his shoulder, but Marc O' Se replied with a fisted point to level the teams and send them to extra time, at 1-11 apiece.
Cork were back to fifteen for the extra time, which is an odd quirk of the GAA rulebook, but Kerry looked the more confident team. Fintan Gould put Cork up, but Cooper with a free, and Barry John Keane with two points gave Kerry a lead they wouldn't relinquish. Cork never gave up, but another Cooper free settled it despite points from Noel O' Leary and John Hayes. This was a fantastic win for Kerry against a hugely physical Cork team, who must now face the qualifiers. Kerry face Limerick in the Munster final.
In the Leinster championship, a Dublin team much changed from last year faced a Wexford side with an impressive league campaign behind them and boosted by the return of Mattie Forde. The new look Dublin side looked like strangers to each other in the first half, completely off the pace of the Championship and seemingly having forgotten how to tackle. Wexford were no great shakes themselves, but thanks to the freetaking of Forde went in at halftime six points up, 0-8 to 0-2. The boos rang down from the Dublin supporters, deservedly; as this was one of the worst halves of football I have ever witnessed.
Dublin could hardly have played worse in the second, but they didn't sprint of the blocks after halftime either, and were seven points down with twenty minutes left. They had started to assert themselves in midfield though, and as the sun came out, they reeled Wexford back in, kicking 1-4 without reply to level it, the goal coming from Bernard Brogan.
Dublin half back Denis Bastick had managed to get himself sent off for a senseless bodycheck, and the teams exchanged points to the end, with Forde popping over a free before missing one that would have won the game at the death. Dublin's Ger Brennan was sent off in injury time, but it had little effect since Dublin would have 15 men for the extra time period.
Pat Gilroy sent on the stars of last year in extra time, and Brian Cullen and Tomas Quinn both made hay while the sun shone as Wexford lost their way. Dublin were much the better team and won the extra period 1-7 to 2 points. A very strange day for Dublin, and their game was exemplified by Bernard Brogan who scored 2-4 but also kicked seven wides including a number of easy frees. For a while it looked as if Dublin would have their annual humiliation early, but they won through and will surely improve. Wexford faded badly and will feel they let their chance slip away.
The other game in Croke Park also went to extra time, but even that couldn't separate Meath and Laois, as they finished level, 2-13 to 1-16, and will play again next weekend. Meath led by five points with ten minutes to go, but Laois captain Padraig McMahon scored a goal which sparked a comeback. Meath again led in extra time, after a goal from Cormac McGuinness but three Laois points without reply levelled it up, and so it finished.
On Saturday, Fermanagh beat Cavan by a goal, 1-13 to 0-13, with Ryan Carson scoring 1-3 for the winners. Fermanagh were under pressure at the end but held on to become the only side this weekend able to win in normal time.
In the Camoige championship, holders Cork beat Tipperary at Semple Stadium by four points, Kilkenny beat Galway by three in Nowlan Park and Clare eased past Dublin by seven.