MY mobile phone beeped and buzzed high in the Hogan Stand.
“Gaelic football from the Gods,” read the text message. It was 38 minutes after three o’clock on Sunday and James O’Donoghue had just stuck a goal in Stephen Cluxton’s net that splashed up onto Hill 16 like a bucket of cold water.
The goals creator, Kerry’s Colm Cooper, had engineered the score with a neat back-step, like some fleet-footed boxer, standing off, measuring his opponent before delivering an accurate blow.
He threw deftly again minutes later. This time Donnacha Walsh raised the green flag down an end of the stadium where the Skull and Crossbones fly on Metropolitan weekends.
Paul Mannion punched back, and Bernard Brogan and Michael Darragh McCauley. But the talk through a head-shaking-heart-stopping first half was all about Cooper: “The best I’ve ever seen,” eulogised one Hack. “Ever!”
And O ’Donoghue, who before 4 o’clock had added a penalty to the same side, of the same goal, as Mayo’s Alan Freeman one week previous, was an able assistant.
Two goals for the young player who needed “some careful management in Kerry this season,” so the hearsay went at the interval. Only where was the careful marking?
And what would be the cost come the end. Pat Spillane kept saying that football had been saved despite Dublin taking 20 minutes to find their sea-legs and Kerry would eventually lose theirs.
“Will we see Donaghy?”came the question again and again. Not a mention of Kevin McManamon at this stage. The man who put a Top Hat on the 2011 final against the same opposition, soon to add a set of Tails when collecting McCauley’s Boris Becker-like-dive-flick and running down the Kerry defence. Whoosh.
It was over. By then, not even the O’Sé’s Marc and Tomas, could halt his gallop, of Dean Rock, or Eoin O’Gara.
The Hill was singing in the sunshine, fans in blue danced away down the exits. Someone muttered that it was most unlike Kerry to conjure such a grand one.
But then it wasn’t that type of afternoon.