Father and son a credit to their county as Kingstons inspire a famous Cork win
Shane Kingston had every reason to believe that he should have been starting in Saturday's All-Ireland semi-final against Kilkenny.
It's not all about scoring, true, but it all points to an in-form forward when you can say that he's scored a goal in each of the three championship games he's played in this year. It might not have been vintage Kingston, who was the first starter subbed against Clare last time out but given his truly neck-breaking pace and his deadly nose for a goal, you get the sense that, even on the rare occasion when he's struggling to impact on a game, that this is a passenger worthy carrying.
It's a strange one when it comes to the Douglas attacker though because while father and son will both deny it, there's absolutely no denying that it's an unusual one at least, to have a father managing his son in an inter-county team.
Put it to you this way. Some parents are hard on their children and others, well, they have the rose-tinted glasses on for everything their kids have ever done. Let's just say that if Kieran Kingston was one of these biased parents, then there isn't a hope in heaven that Shane Kingston would, for 38 minutes, have been sitting on the Croke Park bench today. He would have been wing forward or corner forward but no matter where he was, Kilkenny would have been scared of him.
As it turned out, he started the game on the bench but some things they never change because even though he began his day on the line, Kilkenny should still have been scared of him. Darragh Fitzgibbon was the man struggling and from the moment the manager's son replaced him Cork were like a different team and Shane Kingston was like a man possessed by the Gods of hurling. Like a train on the tracks, he ran onto pass after break after ball-in and every single time, he buried the ball over the bar like a man who wasn't going to miss if he was there until next month.
— The GAA (@officialgaa) August 8, 2021
The game turned into total chaos for a finish as Adrian Mullen's goal remarkably and somewhat undeservedly gave Kilkenny a life-line but with Tim O'Mahony running up and down the field like a man was intent on breaking the GPS box on his back, with Robert Downey coming of age behind him, and with Mark Coleman, Patrick Collins and all of these men as cool as ice, Cork were never going to lose this game. Downey, the second coming of Diarmuid O'Sullivan, pushed him hard but Kingston, the sub who scored seven points from play, just had to be the man-of-the-match.
That he was and, unbelievably, his post-match interview reflected as well on his character as his performance did on his skill. It was total modesty, it was all about the team - you could say the same thing for his father - and it was a credit to the young man.
"I knew at the start of the week I wasn't going to be playing. As you can imagine, there were a few awkward conversations at home during the week. But I got lucky enough in the games to date, getting a goal a game, but I knew myself I wasn't performing so I didn't mind. But when I got the chance to come on, I just wanted to prove that, hopefully I'll be playing again the next day."
"The boys did the hard work and I was fortunate to be on the finishing side of it. We've had extra-time before. We've trained hard enough since December. We knew we had it in the tank for the last 20."
And after all that, you'd have to think he'll be starting the next day!
'For the majority of us, bar a few old fellas, it's a first All-Ireland final' - Shane Kingston the young man of the match looks forward to Limerick#rtegaa https://t.co/J3NwqtvxKW pic.twitter.com/zhr5hDsXJo
— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) August 8, 2021