1998 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final

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1998 All-Ireland Senior Football Final
Event 1998 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship
Date 27 September 1998
Venue Croke Park, Dublin
Referee John Bannon (Longford)
Attendance 65,886
Weather Dry

The 1998 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final was the 111th All-Ireland Final and the deciding match of the 1998 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship, an inter-county Gaelic football tournament for the top teams in Ireland.


This was Kildare's first appearance in an All-Ireland football final since 1935.[1] They were assisted on their way there by a semi-final victory over Kerry, masterminded by Kerryman Mick O'Dwyer.[2] Going into the final Kildare were raging hot favourites to beat Galway.[3] They didn't.


Galway defeated Kildare by a scoreline of 1 – 14 to 1 – 10.[4] They took their first Sam Maguire Cup in 32 years - since the 1966 team completed a three-in-a-row for the county. Michael Donnellan's goal was #1 in the 2005 TV programme Top 20 GAA Moments.[5][6]

Kildare went into freefall. They failed miserably against Offaly in the first round of the following year's Leinster championship and then were relegated from the National League.[7] They have not appeared in an All-Ireland football final since.

Kildare were marginal favourites to take the title after dethroning reigning champions Kerry in a tight and close game. As well as dethroning the reigning champions, Kildare had also defeated Meath and Dublin, the 1996 and 1995 champions respectively. Galway were never in danger of losing against Derry in the semi-final and won by 5 points in the end victory.

Like in their semi-final against Derry, Galway started well and had three unanswered points on the board by the 13th minute, one of which saw Michael Donnellan race towards the Kildare at great speed before taking his point. Kildare got their first score through Eddie McCormack In the 20th minute, Kildare took the lead, after Dermot Earley scored a goal.

In response, Michael Donnellan galvanised his team with a moment of GAA magic. From his own defence, he proceeded to charge up the field at lightning pace, exchanging a pass with Kevin Walsh in midfield. The ball found its way to Seán Óg De Paor who finished the move with a well-taken point. It was a score that quelled a potential run of scores for the Lilywhites. At the interval, the score was 1-05 to 0-05 in favour of Kildare.

After the restart, Ja Fallon sniped a point off the arrears before Pádraic Joyce struck with a wonderful goal where he rounded goalkeeper Christy Byrne before finishing in front of an empty net. Galway had regained the lead and would never surrender it until the final whistle. By 50th minute, it was 1-11 to 1-06 to Galway. Kildare managed to cut the lead to three before injury time but Galway had the final score, courtesy of De Paor to give them their first title in 32 years.

27 September 1998
Galway 1-14 - 1-10 Kildare
P. Joyce 1-2, N. Finnegan 0-4, J. Fallon 0-3, M. Donnellan, S. O´g d Paor 0-2 each, S. O´ Domhnaill 0-1 Report D. Earley 1-1, P. Brennan 0-3, E. McCormack, K. O'Dwyer 0-2 each, D. Kerrigan, N. Buckley 0-1 each
Croke Park, Dublin
Attendance: 65,886
Referee: J. Bannon (Longford)
Maroon and White Shirts/White Shorts/Maroon Socks
1-14 - 1-10
(final score after 70 minutes)
White shirts/White shorts/White socks
Manager: John O'Mahony

Martin McNamara (GK)
Tomás Meehan
Gary Fahey
Tomás Mannion
Ray Silke (Capt.)
John Divilly
Seán Óg De Paor
Kevin Walsh
Seán Ó Domhnaill
Michael Donnellan
Ja Fallon
Shay Walsh
Derek Savage
Pádraic Joyce
Niall Finnegan

Paul Clancy

0-05 - 1-05

All-Ireland Senior Football Championship

15.30 BST
Sunday, September 27, 1998

Croke Park, Dublin


John Bannon

Match rules:
70 minutes.
Replay if scores still level.
Maximum of 3 substitutions.

Manager: Mick O'Dwyer

Christy Byrne (GK)
Brian Lacey
Davy Dalton
Ken Doyle
Anthony Rainbow
Glen Ryan
John Finn
Niall Buckley
Willie McCreery
Eddie McCormack
Declan Kerrigan
Dermot Earley
Martin Lynch
Karl O'Dwyer
Padraig Graven


  1. ^ Foley, Cliona (31 August 1998). "Kildare celebrate famous victory". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. Unimaginable hysteria greeted Kildare's victory which now pits them against Galway on September 27 in their first All-Ireland final since 1935. 
  2. ^ McGee, Eugene (31 August 1998). "Kerry left to lament Karl move". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. Mick O'Dwyer used his knowledge of his countymen to provide Kildare with a blueprint for Kerry's destruction. 
  3. ^ Bradley, Dara (19 April 2013). "Underdogs Galway all set to test the mettle of fancied Lilywhites". Galway News. Archived from the original on 2013-07-02. Retrieved 19 April 2013. 
  4. ^ Kenny, Tom (14 April 2011). "The men who first brought Sam to Galway". Galway Advertiser. Retrieved 14 April 2011. In 1998, we were champions again by beating Kildare 1 – 14 to 1 – 10. 
  5. ^ High Ball magazine, issue #6, 1998.
  6. ^ "The inside story of 'A Year 'Til Sunday,' the great film that captured Galway's All-Ireland win in 1998". The 42. 9 April 2017. Retrieved 10 April 2017. 
  7. ^ "Sunday is the day when either Galway or Kildare will be found out at Croker". The Kerryman. 25 August 2000. Retrieved 24 June 2013.