Even Niall Scully seemed surprised to get man-of-the-match after the Clifford O'Callaghan show
It was the David Clifford Con O'Callaghan show and of a wet, windy Sunday, it was a joy to be sitting in front of the television.
Not too dissimilar to ourselves, you'd have the impression that Niall Scully was delighted to be a part of it. Scully, that long distance runner of a Templeogue man, played his standard game as the link-man between Dublin's defence and their attack. When it comes to this wing forward, you know what you're going to get and it's seventy minutes of relentless support play, clever passing and 14 tired legs running after him.
Dublin may have been in Semple Stadium but for Niall Scully this was just another day at the office. If you watched Con O'Callaghan or David Clifford light it up at opposite ends of the field, as if one was just matching the other's challenge, then you would call it lots of things but you would not call it another day at the office.
This was outstanding football, it was breath-taking behaviour and there's no doubt it, it was men-of-the-match material.
Thurles of a long-awaited Sunday, Kerry-Dublin just like the days of Maurice Fitzgerald on a sideline and Vinnie Murphy causing havoc - this dream wasn't so much as 15 minutes old as when Con O'Callaghan decided he'd wake us all up.
The Great wall of China would have fell for that dummy bounce from King Conpic.twitter.com/8WDhune5Ht
— GAA JOE (@GAA__JOE) May 23, 2021
Con's first goal was a thing of beauty, slipping past the Kerry cover like it wasn't even there before sending the Kerry 'keeper down a waterslide. Moynihan and O'Shea did their bit but just when they were making themselves at home, Con did what Con does leaving Paul Murphy swinging like a child from their dad as he made a break for his second goal of the game.
3-6 to 0-9 at the break. Game over you'd have to say.
It wasn't until the second half when we began to realise how lucky we were, as we watched O'Callaghan win a game on his own only for Clifford to somehow snatch a lifeline from the jaws of a non-contest.
Having been tightly marshalled in the opening exchanges, the Fossa magician roared into the second half with three points from play that gave his team hope and ultimately, asked a question of Con O'Callaghan. You could call that a rhetorical one because there was only ever going to be one answer.
Not long after winning a penalty, O'Callaghan was gliding once again to slot over what looked like the winner. There was time left and in David Clifford's world, that;s the only ammunition needed to level the whole thing with an emphatic penalty to bring his tally to 1-6.
Niall Scully missed that late penalty as in his state of surprise, he was on his way over to collect the TG4 man-of-the-match award.
"I actually didn't see it because I was taken off by them lads," said a sheepish Scully.
#DUBvKER Lán Ama
Áth Cliath 4-09
“Disappointed not to come out with the win but we probably didn't deserve it” 🏐
Is é Niall Scully @DubGAAOfficial Laoch na hImeartha inniu! 👏 @AllianzIreland @GAA_BEO #AllianzLeagues #GAA #GAABEO pic.twitter.com/8lJOmzt9uu
— Spórt TG4 (@SportTG4) May 23, 2021
It was a decent afternoon's work from Niall Scully, from Kerry and from Dublin but for David Clifford and Con O'Callaghan, this was outstanding stuff.
Maybe you could call it another day at the office...