Cometh the hour, cometh the man
Cometh the hour, cometh the man.
Seanie O'Shea is the man. The breeze was blowing, the sun was shining, the legs were tiring but when the pressure was at its highest, and when Kerry needed someone to drag them over the line, Seanie O'Shea stepped up in a big time way. He stepped up and he led them to the All-Ireland final.
He led them then just like he'd been leading them all day.
It was the last kick of the game and from the guts of 53 metres, and with half of Croke Park whistling and jeering, he kicked that free so sweet that it cut through the breeze like there was no breeze at all.
What a moment, and what a man.
In Hill 16, the Kerry fans erupted. The Kerry players in front of them jumped for joy. Evan Comerford kicked out the ball and then, with the clock ticking all the way home, Paddy Neilan blew his final whistle and from Drumcondra to Glenbeigh, you could have hear the roars out of them there and everywhere in between.
"It was one of the greatest sporting occasions I was ever at," said Colm O'Rourke shortly afterwards.
Cometh the hour, cometh the man
Seanie O'Shea is the man!!pic.twitter.com/6gvJ3J9dGH
— GAA JOE (@GAA__JOE) July 10, 2022
And there's absolutely no doubt about that. And the only thing sweeter than that video above, is this video below.
— Cárthach Bán Breathnach (@cartyban) July 10, 2022
O'Shea stepped up at the finish but he stepped up at the start too. He kicked a sweet point to settle Kerry into the game and shortly after, with Eoin Murchan all at sea, he followed it up with a goal that had Croke Park shaking to the rafters.
From there to half-time, the Kingdom were absolutely irresistible. David Moran had Dublin on the back foot with kick-passes which, on more than one occasion, had the crowd oohing and aahing. Jack O'Connor's team had the wind at their backs at this stage but they had the wind in their sails too.
And then there was David Clifford. He had Mick Fitzsimons in all sorts of bother in a sublime first half performance and it was his shot that led to a penalty that, if scored, would have put Kerry seven points up.
Sean O'Shea's effort was tame but it was his follow-up that had Kevin McStay calling blue murder. The ball broke free and O'Shea lashed a boot at it but by McStay's reaction, you'd have thought he'd committed treason. "It was reckless," said the Mayo man. 'He'll be lucky if he doesn't see red.
The reality was that the ball was there to be kicked, and that McStay had had a moment. It was like the time Sir Alex Ferguson said that Ashley Williams could have killed Robin van Persie when he committed the unforgivable crime of kicking a ball at him. Sir Alex, in that instance, was as bad as McStay, and vice versa.
That miss did give Dublin a foothold in the game though and they were a different team in the second half. Cormac Costello dragged them right back into the game with an absolute screamer of a goal in the 45th minute and for the last half an hour, you could have cut the tension with a knife.
Paudie Clifford did some marvellous things for Kerry that were cancelled out by James McCarthy and Davy Byrne, who somehow managed to tie up Paudie's brother.
It looked for all the world like we were going to extra-time but then up stepped Seanie. And Seanie did his thing.