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Saturday, 7 October, 2000, 19:32 GMT 20:32 UK
Kerry claim All-Ireland title
Johnny Crowley
Kerry's Johnny Crowley (left) outwits Tomas Meehan
Kerry 0-17 Galway 1-10

Kerry claimed their 32nd All-Ireland Senior Football title with a 0-17 to 1-10 win over Galway in the Bank of Ireland Final replay on Saturday in Dublin.

The winners led 0-8 to 1-3 at the interval after Declan Meehan had scored Galway's goal in the seventh minute.

Maurice Fitzgerald was introduced as a substitute in the 28th minute but the undoubted star of the show was his teammate Seamus Moynihan who earned the man of the match award after a magnificent performance.

After 140 minutes of superb football, Kerry finished a marvellous final at Croke Park as deserved champions.

Always close

In contrast to the drawn game, the score was always close but few will argue with the final outcome.

Johnny Crowley got the opening score of the game after only 15 seconds but any hope Kerry had of emulating their frenetic start of two weeks ago soon evaporated as both sides grappled for the early supremacy.

Next came the only game of the match in the seventh minute with wing back Declan Meehan appearing from nowhere to collect a long through ball to fire past Declan O'Keefe's right hand.

Mike Frank Russell showed the first glimpses of his exceptional talent when he twisted Richie Fahy inside out before flicking over the bar to reduce the gap to the bare minimum.

Not the force

However, Russell was not the force of the drawn match and there were suspicions that he carried a knock into Saturday's rematch.

Galway suffered a serious blow in the 18th minute when influential midfielder Kevin Walsh limped off to be replaced by Joe Bergin.

Johnny Crowley
Crowley hit some vital scores

A further point apiece brought the game to within ten minutes of the break but the amount of wides was beginning to become a real cause for concern for the Kingdom.

However, Kerry steadied themselves to hit two crucial points.

Fisted over

First a long free into the Galway dangerzone was fisted over the bar by Aodhan MacGearait and only moments later a towering Dara O'Cinneide ball was dropped by Galway keeper Martin McNamara.

The loose ball fell invitingly for Liam Hassett who, with an open goal, hesitated a moment too long before firing over the bar.

In the 28th minute, Paidi O'Shea introduced Maurice Fitzgerald in place of Noel Kenneally.

Joe Bergin and Dara O'Cinneide then swapped points to leave Kerry with a slim half time of 0-8 to 1-3.

Tightened grip

Kerry tightened their grip on midfield in the third quarter with Donal Daly and Dara O'Se dominating Walsh and O'Domhnaill.

However, their control yielded only the one point through Liam Hassett.

Aodhan MacGearailt
Aodhan MacGearailts soars to win possession

As a result, Galway reached the 50th minute mark on level terms after a fine point from Michael Donnellan was followed by two further scores from the Joyce brothers Tommy and Padraig. Then amazingly Galway took the lead through a magnificent point from Sean Og de Paor.

Kingdom advantage

However, that seemed to spur Kerry and two quick points from MacGearait and O'Cinneide restored the Kingdom advantage.

In a move smacking of desperation, John O'Mahony then saw fit to re-introduce Kevin Walsh to the fray, 37 minutes after limping off.

Initially the gamble paid off with Walsh racing upfield to put the ball over the bar.

As legs tired, points began to crop up with more frequency and Liam Hassett and Maurice Fitzgerald swapped efforts with Niall Finnegan, who converted a free for the western side.

Either way

With two points in it the game was still capable of swinging either way.

Galway tried hard but they ran into some fiercely committed Kerry defending.

With the Tribesmen pushing more and more players upfield Mike Frank Russell took advantage of the space to fire over another point, his second of the game, to leave Galway facing a three point gap.

The insurance score arrived with less than two minutes to go when a Fitzgerald free was fisted over by MacGearait.

Two more points were exchanged but Kerry had already done enough.

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See also:

03 Oct 00 |  Northern Ireland
Fitz misses out again
24 Sep 00 |  Northern Ireland
Galway and Kerry in thrilling draw
23 Sep 00 |  Northern Ireland
All-Ireland Football Final preview
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