1992 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final
|Event||1992 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship|
|Date||20 September 1992|
|Venue||Croke Park, Dublin|
|Man of the Match||Manus Boyle|
|Referee||Tommy Sugrue (Kerry)|
The 1992 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final was the 105th All-Ireland Final and the deciding match of the 1992 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship, an inter-county Gaelic football tournament for the top teams in Ireland.
The shock result was hailed as one of the most unbelievable seen in Championship football at that time; Dublin entered the game as heavy favourites to take the Sam Maguire Cup over the River Liffey. Wild scenes were reported throughout the country for many months afterwards.
Donegal's triumph over the citizens inspired many other counties with little success at that time, including Derry, Armagh and Tyrone, to believe they could achieve the All-Ireland - these three counties achieved their dream in the next eleven years. Donegal's march to the title was still regarded nationally as an "almost mystical expedition", all those years later, until the arrival of the yet more enigmatic and impressive Jim McGuinness, who surpassed even this achievement.
Brian McEniff was the man in charge of Donegal that day, with a backroom team that included Michael Lafferty, Seamus Bonner, Anthony Harkin, Naul McCole, team doctor Austin O'Kennedy, "man in the stand" Pauric McShea, and "man in Dublin" Sean Ferriter. The match was shown live on Network Two by RTÉ Sport with match commentary provided by Ger Canning and analysis by Colm O'Rourke.
Paths to the final
With Donegal playing into the Hill 16 end in the first half, Martin McHugh missed an early free kicking to the right before Charlie Redmond opened the scoring for Dublin in the third minute from a free. Dublin scored another point before Martin McHugh hit the post, with the rebound being put over the bar by James McHugh for Donegal's opening score. After eight minutes Dessie Farrell was pushed when running in on goal, the resulting penalty taken by Charlie Redmond was kicked high and wide to the right. At half time Donegal had a 0-10 to 0-7 lead.
In the second half Manus Boyle kicked over his sixth point of the match from a free to give Donegal a 0-13 to 0-8 point lead. Declan Bonner kicked left footed his fourth point and Donegal's final point to leave the final score at 0-18 to 0-14.
Fans burst onto the pitch - among them future Irish international soccer goalkeeper Shay Given and future Donegal players such as Paul Durcan. GAA President Peter Quinn presented the Sam Maguire Cup from the Hogan Stand to Donegal captain Anthony Molloy in front of the Donegal fans that filled the Croke Park pitch. He famously exclaimed "Sam's for the hills" as he did so.
The winning team boarded the train westwards, trundling through the midlands towards the wilderness of Sligo, intent on embarking from there by coach bound for Donegal Town. However, crowds gathered at train-stops in Kildare, Meath, Westmeath, Longford, Leitrim and Sligo to gawk in awe at the team that had put Dublin to the sword. 9,000 people were waiting in Sligo alone. It was many hours behind schedule when the team arrived in their home county.
Both sides have met each other in the all Ireland championship since then. The first meeting was 10 years later in 2002 with Dublin beating Donegal in a replay of the quarter final. They met again in the semi final in 2011 with Dublin narrowly beating Donegal in what was viewed by many as a controversial game due to Donegal's defensive tactics.
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- Crowe, Dermot (2 August 2009). "Faith healer Doherty revives Donegal belief". Sunday Independent. Independent News & Media. Retrieved 2 August 2009.
- "Donegal's backroom team in 1992". Donegal Democrat. Johnston Press. 11 August 2012. Retrieved 11 August 2012.
- High Ball magazine, issue #6, 1998.
- "Inside Back: Where are they now? and Have Your Say". Sunday Independent. Independent News & Media. 31 August 2014. Retrieved 31 August 2014.
- Dervan, Cathal (23 September 2012). "Shay: I'd trade it all for Croker medal: I'd swap it all for All-Ireland medal". The Sun. Retrieved 23 September 2012.
“I was in the Canal End when we won in 1992 and ended up invading the pitch with the Donegal fans after we beat Dublin. That was one of the best days of my life. A Donegal victory again today would be right up there with that and whilst I'd love to be out there on the pitch, I'll do my best to be Donegal's number one fan now.”
- "Ten Questions with Paul Durcan". GAA.ie. 20 August 2012. Archived from the original on 14 September 2014. Retrieved 20 August 2012.
- "The heroes of '92 - Where are they now?". Donegal Democrat. Johnston Press. 8 January 2009. Archived from the original on 18 December 2015. Retrieved 8 January 2009.
- "Heroes of '92 allowed Donegal to remove psychological barrier". Sunday Independent. Independent News & Media. 9 October 2011. Retrieved 9 October 2011.
- "Donegal annihilate Cork in All-Ireland Football semi-final". BBC Sport. BBC. 26 August 2012. Retrieved 26 August 2012.