Dublin forward Ciaran Kilkenny and Con O'Callaghan were the pick of the bunch as Dublin sealed their five in a row against Kerry. Here is how we rated the players from both sides.


Stephen Cluxton 7.5

The Kerry press got less return this week from Cluxton, who was a model of his usual customary composure. Little in the way of shot-stopping for the Dublin captain until Stephen O'Brien bore down in the 52nd minute with the Kingdom trailing by three. The Parnells man didn't panic, closed the angle and flung himself wide to thwart the Kerry attacker. A key moment in the game. Dublin won all 23 of his kickouts.

David Byrne  7

The Naomh Olaf's man has been a fixture in the Dublin rearguard all season and one blip aside for Kerry's goal in the drawn game and it has been a very satisfactory year for the tigerish defender. Scored just his second ever championship point after a number of forays into opposition territory and coped well at the other end considering what he was up against.

Michael Fitzsimons  8

An early bomb tested his aerial ability next to Paul Geaney, but was assigned the David Clifford marking job. One superb last-gasp shoulder on Stephen O'Brien as he was about the pull the trigger shortly before the interval had the blue supporters in full voice, especially as it came after referee Conor Lane had initially appeared to black card the defender, but in fact was just a name ticking.

Jonny Cooper  7.5

All eyes were on the Na Fianna man after his difficulties 13 days ago on David Clifford, but away from shackling the Fossa man, was much happier carrying the ball forward and offering himself as a runner off the shoulder.

Jack McCaffrey  6

The man who scored as much from play as the starting Kerry forward line last time out didn't reach such dizzying heights. Received medical attention at one point and a wall of green and gold looked intention on blocking down the channels the marauding wing-back likes to speed into. Replaced at the break.

John Small  7

Took up a more central role in the Dublin rearguard and looked right at home and helped to curb Sean O'Shea's influence, with the Kerry attacker particularly quiet in the opening half. Must take great credit for his part in that.

Eoin Murchan  8.5

A decent cameo in the drawn encounter saw the Na Fianna man trusted from the off and he slotted into wing-back with James McCarthy pushed further upfield. Operated in a free role in front of the full-back line when Kerry were in possession and was a link man throughout. A sensational goal straight from the second-half was a crucial score, a touch fortunate considering he clearly over-carried the ball. More than justified his inclusion and seems to rise to the occasion on All-Ireland final day.

James McCarthy 7

Having performed so comfortably in the middle of the pitch in the last few years, it was no surprise to see McCarthy excel in the engine room yet again. An ideal foil for Fenton and swung over a cracking point to nudge the Dubs further ahead down the stretch.

Brian Fenton 7.5

Uncharacteristically quiet in the drawn game - the Raheny man had a total of 16 possessions and not a single shot at goals - Fenton was back to his usual form, always involved and probing on the ball. An inspirational leader in this team of stars.

Niall Scully 6.5

One of the most trusted Jim Gavin lieutenants, the Templeogue Synge Street man was industrious throughout. The Dublin forward line was on fire at different stages, though Scully is a man that struggles for limelight with such an illustrious cast around him. Could have raised a green flag for two years in a row in an All-Ireland final, but blazed his effort over. Replaced by Cormac Costello with 12 minutes remaining.

Con O'Callaghan 9

Set the tone with a point within 17 seconds and blazed a trail for his second when Tom O'Sullivan couldn't catch the Cuala star. A sensational opening half and could count himself unlucky not to draw a few more frees. Used his physical advantage over O'Sullivan to great effect and the scary thing for every other team is that he is only 23 years of age.

Brian Howard 7

A focal point for Cluxton in the drawn game from restarts, the Raheny man was a little more subdued in terms of possession. Still covered every blade of grass and how he won a free with five minutes to go summed up his attitude. Cluxton picked the wing-forward out for a one v one scenario against Stephen O'Brien. Howard soared, but fumbled the ball at the top of his leap, but scrambled to the ground like his life depended on it to win it back before the Kerry support arrived.

Paul Mannion 8

Swept over a beauty with his left foot early on and matched his tally of two points in the drawn game after just eight minutes. His wide in the 43rd minute was Dublin's first of the day and ended the day with a tally of four points. A fitting end to a brilliant year for the Kilmacud Crokes man.

Dean Rock 7

Not as involved as some of his fellow forwards, though picked off Dublin's final two points of the evening and finished with three.

Ciaran Kilkenny  9

A much improved showing from the Castleknock man. Swapped numbers with Con O'Callaghan, but despite having 14 on his back, went foraging as usual further out the field. Two points in the opening five minutes showed he meant business. Often accused of not penetrating the opposition defence enough, he was all-action and a real thorn in Kerry's side. Made a rousing blockdown on Jack Sherwood to show his ability to help out the defence when required. Four points in a five-star showing.


