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Dublin - The Great Escapes: Five biggest comebacks of the last ten years

 

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KILLER BLOW: Kevin McManamon scores Dublin’s second goal despite the efforts of Kerry’s Jack Sherwood during the 2013 All-Ireland SFC semi-final at Croke Park. Photo: SPORTSFILE

KILLER BLOW: Kevin McManamon scores Dublin’s second goal despite the efforts of Kerry’s Jack Sherwood during the 2013 All-Ireland SFC semi-final at Croke Park. Photo: SPORTSFILE

SPORTSFILE

KILLER BLOW: Kevin McManamon scores Dublin’s second goal despite the efforts of Kerry’s Jack Sherwood during the 2013 All-Ireland SFC semi-final at Croke Park. Photo: SPORTSFILE

2013 All-Ireland SFC semi-final, Croke Park

Dublin 3-18 Kerry 3-11

Biggest deficit: 5 points, 12th minute (Kerry 2-2 Dublin 0-3)

The quality of the football in Croke Park that day made this a strong contender for the 'game of the decade'.

Some even questioned whether now, finally, the 1977 All-Ireland semi-final had genuine competition for the mantle of 'greatest football game of all time.'

Granted, Dublin's win had the gloss of a couple of late goals apllied to the final score.

First, Kevin McManamon (who else?) and then Eoghan O'Gara - with Kerry stretched in a desperate search for an equaliser.

But it was also symptomatic of Dublin's philosophy at the time: keep their foot strongly on the attacking accelerator from the first whistle until the last.

Colm Cooper conducted the Kerry attack sublimely in the first half - his balletic assist for Donnchadh Walsh led to the goal that gave the Kingdom their biggest lead.

Kerry led by a point with seven remaining when Darran O'Sullivan pointed but Dublin outscored them 2-2 to 0-0 over the last ten pulsating minutes.

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SPOT ON: Diarmuid Connolly scores Dublin’s second goal from a penalty during the 2014 Allianz Football League Division 1 semi-final against Cork in Croke Park. Photo: SPORTSFILE

SPOT ON: Diarmuid Connolly scores Dublin’s second goal from a penalty during the 2014 Allianz Football League Division 1 semi-final against Cork in Croke Park. Photo: SPORTSFILE

SPORTSFILE

Winning margin: 7 points

Swing: 12 points

 

2014 National Football League Div 1, Croke Park

Dublin 3-14 Mayo 2-17

Biggest deficit: 6 points, 57th minute (Mayo 1-14 Dublin 0-11)

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DEJECTION: Alan Freeman of Mayo after the 2015 All-Ireland SFC semi-final replay defeat by Dublin. Photo: SPORTSFILE

DEJECTION: Alan Freeman of Mayo after the 2015 All-Ireland SFC semi-final replay defeat by Dublin. Photo: SPORTSFILE

Not, admittedly, a huge swing. But this was a game Mayo had all but wrapped up.

The evening began to go awry for Dublin in the 30th minute when Stephen Cluxton was sent off for kicking out at Kevin McLoughlin, who was preventing a quick kick out from being taken.

"Life is full of mistakes," shrugged Jim Gavin when asked about it afterwards.

"We all make mistakes in life."

His replacement, Seán Currie, had a difficult remainder of the game, with Mayo going voraciously after his kick-outs.

Gavin never needed to be convinced about Eoghan O'Gara's worth as a full-forward battering ram and the Templeogue/SS man was only on the pitch three minutes when he scored his first goal in the 66th minute.

He buried another in the 71st and Dublin almost stole an implausible win in front of 22,697 but Jack McCaffrey pulled his shot just wide at the death.

Winning margin: Draw

Swing: 6 points

 

2014 Football League semi-final, Croke Park

Dublin 2-20 Cork 2-13

Biggest deficit: 10 points, 37th minute, (Cork 2-11 Dublin 0-7)

The most celebrated of its genre. There was an element of luck about the goal which launched the revival in the 40th minute - Michael Darragh Macauley reacted quickest when Philly McMahon's shot for a point cannoned back off the upright.

But from then, Dublin unleashed their awesome range of skills, organisation and ambition to bury Cork and retain their League title.

Goals by Colm O'Neill in the fifth minute and Mark Collins two minutes later gave Cork the perfect opening, which they embellished with some excellent points. Their direct approach caused chaos in a Dublin defence where Rory O'Carroll was being tormented by Brian Hurley.

No fewer than 11 Dublin players got on the scoresheet, including a defender, a midfielder, five of the starting forwards and four subs.

Astonishingly, they outscored Cork by 1-13 to 0-1 over the final half-hour.

Winning margin: 7 points

Swing: 17 points

 

2015 All-Ireland SFC semi-final replay, Croke Park

Dublin 3-15 Mayo 1-14

Biggest deficit: 4 points, 53rd minute, (Mayo 1-12 Dublin 0-11)

Like many of the 'Sliding Doors' moments of the 2010s for Mayo, this one still stings. This wasn't any ordinary All-Ireland semi-final either. A high watermark for physicality had been set between the teams a week previously in the draw.

In the early hours of the morning of the replay, Diarmuid Connolly had been cleared to play after the DRA overturned his red card.

Just minutes after Cillian O'Connor rounded Stephen Cluxton to put Mayo in the biggest lead of the day, Lee Keegan ambled forward and shot from 30 metres, only for his kick to drop short and into the Dublin goalkeeper's welcoming arms.

Dublin's ability to score in devastating bursts was was at its peak though. First Bernard Brogan and then Philly McMahon scored goals to put them ahead before a third late on from McManamon, rocketed with his left foot, sealed the victory.

Winning margin: 7 points

Swing: 11 points

 

2020 National Football League, Croke Park

Dublin 1-15 Monaghan 1-15

Biggest deficit: 10 points, 29th minute (Monaghan 1-9 Dublin 0-3)

NO doubt, Dessie Farrell will be more consumed over the next two weeks about how Dublin found themselves in such precarious positions in the first place rather than how they actually managed to escape defeat in Croke Park on Saturday night in his third League game as manager.

But the most remarkable part of their latest Houdini act isn't the scale of the swing, it's the time in which they made up the ground.

Monaghan still led by nine points in the 60th minute, when Rory Beggan kicked a '45 and a full six points in the 70th minute of the match.

Kevin McManamon's 'Garryowen' started the fightback and Davy Byrne's left-footed point finished it in the 79th minute, with Dublin outscoring the beleaguered Farney men by 1-7 to 0-1 from the 60th minute.

Winning margin: draw

Swing: 10 points