Three GAA clutch kicks over the years

Seán O’Shea’s late great draw to send Kerry to the All Ireland Soccer Final may be new, but it will go down in GAA history as one of the greatest clutch moments of all time.

O’Shea was well past the 45 mark as Dublin fans and players alike did their best to knock out the 23-year-old.

Undeterred, the Kenmare sniper slapped his right foot, drawing it in from right to left. It ended between the posts, just above the black spot, with plenty of reserve.

Croke Park, like many other courses across the country, has seen some titanic battles that ended in winning the game entrusted to a player, but doing what is necessary in a game of this magnitude has only been done a few times.

Just a place to start…

Stephen Cluxton

Dublin vs. Kerry, All-Ireland Final, 2011

There were more than a few shades of Stephen Cluxton’s kick from 2011 today, with same ending and all, except there was no joy for Dublin, just blue-feeling dubs on the mound.

On this day in 2011, however, it was Cluxton and Dublin who had the last laughs.

As the keeper made the long journey from his goal to the free-kick, a pin could be heard dropping in HQ. It was about time Dublin made it or it failed. He stepped on the plate like he had done so many times this season and Hill 16 erupted.

Dean Rock

Dublin vs Mayo, All Ireland Final, 2017

At the end of a thrilling 2017 All Ireland Seniors Football Championship final at Croke Park, Dean Rock showed steely courage as he smashed the post with a 76th-minute free-kick to separate Dublin and Mayo by just a point.

Rock also had to deal with a distraction in the form of a flying GPS from Mayo opponent Lee Keegan.

He hit the post with a last-minute free-kick in the league final of that year and presented Kerry with the crown.

Rock said at the time: “It’s my job to get it over the bar, I love being in those kinds of situations. Obviously, in the league final that I learned from, I missed a kick to get a tie and thankfully it went past the bar this time. I just hit it well and the rest is history now.

Maurice Fitzgerald

Kerry v Dublin, All-Ireland Championship, 2001

It’s Kerry and Dublin once again, only we’re thrown back in time to the early 2000s. Maurice Fitzgerald scored one of the most legendary points of all time against his great rivals on a Saturday night in Thurles.

This one, a little different from the rest, was a side hustle that required something special.

Fitzgerald knew what he had to do to achieve equal causes. An evasive right-wing free-kick was enough to seal a tie for the Kingdom and a place in sports folklore.

That wasn’t the only time Fitzgerald landed one from around this area. His performance in the 1997 All-Ireland playoff was equally special.

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