Diarmuid Connolly  7

A half-time replacement for the injured McCaffrey. Touch of class in the 45th minute when he turned over Adrian Spillane after the Templenoe man won Stephen Cluxton's restart. The St Vincent's man bustled him off the ball and pinged a perfect ball for Ciaran Kilkenny who rifled the ball over the bar. 

Patient in possession, the 32-year-old teed up Niall Scully for his point and the player, and team, must be very pleased indeed that his summer trip to Boston never materialised.

Cormac Costello  6

Came on with a quarter of an hour left. Pulled one shot but kept the Kerry defence honest.

Cian O'Sullivan N/A

An integral part of Jim Gavin's plans since he took over, replaced David Byrne with time almost up.

Kevin McManaman N/A

Came on with only three minutes left on the clock.

Michael Darragh Macauley N/A

Has more than played his role in Dublin's drive for five but featured for only a minute off the bench.


Shane Ryan 7

Looked more comfortable this time around. Took the safe options when a couple of balls dropped short and wasn't  placed on as much pressure on his kickouts at times as he might have expected. Excellent double save in injury-time, first from Diarmuid Connolly and then Con O'Callaghan, illustrated his prowess as a shot-stopper.

Jason Foley 6.5

Like his colleagues in the full-back line, had his hands full throughout as the Dublin attack were operating at a much higher level. 

Tadhg Morley 7

Kept Paul Mannion to a brace of points the first day, but the Kilmacud man upped his game considerably and Morley gamely battled gamely throughout. Offered thrust going forward on occasions

Tom O'Sullivan  6.5

Having lived somewhat a charmed life in the drawn encounter, the Dingle man was again tasked with tracking Con O'Callaghan and found the going much tougher second time around as the Cuala man was simply sensational, especially in the opening 35 minutes. Still managed the odd foray into enemy territory.

Paul Murphy  7

A man who seems to thrive in a number of roles in the green and gold, and was Kerry's sweeper for the day. An incredible engine, but could do little at times to blunt the Dublin attack. Ran himself into the ground.

Gavin Crowley  6.5

Again the centre-back pushed up high in a midfield bank of four for Dublin kick-outs, but wasn't a noticeable presence from open play.

Brian O'Beaglaoich 6

One timely intervention on Jack McCaffrey as he put the afterburners on and always on the look out to carry the ball forward. Rarely let the Clontarf flyer out of his sights and picked up a booking late in the first half.

David Moran  7

Everything runs through the Kerins O'Rahilly's man. Lifted his team when he surged forward. May not be overly pleased with how Eoin Murchan raced through the middle for his goal, where he could possibly have taken the cynical approach to halting the Dublin defender.

Jack Barry 6.5

Not as involved as perhaps he would have liked, but his game is built around winning possession and offering cover in front of the Kerry defence.

Adrian Spillane  6

Emptied the tank and does so much unseen work. Replaced after 50 minutes.

Diarmuid O'Connor  5

A late replacement for team captain Gavin White and the pre-match thinking was Kerry would put even more pressure around the middle third. In truth was on the periphery of the game and was called ashore with 15 minutes to go.

Seán O'Shea  7

The centre-forward plundered 10 points the last day and had to settle for half that today. Wasn't quite the same force, but came into it as the game wore on. Work-rate is never in question, evident when he tracked back to create a turnover that led to a potential goal opportunity for Kerry late in the first half, a free that he himself knocked over. A booming point in the 45th minute brought the game back to the bare minimum, but it wasn't to be for the Kingdom.

Stephen O'Brien 6.5

Kenmare GAA club watched on proudly at it's second member of the Kerry half-forward line. Could have drawn the sides level in the second half, but his rasping shot was blocked by the chest of the onrushing Stephen Cluxton.

David Clifford 8.5

His first score came off his left in a sea of covering defenders, the second point was a nonchalant strike from distance with his right, swinging the boot effortlessly to bisect the posts. Struggled on a couple of occasions with the shooting boots last time out, but sprinkled star dust all over the contest. Did all he could to take the fight to Dublin.

Paul Geaney  8

The early tactic from the Kingdom was obvious; bomb it in and around the edge of the square where the Dingle man was taking up residence. Got little change and could have scored a 12th minute goal when his rasping effort flew over the bar. Geaney was a real danger throughout and matched Clifford as Kerry's top scorer from play with four points.


Gavin White 6

The team captain will have been disappointed not to have started the contest and was drawn into more defensive duties upon his arrival.

Jack Sherwood 6

First involvement was to be blocked down by Ciarán Kilkenny as he battled to shut down the Dublin attack.

Tommy Walsh  6.5

As soon as he entered the game, Dublin sent on Philly McMahon to keep tabs on the towering forward. On the pitch for around 20 minutes, but never able to exert the type of influence manager Peter Keane was hoping for.

Killian Spillane  6

The goal scoring hero from the drawn game got just 10 minutes to shine after Paul Murphy ran himself into the ground.

James O'Donoghue N/A

Had little time to influence proceedings.

Dara Moynihan N/A

Thrown into the action with the clock in the red.