Late goals from Kevin McManamon and Eoghan O'Gara won an epic All-Ireland SFC semi-final for Dublin as they fended off Kerry by 3-18 to 3-11
Kerry stunned the Dubs with three first half goals, from James O’Donoghue (2, 1 pen) and Donnchadh Walsh. Paul Mannion netted for Dublin, but they trailed by 3-05 to 1-09 at the break.
Both sides had spells of dominance in the second half, but it was McManamon who settled it with a brilliant solo goal in the 70th minute, followed by an O'Gara strike in stoppage time, that sealed it, and set up a meeting with Mayo in the Sam Maguire Cup decider.
Michael Darragh Macauley and Bernard Brogan struck early for the Dubs, but they were knocked back by James O’Donoghue’s seventh minute goal, finished clinically past Cluxton from Donnchadh Walsh’s threaded pass.
Kerry fans were in raptures when Walsh fired in a second goal four minutes later from Darran O’Sullivan’s assist.
But their joy lasted less than 60 seconds, with the Dubs hitting the net in a devastating counter-attack.
Diarmuid Connolly floated in a tantalising delivery from the left, and a flying Paul Mannion rose to punch to the net past a helpless Brendan Kealy.
Dublin persisted with their attacking strategy despite the fact that Darran O’Sullivan and Colm Cooper were a constant threat to their orthodox defence.
And they were rewarded with scores from Cluxton (free) and Brogan as they narrowed the gap to a single point.
The Metropolitans conceded a third goal in the 20th minute when Cluxton hauled down Walsh, and O’Donoghue drilled home the penalty for a three points advantage.
Ciaran Kilkenny’s ling punt was allowed to hop over the bar, and he was on target again after Cooper and O’Donoghue had tagged on points for a Kingdom side that had bagged all their first half scores from play, and led by 3-5 to 1-9 at the interval.
Cian O’Sullivan was assigned as Cooper’s man-marker for the second half, but the Kingdom eased further ahead with two Paul Galvin scores and a Cooper free.
Jim Gavin introduced Dean Rock, who scored from his first touch, but the Dubs failed to capitalise on a golden goal chance, when Brogan’s shot lacked conviction and was easily dealt with by Kealy.
They kept plugging away, however, and narrowed the gap through Paddy Andrews and Brogan, who fired over an inspirational score and converted a free to bring them level.
Connolly arrowed over another wonderful score at the Hill 16 end to give them the lead for the first time since the seventh minute.
Having conceded five points in a row, Kerry regained their composure and their direction, with Tomas O Se pushing from deep and Anthony Maher stepping uop his workrate.
Twice they went level through Cooper and O’Donoghue, before Darran O’Sullivan streered over the lead point from a tight angle in the 63rd minute.
But there was another fascinating twist in this memorable encounter, as Dublin cut loose with a devastating 2-2 salvo in the closing stages.
McManamon plundered possession 50 metres out to drive through and plant the perfect shot past Kealy, and in stoppage time O’Gara’s drive smashed against the crossbar and over the line.
Dublin: S Cluxton (0-1, f), K O’Brien, R O’Carroll, J Cooper, J McCarthy, G Brennan, J McCaffrey, MD Macauley (0-1), C O’Sullivan (0-1), P Flynn, C Kilkenny (0-2), D Connolly (0-4, 1f), P Mannion (1-0), P Andrews (0-1), B Brogan (0-6, 2f).
Subs: P McMahon for O’Brien, D Bastick for Brennan, D Rock (0-2) for Kilkenny, E O’Gara (1-0) for Mannion, K McManamon (1-0) for Brogan
Kerry: B Kealy: M O Se, M Griffin, S Enright, T O Se, P Crowley, F Fitzgerald, A Maher, J Buckley, P Galvin (0-2), C Cooper (0-4, 2f), D Walsh (1-0), Darran O’Sullivan (0-1), Declan O’Sullivan (0-1), J O’Donoghue (2-3).
Subs: D Moran for Buckley, E Brosnan for Enright, K Donaghy for Galvin, A O’Mahony for Griffin, K Sherwood for Crowley
Referee: C Reilly (Meath).