They say that semi-finals are all about winning.

It doesn't matter how you do it: if you creep over the line, then well and good in the effort to arrive at the big day.

The 2019 football championship has reached the last-four stage and the counties involved are well used in plotting a course to get them over that penultimate hurdle.

Since the advent of the football qualifiers, Dublin, Mayo, Kerry and Tyrone between them have contested 47 semi-finals. Indeed, clashes involving the quartet at that stage of the championship have more often than not produced some epic fare and no shortage of talking points.

2003 - Tyrone 0-13 Kerry 0-06

Declan O'Sullivan of Kerry and Tyrone's Conor Gormley getting to know each other

On a warm August day, a new phrase entered the GAA lexicon - 'puke football'

Pat Spillane watched on as the Kingdom were put through the meat grinder. There was simply no room for Kerry to find any rhythm or momentum as Tyrone tackled with ravenous intent and got in the faces of Páidí Ó Sé's team.

Spillane, trying to sum it all up, came up with a phrase that would define a change in emphasis in how football would be played. With the likes of Tyrone and Armagh placing more emphasis on strength and conditioning, a point in the noughties where stopping teams from playing to their strengths had arrived. Conventional roles on the field of play were changing - a corner forward would no longer reside in their own domain.

Kerry would eventually adapt, Spillane in time would later say that his "puke football assessment was too harsh and that Tyrone "were a revolutionary force" in football.

That semi-final in '03 began a new world order of sorts in football.

2006 - Mayo 1-16 Dublin 2-12

Ciarán McDonald kicked Mayo's winning point

Dublin were 2-11 to 0-10 ahead after 47 minutes and on course for a final appearance against Kerry - and then something clicked for Mayo. An Andy Moran goal in the 51st minute was the start of the recovery mission. With David Brady making his presence felt after coming on as a sub just after half-time, Mayo assumed total control and reeled the Dubs in.

They took the lead only for Alan Brogan to level it up. Mayo's response was immediate and memorable. Ciarán McDonald fired over what was to be the winning point from a narrow angle. Dublin had a chance to save themselves, but Mark Vaughan failed to land a '45.

If the drama on the field wasn't thrilling enough, there was also the 'pre-match show' on the Hill 16 side of Croke Park.

Mayo came out onto the hallowed turf and did their warm up in front of the Hill 16 goals. The Dubs, seeing that their "space" had been taken, marched, arms linked, down towards the Hill, Both sides went through routines in close proximity and it lead to a tense atmosphere on Jones' Road. 

Things did get out of hand a bit when Dublin manager Paul Caffrey clattered into Mayo assistant John Morrisson. We also had the sight of Mayo dietitian Mary McNicolas being treated on the pitch after getting hit by a ball.

2012 - Mayo 0-19 Dublin 0-16

Mayo repelled a late Dublin surge

Mayo ended the reign of the then champions Dublin to set up a western seaboard All-Ireland final against Donegal.

A gripping Croke Park encounter saw James Horan's men cling on for victory in the face of a furious Dubs fightback.

All six Mayo forwards scored, with Cillian O’Connor converting three '45s, as they built up a 0-12 to 0-06 half-time lead.

The westerners then moved 0-17 to 0-07 clear by the 51st minute, but Dublin fought back with a string of Bernard Brogan frees. However, Mayo hung on to win 0-19 to 0-16 and they can be thankful to David Clarke for his brilliant save late on from Brogan.

That win was Mayo's last over Dublin in either league or championship and ended Pat Gilroy's time in charge of the Dubs. 

2013 - Dublin 3-18 Kerry 3-11

Colm Cooper produced, perhaps his best performance in a Kerry jersey

Some will say that this was the greatest game in the modern era. The vision and artistry of Colm Cooper was to the fore in the opening half as he set up goals for James O'Donoghue and Donnchadh Walsh. Kerry were still in front by a point on 67, but they ended up losing by seven.

There was another fascinating twist in this memorable encounter, as Dublin cut loose with a devastating 2-02 salvo in the closing stages. 

Kevin 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.

Afterwards, Dublin boss Jim Gavin summed up the 70 minutes when telling RTÉ Sport: "It was a great game, two teams that really believed they could win.

"Both of them showed that in the way they played football, the way we believe, and certainly Kerry believe, the way it’s meant to be played.

"It could have gone either way at the end. The Dublin camp are acutely aware of that."

2015 - Dublin 2-12 Mayo 1-15 - Dublin 3-15 Mayo 1-14 (replay)

Andy Moran takes aim at the Dublin goal in the drawn game

Andy Moran emerged as Mayo's super sub at Croke Park with a dramatic added-time equaliser that capped an incredible comeback.

The five-in-a-row Connacht champions looked down and out when they trailed by six with 63 minutes on the clock but staged a thrilling recovery in the closing minutes to force a second date.

Veteran Moran was their inspiration as his first point began a scoring blitz of 1-03 without reply from the westerners and he also booted that crucial leveller at the end of the frenetic period.

The goal came from the boot of Cillian O'Connor who expertly converted a 69th-minute penalty following a foul on Colm Boyle and finished with 1-09 in total.

And so the replay, three goals in the final 15 minutes at Croke Park saw Dublin come from behind in thrilling fashion to prevail.

The trailed by four points with 55 minutes on the clock and looked in serious danger of missing out on the showdown with Kerry.

But having been held to a draw the previous Sunday, the Dubs summoned all of their character, and no little quality, to speed past Mayo in the closing minutes.

Bernard Brogan tied the scores with his 56th-minute goal before a second from corner-back Philly McMahon - who finished with 1-02 - shortly after.

Kevin McManamon (l) fires home Dublin third goal 

Mayo had no response and super-sub McManamon grabbed Dublin's third goal with three minutes remaining, taking his tally to 1-01 by full-time.

All told it was a stunning display of firepower from Dublin.

McMahon was superb, expertly shackling Mayo danger man Aidan O'Shea, aside from his scoring exploits, while Brian Fenton was a powerhouse in midfield and Paddy Andrews kicked five points from play.