Way cleared for intriguing football final

September 02, 2008
It started out with 33 contenders on May 11 last and now the race for the 2008 All-Ireland senior football championship is down to two. And what an All-Ireland final it promises to be on September 21 as Kerry and Tyrone, who between them have won the last five All-Ireland titles, go head to head in Croke Park. Kerry, who are seeking their first All-Ireland three-in-a-row since 1986, have won the title four times this decade (2000-2004-2006-2007) while Tyrone were successful in 2003 and 2005. To add to the intrigue, Tyrone beat Kerry in the 2005 All-Ireland final and the 2003 semi-final. It will be the first time since the introduction of the All-Ireland qualifiers in 2001 that two teams who failed to win their provincial titles have reached the All-Ireland final. Tyrone went out in the Ulster quarter-final, losing a replay to Down after extra-time while Kerry lost to Cork in the Munster final. Cork were, in fact, the only provincial winners to reach the All-Ireland semi-finals. Connacht champions, Galway lost to Kerry; Leinster champions, Dublin lost to Tyrone while Ulster champions, Armagh were beaten by Wexford. Kerry maintained their excellent record against Cork in Croke Park when winning the semi-final replay by four points last Sunday while Tyrone had six points to spare over Wexford in the other semi-final. The ESB All-Ireland minor final will be between Tyrone and Mayo. 2008 ALL-IRELAND SFC RESULTS/FIXTURES CONNACHT May 11: Quarter-final: Leitrim 0-17 New York 0-6, Gaelic Park. May 18: Quarter-final: Galway 2-16 Roscommon 0-6, Pearse Stadium. May 25: Quarter-final: Sligo 2-17 London 0-7, Ruislip. June 15: Semi-final: Galway 2-14 Leitrim 1-13, Pearse Stadium. June 22: Semi-final: Mayo 3-11 Sligo 0-7, Castlebar. July 13: Final: Galway 2-12 Mayo 1-14, Castlebar. LEINSTER May 11: 1st round: Westmeath 2-10 Longford 1-10, Pearse Park. May 18: 1st round: Wicklow 0-13 Kildare 0-9; Meath 1-25 Carlow 0-8, Croke Park. May 31: Quarter-final: Laois 0-15 Wicklow 0-13, Dr.Cullen Park. June 1: Quarter-final: Wexford 2-14 Meath 2-13, Dr. Cullen Park. June 7: Quarter-final: Westmeath 2-11 Offaly 1-8, Tullamore. June 8: Quarter-final: Dublin 1-22 Louth 0-12, Croke Park. June 22: Semi-final: Wexford 0-18 Laois 0-12, Croke Park. June 29: Semi-final: Dublin 0-13 Westmeath 1-8, Croke Park. July 20: Final: Dublin 3-23 Wexford 0-9, Croke Park. MUNSTER May 25: Quarter-finals: Clare 0-9 Waterford 0-7, Ennis; Limerick 1-8 Tipperary 1-5, Fermoy. June 8: Semi-finals: Kerry 1-14 Clare 0-5, Killarney; Cork 2-9 Limerick 0-12, Gaelic Grounds. July 6: Final: Cork 1-16 Kerry 1-11, Pairc Ui Chaoimh ULSTER May 18: 1st round: Cavan 1-19 Antrim 1-14 Casement Park. May 25: Quarter-final: Fermanagh 2-8 Monaghan 0-10, Enniskillen. June 1: Quarter-final: Derry 1-14 Donegal 1-12, Ballybofey. June 8: Quarter-final: Tyrone 2-8, Down 2-8, Omagh. June 14: Quarter-final replay: Down 1-19 Tyrone 0-21, Newry (After extra-time). June 15: Quarter-final: Armagh 0-17 Cavan 0-13, Kingspan Breffni Park. June 21: Semi-final: Fermanagh 1-11 Derry 1-9, Omagh. June 29: Semi-final: Armagh 1-12 Down 0-11, Clones. July 20: Final: Armagh 2-8 Fermanagh 1-11, Clones. July 27: Final (replay): Armagh 1-11 Fermanagh 0-8, Clones. ALL-IRELAND QUALIFIERS July 19: Round 1: Limerick 4-12 Meath 4-3, Gaelic Grounds; Laois 1-10 Longford 0-11, Pearse Park; Kildare 1-16 Cavan 1-15, Newbridge; Down 5-19 Offaly 2-10, Tullamore; Tyrone 1-18 Louth 1-10, Drogheda; Westmeath 0-15 Tipperary 0-6, Ardfinnan; Donegal 3-11 Roscommon 1-9, Ballybofey; Monaghan 1-13 Derry 1-12, Clones. July 27: Round 2: Monaghan 0-16 Donegal 0-15, Ballybofey; Tyrone 0-14 Westmeath 1-7, Omagh; Kildare 1-11 Limerick 0-11, Gaelic Grounds; Down 2-14 Laois 1-15, Portlaoise. Aug 2: Round 3: Wexford 2-13 Down 0-12; Tyrone 0-13 Mayo 1-9, Croke Park. Aug 3: Round 3: Kildare 0-11 Fermanagh 0-5; Kerry 1-13 Monaghan 0-13, Croke Park. ALL-IRELAND CHAMPIONSHIPS Aug 9: Quarter-finals: Wexford 1-14 Armagh 0-12, Croke Park; Kerry 1-21 Galway 1-16, Croke Park. Aug 10: Quarter-final: Cork 2-11 Kildare 1-11, Croke Park. Aug 16: Quarter-final: Tyrone 3-14 Dublin 1-8, Croke Park. Aug 24: Semi-final: Cork 3-7 Kerry 1-13, Croke Park. Aug 31: Semi-finals: Kerry 3-14 Cork 2-13 (replay); Tyrone 0-23 Wexford 1-14, Croke Park. Sept 21: Final: Kerry v Tyrone, Croke Park (3.30pm). TOMMY MURPHY CUP July 12: Preliminary Round: London 4-13 Kilkenny 0-8, Freshford. July 19: Quarter-finals London 3-14 Sligo 2-12, Ruislip (After extra-time); Antrim 1-10 Carlow 0-11, Casement Park; Leitrim 1-12 Clare 1-8, Ennis; Wicklow 0-18 Waterford 0-12, Aughrim. July 27: Semi-finals Antrim 1-19 London 0-13, Casement Park. Wicklow 0-15 Leitrim 0-12, Aughrim. Aug 2: Final: Antrim 3-12 Wicklow 1-15, Croke Park.


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