Posted by Shane Stapleton
Tuesday 2 July 2013
The sides meet in the Munster SFC final this weekend and if it all spilled over, no one would be truly shocked. After all, it’s happened before, as this video from 1976 (below) shows.
And as we’re about to find out, the rivalry had not altogether cooled since then. You could almost write a book on the red cards in games between the sides in recent times — it’s quite a list. Darragh O Se, Donnacha O’Connor, Noel O’Leary, Paul Galvin, Graham Canty, Nicolas Murphy and more have all been put to the line.
Indeed there have been plenty of bans handed out too atter examination of video evidence.
This rivalry is not for the faint of heart.
Such has been the pair’s prominence in recent times, this rivalry has translated to the All-Ireland stage where they have met in two All-Ireland finals, in 2007 and 2009. Between 2004 and 2011, each final contained at least one of the duo.
When they met in 2009, the Kingdom laid down a huge marker after just three seconds when Tadhg Kennelly clobbered Rebels midfielder Nicolas Murphy. In his autobiography, Unfinished Business, released about a month after the final, Kennelly explained his plans.
"As we got to our positions, I looked across at (Paul) Galvin, who nodded, and then positioned myself on the line ready to race in when the referee put the ball in the air. My eyes were almost rolling around in the back of my head. I was like a raging bull."
Kennelly says he "timed it right" and caught Murphy "perfectly on the chin". The message being: "Cop that. It's different this time, boys".
Kerry went on to win 0-16 to 1-9 and added more fuel to this fiercely-burning rivalry.
When Kerry and Cork met in the Munster semi-final replay of 2010, it was the sides’ 21st championship meeting since the turn of the millennium. Familiarity had bred plenty of contempt between the sides and, when they met at Pairc Ui Chaoimh after drawing 0-15 apiece in Killarney, there were fireworks.
Paul Galvin clashed with Eoin Cadogan and ended up with a four-week ban, which was doubled because he had earned a previous ban for an altercation with the same man during the National Football League.
The Kingdom punished the Rebels for failing to profit from their periods of dominance and, ultimately, it was Colm ‘Gooch’ Cooper who helped Kerry to an extra-time win before claiming the Munster title against Limerick.
Galvin, then reigning Footballer of the Year, did not feature again that season as Kerry went out to Down in the All-Ireland quarter-final.
It was a pulsating All-Ireland semi-final in 2008 but one of the things to set pulses racing was the physicality between these two bitter rivals. Earlier in a torrid year, Kerry had lost Paul Galvin in a match against Clare for slapping the notebook out of referee Paddy Russell’s hand.
They then surrendered an eight-point lead in the Munster final and lost to Cork, having had the O Se brothers, Marc (in the wrong) and Darragh, sent off.
Darragh was sent off once more, this time for an off-the-ball altercation with Cork’s Pearse O’Neill but, after Donnacha O’Connor was also sent to the line, the Kingdom still had the game in the hands… until John Hayes slotted home a late penalty.
The irony for Darragh O Se is that, as he sat in the stand, he knew that only a replay would give him a chance to play in the All-Ireland final. So it transpired as the An Ghaeltacht man missed Kerry’s four-point win in the replay, before returning for the final defeat to Tyrone.
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