herald

Monday 20 August 2018

Kingdom come good - Delight for Kerry as they claim All-Ireland title for 37th time

BATTLE'S WON: Kerry fans delighted as their heroes defeat Donegal to claim the All-Ireland title for 37th time

Kerry fans after the All Ireland final. Pictured Karena Slattery and Jemma O'Connell Tralee. Bryan Meade
Kerry fans after the All Ireland final. Pictured Karena Slattery and Jemma O'Connell Tralee. Bryan Meade
Kerry supporters Ailish Sheridan, and Claudia Carroll, pictured before the All Ireland Football Final, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 21/9/2014
Kerry supporters Melissa white, Ailish Sheridan, and Claudia Carroll, pictured before the All Ireland Football Final, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 21/9/2014
Kerry supporters celebrate after victory in the All Ireland Football Final, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 21/9/2014
Kerry supporters Emma Kelly, 32, celebrates after Kerry had won the All Ireland Football Final, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 21/9/2014
Donegal supporters Finn, 6, left and Liam, 7, Doogan, pictured before the match All Ireland Football Final, Kerry v Donegal, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 21/9/2014
21/09/2014 Shay Given & Rebbecca (Becky) Gibson at the All Ireland Football final between Kerry & Donegal at Croke Park, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
21/09/2014 Noel Cunningham at the All Ireland Football final between Kerry & Donegal at Croke Park, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
21/09/2014 Martin McAleese with former Former President of Ireland Mary McAleese at the All Ireland Football final between Kerry & Donegal at Croke Park, Dublin. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
Kerry supporters and father and son, Aidan and Joseph O'Kelly, pictured before the All Ireland Football Final, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 21/9/2014
Kerry's James O'donoghue and Kieran Donaghy celebrates after victory over Donegal, All Ireland Football Final, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 21/9/2014
Kerry supporters celebrate after Kerry had scored their second goal, All Ireland Football Final, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 21/9/2014
Donegal supporters feel the tension in the final minutes opf the match, All Ireland Football Final, Kerry v Donegal, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit; Damien Eagers 21/9/2014
21 September 2014; Kieran Donaghy, Kerry, celebrates after the game. GAA Football All Ireland Senior Championship Final, Kerry v Donegal. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
21 September 2014; Kerry joint captains Fionn Fitzgerald, left, and Kieran O'Leary lift the Sam Maguire cup. GAA Football All Ireland Senior Championship Final, Kerry v Donegal. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Pat Murphy / SPORTSFILE
21 September 2014; Rory Kavanagh, Donegal, in action against David Moran, Kerry. GAA Football All Ireland Senior Championship Final, Kerry v Donegal. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
21 September 2014; Kerry's Paul Geaney celebrates after scoring his side's first goal. GAA Football All Ireland Senior Championship Final, Kerry v Donegal. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: David Maher / SPORTSFILE
21 September 2014; Karl Lacey, Donegal, in action against Paul Murphy, Kerry. GAA Football All Ireland Senior Championship Final, Kerry v Donegal. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Brendan Moran / SPORTSFILE

The agony and the ecstasy - it could only be an All-Ireland football final day.

The smiles on the faces of the Kerry fans and the tears from the Donegal supporters told their own story.

Despite being level at half time, it was the Kingdom's day, and the hills of Donegal were silenced by a hard-fought 2-09 to 0-12 defeat at Croke Park.

Kerry manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice summed up the victory with the words: "It's a sweet one."

His team's young side clawed their way to the county's 37th title.

From early in the afternoon, fans - with some well-known faces among them - had filed into the famous stadium, with even the weather playing nice for the big day.

Crooner Daniel O'Donnell was there, clutching his Donegal flag and wearing his Donegal colours alongside his wife Majella.

Soccer star Shay Given, also wore his Donegal scarf for the team close to his heart, alongside his girlfriend Becky Gibson.

Congrats

After the match was over he tweeted: "Congrats to Kerry, sad Donegal man here."

Politicians from across the political spectrum also attended the showdown, including President Michael D Higgins, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Health Minister Leo Varadkar and Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness. Former Fianna Fail leaders Bertie Ahern and Brian Cowen were also among the crowd as was Sinn Fein leader Gerry Adams.

World famous film director Jim Sheridan was smartly dressed for the occasion and TV3's Noel Cunningham was dapper in his dicky bow.

A goal in the first minute set Kerry on its road to victory, eating the favourites in the season finale.

It completed a perfect green and gold day, with the county's seventh double after the minors won their earlier encounter, also against Donegal.

delivered

There had been a lot of hype in the run up to the game. And on the day itself both teams pushed each other to the limit.

In the dying embers of the senior's game, Donegal came close to netting an equalising goal, but Colm McFadden's fisted effort rebounded off the post.

After the game, a sombre Donegal manager Jim McGuinness delivered his own assessment of where it all went wrong.

"We didn't deliver what we were capable of delivering," he said, adding that "the energy wasn't there".

There will be plenty of days ahead for the Donegal men to do some soul searching about why they fell short. But it was undoubtedly Kerry's day, and the celebrations soon got underway in pubs all over the city after their stunning victory.

In the Kingdom itself, the preparations were being made to welcome the Sam Maguire back home again.

Kerry's Marc O Se said that the steadying influence of manager Eamonn Fitzmaurice was a key factor in their success.

It is five years since Kerry won the cup, and speaking from the winners banquet in a Dublin hotel last night, Mr Fitzmaurice said: "We are happy out."

See Sport

Promoted articles

Entertainment News