Tuohy flies the Portlaoise flag high as Irish duo make AFL history 2 months ago

Tuohy flies the Portlaoise flag high as Irish duo make AFL history

Geelong Cats 133 Sydney Swans 52

Tadhg Kenneally no longer stands alone.

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That's because Zach Tuohy and Mark O'Connor have joined him as Irish men who have won the AFL Premiership title. In the end, it was comfortable, it was convincing and it was easy as in the early hours of the Irish morning, and in the dusk of the Melbourne evening, the Geelong Cats avenged their 2020 loss to Richmond and absolutely annihilated the Sydney Swans in the grand final.

It's the Cats' first win since 2011, their 10th in AFL history, and it makes O'Connor and Tuohy Ireland's first winners since 2005.

In his 250th AFL appearance, a mark that takes him ever closer to Jim Stynes record of 264, it was fitting that Tuohy, as one of Geelong's most consistent performers all season, was a steady hand on the big day.

Tuohy plays as a defender and to the untrained eye, his role is akin to that of a sweeper in Gaelic football as he mops up all before him and, as he did on Saturday morning, distributes to his team-mates with near military precision.

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Tuohy's kick-passing, from start to finish, was pitch perfect in the Melbourne Cricket Ground. The Portlaoise man was a level above his opponents, that bit sharper, that bit faster, and so too were his Geelong team-mates who fairly shut the critics up. It had been said this year that, among other things they were too old and too slow.

The Cats certainly had the last laugh on that one.

Tuohy celebrated the win draped in a Portlaoise flag. And as much as you can take the man out of Portlaoise, you can't take the Portlaoise out of the man because he was surely thinking about their county semi-final on Sunday, when his hometown take on Portarlington in the Laois semi-final.

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At 25, Dingle native and former Kerry All-Ireland minor winning captain Mark O'Connor is one of their younger players and he was drafted into start the game in midfield as a result of an injury to Max Holmes. O'Connor made some important marks during the game and in Kerry, they're already hoping that he'll do as Tadhg Kenneally did, and come home to add an All-Ireland to his collection.

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