Kerry V Wexford 1913 Gaelic Football Final.

1913 was when the GAA purchased Jones Road in Dublin, the place we all now call Croke Park. The cost of Jones Road was £3,641. The Croke park memorial Final was played there and the two teams where Kerry and Louth.

The first game was drawn Kerry 0-4 to Louth 1-1 and a record crowd turned up for the replay when Kerry beat Louth again 2-4 to 0-5.

This was not the All-Ireland final, as Kerry had to beat Tipperary in the Munster semi final, but Tip hit them with everything and it was only just before the referee blew the final whistle Dick Fitzgerald kicked a miraculous point to save a draw.

The replay took place in Fermoy on October 12th and another great battle took place. Johnny Skinner scored the only point in the first half. In the second half Tipperary scored a great goal but Kerry equalised with two points from Dick Fitzgerald and Doyle.

Kerry then went further ahead from points by Con Murphy and Johnny Skinner. Tip tried to break the Kerry defence but Kerry stayed strong and beat Tip 0-5 to 1-0.

The Munster final was to be against Cork, always a close match but this time it was an easy victory for Kerry beating the Cork Rebels 1-6 to 0-1. The Kerry supporters headed home to their locals happy and contented.

Kerry where on a role, they next met Galway in the semi finals at Portlaoise on the 9th of November and hammered them 1-8 to 0-1, apparently it was a dreary game.

The All-Ireland final was played on the14th of December against a healthy and fit up and coming Wexford side. 20.000 people watched the game and there was great excitement and expectations building up to the game.

Wexford, led by the Kilkenney Pipers Band, were the first to stride onto Croke Park, their supporters where ecstatic and the noise from them was deafening.

Kerry then marched onto the field with their mascot, little Jacky Wade, dressed in his team’s regimentals.

Kerry won the toss and elected to play into the Railway end. The Mayor of Wexford started the game and in the early stages the high fielding of the Wexford men was the main feature.

Danny Mullins, the Kerry goalkeeper made two magnificent save to keep Kerry in the game as Wexford had the better of the play and finally scored a point to take the lead.

However when a team takes the lead from Kerry it is time to start worrying, as the Wexford point seem to stir Kerry into all out action and Dick Fitzgerald blasted home an unstoppable shot into the Wexford goal.

There was no other score in the first half and the teams went in for the break Kerry 1-1 to Wexford 0-1.

At the restart Wexford came out all guns blazing scoring two quick points from Kennedy and Murphy reducing Kerry’s lead to two points. Wexford piled on the pressure stretching the Kerry defence.

O`Shea had enough of it, carving through the midfield passing to Rice who then found Skinner and the hero of the day blasted the ball into the back of the Wexford net.

That goal was the clincher, Wexford tried to get back into the game, even missing an open goal. The final score was Kerry 2-2. Wexford 0-3.

Dick Fitzgerald, the Kerry captain was carried shoulder high off the pitch and there were victory celebrations in Tralee and Killarney. This was Kerry’s forth All-Ireland and crowned a wonderful year.

The Stadium at Killarney commemorates the memory of the great Dick Fitzgerald.

The 1913 All-Ireland Champions: D. Fitzgerald (Captain), J. Skinner, D. Doyle, C. Murphy, P. Healy, J. O`Mahony, C. Clifford, T. Rice, J. J. Rice, M. McCarthy, T. Costelloe, J. Lawler, D. Mullins, P. O`Shae, P. Kennelly.


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