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All Ireland GAA Final 2013

Croke Park will continue to play host to Ireland’s All Ireland GAA hopefuls right up to the All-Ireland GAA Final on Sunday 22nd September 2013, who the finalists will be remains a mystery, however, the Sam Maguire Cup will be the silver they will be seeking to take back to their respective county.

All Ireland Fixtures at Croke Park

All Ireland GAA Final 2013

Sunday, September 22nd - Final

Winner v Winner (Croke Park)

Sunday, September 1st - Semi-final

Kerry/Cavan v Dublin/Cork (Croke Park)

Sunday, August 25th - Semi-final

Monaghan/Tyrone v Mayo/Donegal (Croke Park)

Sunday August 4th - Quarter-finals

Kerry v Cavan, Croke Pk, 2.0

Mayo v Donegal, Croke Pk, 4.0

Saturday August 3rd - Quarter-finals

Monaghan v Tyrone, Croke Pk, 5.0

Dublin v Cork, Croke Pk, 7.0

Tyrone GAA

Tyrone could do with Brian Dooher, Peter Canavan and Brian McGuigan come Saturday evening. Mickey Harte was adamant they were all visible in the play of Seán Cavanagh as the Moy man produced a stunning performance to see off Meath.

But the aforementioned retired trio are in Valhalla. Instead there’s the new wave of Red Hand footballers like Peter Harte, the Donnellys, Mark and Mattie, and Darren McCurry blending with those who gobbled up All-Ireland medals in the previous decade.

Monaghan GAA

While all that transpired, Monaghan were sitting silently in losing dressing rooms questioning why they were putting themselves through repeated misery. Monaghan, for so long, were the nearly men.

All that changed two Sundays ago when they produced a display of physicality and desire to drop Donegal.

Tyrone v Monaghan All Ireland GAA Quarter Final

Seasoned campaigners like Cavanagh and Joe McMahon know all about flooring Monaghan in championship, cleaning them out with 10 points to spare in the 2010 Ulster final and by a whisker in the 2007 decider. They come at them now as better pack hunters.

“Their heads are probably in a different position than over the last five, six, seven years,” said Cavanagh.

“They have almost come and played us and thought maybe there was a pecking order. They felt a bit, ‘ah, Tyrone have got us and beaten us a few times’, but this time they will be coming as a different animal.

“I don’t think they will fear us. Doing what they did against Donegal, the All-Ireland champions, I don’t think they will fear too many.”

It might be as simple as tactical superiority. Against Donegal they largely replicated the Donegal system.

“Malachy O’Rourke has been brilliant for them and they’ll have a formula for us. We’ll just have to step our game up another level and forget about games we’ve had with them down through the years.”

“I’m enjoying my football,” said Cavanagh of his return from a long injury lay-off. “In the off season I worked incredibly hard to get my body in the right position because, last year, I was sitting on the sidelines watching the guys.

“Particularly down in Killarney it would have broken your heart. I knew there was good quality in this team and we just couldn’t get it together. Maybe injuries failed us a wee bit last year. You can see some of the new guys have come in, the likes of Mattie Donnelly, young Darren McCurry have come in and done fantastically well. So yeah, there is quality in the squad.

“It’s just great to get back and sitting on the sidelines last year I promised myself that whenever I pulled on a Tyrone jersey I would relish it and that’s what I’m doing at the minute. It doesn’t get any better than standing at Croke Park on a hot summer’s day.”

Mayo v Donegal All Ireland Quarter Final 2013

This was hardly a subtle line of questioning. It was put to Michael Shields, the one-time Australian Rules exile that he was hardly complaining when Galway’s snappy young forward Danny Cummins pulled up lame during last Saturday’s qualifier.

Shields was marking Cummins. He wasn’t in a panic but the bigger, established full back looked set for a torrid evening when Cummins ran him across the width of Croke Park before popping a neat point.

Shields got a hand on him but little else. On 22 minutes Cummins was gone, replaced by Shane Walsh who wasn’t long kicking two wides.

All Ireland Quarter Final Scores 2013

Soon enough Shields was striding up the right wing, ball tucked safely under his wing. By the finish he even landed a slick point of his own into the Hill.

