CROKE PARK WILL host Cork versus Dublin tonight in the glamour game of the GAA weekend. It’s thrown up some memorable clashes down the years.
1. All-Ireland semi-final, 1974
Not even a 16th man could win this one for Cork. The Rebels’ management decided to replace Ned Kirby with Martin Doherty. But after celebrating Jimmy Barry Murphy’s second-half penalty, instead of heading for the touchline Kirby stayed on.
The officials didn’t notice, but Cork were not fooling Kevin Heffernan, Dublin’s supremo. Heffo charged onto the pitch and tried to drag him off, but the Leesider sent him back to the sideline.
Despite Cork’s sneaky efforts to win this semi-final, the Dubs ran out winners, with a scoreline of 2-11 to 1-8. Dublin went on to win the Sam Maguire that year, little did they know, but the winner of this clash, being eventual winners of the championship, would become something of a tradition.
2. National Football League quarter-final, 1987
Source: ©INPHO/Billy Stickland
Coming to the end of a tight contest between the Rebels and the Jacks, they couldn’t be separated, at the end of 70 minutes, the game was drawn.
As the Dubs headed into the dressing room to prepare for extra-time, Cork decided to head off for the train. When it was discovered that Cork were not planning on playing extra-time, the officials began to reason with them and then get the decider under way.
In bizarre circumstances, the referee threw in the ball, with only Dublin on the pitch. The ball was launched forward to Barney Rock who finished into the empty Croke Park net to win the game.
3. All-Ireland semi-final, 2010
If there was ever a game that epitomised “going down to the wire”, then this was it. Dublin led the first half, with Bernard Brogan getting an early goal, but Cork’s second-half charge, set up a classic for Croke Park’s 82,225 spectators.
As the Dubs turned the screw after half-time, Cork’s lifeline came in the 54th minute, through a Donnacha O’Connor penalty, whose accuracy from frees brought the game right down to it, putting Cork ahead for the first time in the 70th minute.
In the end, Cork’s composure proved too much for the Dubs. The end scoreline was Cork 1-15 to Dublin’s 1-14. Cork went on to beat Down in the championship decider to claim the Sam Maguire in September.
Source: ©INPHO/James Crombie