Eamon Fitzmaurice must wonder what it will take. On March 1st 2015, his Kerry team beat Dublin in Killarney by two points. Dublin have not lost a League or Championship match since, winning two leagues and two All-Ireland's on that unbeaten run. Fitzmaurice's Kerry have lost an All-Ireland final, a League final and an All-Ireland semifinal to Dublin in that time period. Tonight, they had their chance to stop the now-famous Dublin unbeaten streak. They lead by 2 points at the beginning of the injury time. But they couldn't do it. Dublin scraped back to get a draw.
It finished 13 points each.
I'd imagine Kerry will be very disappointed with that. Tradition went out the window for a very cynical performance & still couldn't win!!!
— Allianz 𝘿𝙪𝙗𝙈𝙖𝙩𝙘𝙝𝙏𝙧𝙖𝙘𝙠𝙚𝙧 (@DubMatchTracker) March 18, 2017
It was a festive evening in Killarney, with all the local hostelries booked out and a large traveling contingent from the capital. Crowds formed outside of Austin Stack park at 4.30 and ultimately almost 12,000 people filled the ground.
"Game's at 7, lads." pic.twitter.com/TvpKvp0xJ7
— Malachy Clerkin (@MalachyClerkin) March 18, 2017
Fans unfortunately weren't treated to a wonderful footballing exhibition. It was cagey, cynical and often ugly.
Pretty shocking half of football this. 4 points in the half & constant off the ball stuff
— Philip Jordan (@PhilipJordan7) March 18, 2017
Still, after Donnacadh Walsh's point in the 70th point gave Kerry a two-point lead, even the most embittered Kerry fan would have thought Dublin were beaten. But it wasn't to be. GAA fans were left scratching their heads by a decision by Paul Murphy to kick away a free to a Dublin player which ultimately set up Paul Mannion's 74th minute equaliser.
Mannion levels it. Paul Murphy kicked away a free #GAA
— John Fogarty (@JohnFogartyIrl) March 18, 2017
Kerry left that behind 2 pts up hitting added time - get a defensive free and Paul Murphy hits it straight to a Dub #CostThemTheWin
— Tom Rooney (@_TR69) March 18, 2017
@Kerry_Official don't know if kerry has a Siberia but if they do Paul Murphy's going there.
— Conor Mc Closkey (@conor1964) March 18, 2017
— John Connellan (@JohnnyRC88) March 18, 2017
It's Dublin's third draw of this league campaign. While their league form might suggest that the rest of the Division 1 is catching up with them, their draws against Tyrone and Kerry have proven just how hard they are to beat. Their main rivals (bar Mayo, who they demolished) had their chances to kill their unbeaten streak but each time they failed. Another seed of doubt has been planted. Dublin should set the record for the longest unbeaten streak when Roscommon come to Croker next weekend.
For Kerry and Fitzmaurice, it's back to the drawing board.