“Yeah, he got a nice point. He’s lively, he’s fast I suppose so it was a blessing in disguise. It was nice to see him going off.”

Seven days on, the St Finbarr’s man may be faced with a similar will-o-the-wisp proposition in Kilmacud Crokes’ Paul Mannion.

His duel with Bernard Brogan in the 2010 All-Ireland semi-final is well documented already. Brogan was the Dublin attack that day, everything went through him, and Shields was shipping water from very early on

“I think he kicked three or four off me that day so I suppose the key was really to break as much ball as I could or get out to as much ball as I could. But that day was kind of a funny game really.

“He kicked some great scores. It was just a matter of sticking with him. I think I did a reasonable job for that year. I don’t think too many teams could keep him.”

Dublin GAA All Ireland Quarter Final 2013

Dublin’s attack is vastly different now.

“He’s still creating a lot. So while he might not be scoring as much, he’s doing a lot off the ball.”

Both Kerry and Galway have stitched 1-16 into the Cork defence. How come?

“I can’t really put my finger on it. Kerry are Kerry. They use the ball well. We need to stop the ball coming in from the outside. Galway and Kerry used it quite well against us, even though it was disappointing to concede so many scores in the end.”

 

All Ireland Quarter Final 2013 analysis

He will meet Ciarán Kilkenny for the first time this weekend but they have one big decision in common. After the briefest of stints in Australia, both men decided the oval ball, professional life wasn’t for them. Home birds.

Shields followed the Ó hAilpín brothers to the Carlton Blues in 2007 but didn’t stay long.

“I struggled big time with it. I was homesick. I wanted to go home. I missed my family. I would say Ciarán was similar. He missed his club. He missed his hurling. He missed his football. It doesn’t surprise me that he came back.

“It took me seven or eight months, maybe even a whole year, to get back being able to kick the round ball well.”

“Even the reading of the game, it definitely took me the guts of a year to get me back to where I was.”

“The biggest thing is it’s professional. You’re doing weights four times a day. They’re serious athletes in the teams. When you work as a group, it’s a bigger pitch, it’s a different ball.

“There are similarities in terms of the type of player. But it’s a different game altogether.”

Another reason for coming home was finally realised in 2010. “That was one of the happiest moments of my life. It was brilliant. I wouldn’t swap it for anything. That’s why you want to get back to again. That’s what we’re training for all year.

“I made the right decision to come back.”

Kerry v Cavan All Ireland Quarter Final 2013

Kieran Donaghy, dropped by Eamonn Fitzmaurice for the Munster final victory over Cork earlier this month, has been recalled to the Kerry full forward line for Sunday’s All-Ireland quarter-final against Cavan.

It’s partially on merit, having played well when coming in to the side that day, but James O’Donoghue misses out due to a hamstring injury. O’Donoghue clipped over 0-3 against Cork and was expected to retain his place.

Fitzmaurice’s only other change sees Fionn Fitzgerald at right corner back instead of Mark Griffin.

Otherwise, it is a familiar looking Kerry outfit with 11 of the side that took the field at this stage last summer. That was the end of the road for Jack O’Connor’s Kerry as Donegal knocked them out of the championship.

Johnny Buckley and Darran O’Sullivan came off the bench that day with Buckley in midfield now alongside Anthony Maher while O’Sullivan joins Donaghy and Declan O’Sullivan in a potent looking full forward line.

Colm Cooper continues his remodelled role as a play-making centre forward. Legion’s Jonathan Lynn was not considered due to injury.

This game will mark Tomás Ó Sé’s 87th championship outing. The 35-year-old has registered 3-35, mostly from wing back, since first coming on the scene in 1998.

Fellow veterans held in reserve are Eoin Brosnan, Bryan Sheehan and Aidan O’Mahony.

Kerry (SFC v Cavan): B Kealy; F Fitzgerald, M Ó Sé, S Enright; T Ó Sé, K Young, P Crowley; A Maher, J Buckley; P Galvin, C Cooper, D Walsh; Declan O’Sullivan, K Donaghy, Darran O’Sullivan.