I really thought Kerry could have closed out the game and won the All-Ireland last Sunday.
They had a few chances to do that towards the end, but Dublin kept turning them over. When Dean Rock stood over the free right at the end, it was like deja vu from the 2011 final with Stephen Cluxton, or even the 2017 final with Rock.
It would have been an awful way for Kerry to lose that game if it had gone over. They have some big calls to make in two-weeks’ time.
‘Will Tommy Walsh start’ being the biggest one.
He made a huge impact when he came on, so did Jack Sherwood and then you have Killian Spillane who came on and kicked 1-01.
So Peter Keane has some decisions to make for sure. The big question in Kerry from now until the replay throws in will be ‘what will the starting 15 be’?
Gough was great
David Gough’s decision to give Kerry penalty was a fair call. I clearly saw Jonny Cooper holding David Clifford at the match and having seen it back I still think it was a penalty.
Some days those are given, some days they’re not and I know that well myself from when I was playing.
Straight away when the referee saw it, he was adamant it was a penalty.
As a back, I would be unhappy if it was given against me. That’s because in the heat of battle you are always trying to get the upper hand.
But, there are times when you can get caught out doing that and that’s what happened to Cooper.
People have compared Cooper’s sending off to the decision not to dismiss Tom O’Sullivan, but they were different for me.
With Cooper, David Gough ticked him for the penalty, for his second foul Cooper got booked and then there was a third foul that Cooper was ticked for, so the last incident had to be a second yellow with a subsequent red one.
But, with Tom Sullivan, he only had three fouls to Coopers four and that was good refereeing to me.
The TV pictures don’t lie, Cooper deserved to be sent off.
David Gough had a fantastic game and we all know they are hard games to ref. He got all the big calls right and he left the game go towards the finish. He helped to make it the spectacle that it was.
It might not have been the purest game of football in the world, but it sure had you on the edge of your seat from start to finish and Gough should get credit for that too. I don’t think anyone can have any complaints with him.
Cluxton is the classiest keeper of all time
Without a doubt, Stephen Cluxton is the greatest goalkeeper in the history of the GAA.
He makes Dublin tick, he’s their quarterback and he orchestrates everything for them. He’s the best goalie of all time.
His consistency is amazing, he’s such a special player and there’s no way Dublin would have had a chance at five-in-a-row without him.
The penalty stop from Paul Geaney was a massive save.
Fair enough, he came a bit off his line, but it was a top-class save and his second one from Paul Murphy was even better. When I saw Murphy break through, I expected the net to bulge, but Cluxton got his fingertips to it and you could hear the gasp in the crowd when they realised he’d saved it.
I know Jack McCaffrey got Man of the Match, but Cluxton was right up there with him. He’ll go very close to the Footballer of the Year award this year.
If Dublin were to do the five-in-a-row it would be a fitting tribute to him to win the top award. Not that I think that would bother him, he’ll just want another All-Ireland medal.
Bring back Bernard
I didn’t see Bernard Brogan in the Dublin panel and that was disappointing.
He’s a guy I’d have played against in my time and he’s surely worth a spot on the 26 at least.
He brings a bit of experience – an elder statesman if you will – and I’ve no doubt he’d have made a difference if he was there last Sunday.
Both teams will be looking for that ‘x’ factor for the replay and he could bring that.