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A guide to this year's All-Ireland Football Championship final

The countdown is on for this year’s All-Ireland Football Championship final, which will be contested by long-standing rivals Dublin and Kerry at Croke Park on Sunday 1st September. The game will no doubt prove to be end-to-end and full of excitement as two of the most successful teams battle it out for victory.

Despite winning the Championship a record 37 times, Kerry last won the title in 2014 and in All-Ireland Football odds from Paddy Power, Dublin are the favourites. Victory for The Dubs will see them retain the title for a fifth consecutive year, breaking the record of four consecutive wins held by three clubs.

Ahead of the final, here’s all you need to know.

Dublin’s road to the final

Dublin won the Leinster Senior Championship for a 58th time this year and therefore, advanced to the group stages of the All-Ireland Championship.

The Dubs were unbeaten in Group 2, scoring the most points and conceding the fewest. In their opening game, they triumphed over Cork 5-18 – 1-17; before dominating Roscommon 2-26 – 0-14; and making it a clean-sweep over Tyrone, winning 1-16 – 0-13.

In the semi-final, they faced Group 1 runners-up Mayo. Despite going in at the break with a two-point deficit, a resurgent 12 minutes turned the game around and eventually Dublin were victorious by 10 points. Con O’Callaghan chipped in with two goals as Dublin won 3-14 – 1-10.

Kerry’s road to the final

Kerry won the Munster Senior Championship for an 81st time and therefore, advanced to the group stages of the All-Ireland Championship.

The Green & Gold also topped their group – and advanced to the semi-finals with two wins and a draw under their belts. A dominant win in their opening game against Mayo (1-22 – 0-15) was then followed by a 1-20 – 1-20 draw with Donegal; before a win against Meath (2-18 – 1-13) sealed their fate.

In the semi-final, Kerry faced the runners-up of Group 2, Tyrone. The game was a much tighter affair, with a single goal eventually separating the sides. Kerry went in at the break four points behind Tyrone, but took the lead when Stephen O’Brien scored the game’s only goal. Those three points proved vital in the end as Kerry won 1-18 – 0-18.

They’ve met before

Since the late 1800s, Dublin and Kerry have met 65 times in the All-Ireland Championship and more specifically, have played out 14 finals. Dublin may have won the first final between the two in 1893 (1-4 – 0-3), but Kerry are on top when it comes to overall wins, courtesy of a dominant spell in the late-1970s to mid-1980s. More recently, Dublin have made a comeback, winning their last two finals over their rivals (1-12 – 1-11 in 2011 and 0-12 – 0-9 in 2015). As things currently stand, Kerry have eight wins over Dub in the Championship final, with Dublin winning six of their 14 meetings.

In the competition, the two last met in 2016 when Dublin were victorious at the semi-final stage, going on to win the title for a second consecutive time. With Dublin and Kerry considered two of the ‘Big Three’ in the All-Ireland football Championship and a long-standing rivalry between the two in the sport, there’s no doubting that the 2019 final will be a momentous occasion, with the winner claiming bragging rights.


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