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All-Ireland final replays: The agony and ecstasy

A Mayo player is consoled by a Dublin player after the 2017 final Image copyright Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile via Getty Images
Image caption Mayo's Lee Keegan is consoled by Dublin captain Stephen Cluxton in 2017

Dublin's 'drive for five' dominated the headlines ahead of the All-Ireland final against Kerry earlier this month.

A hard-fought draw put the celebrations on hold but, on Saturday, both teams must do it all again as they try to claim the Sam Maguire Cup.

This will be the 14th time it will have taken a replay to decide the outcome of the GAA's showpiece event, and, just like the ties before them, those replays have served up plenty of drama over the years.

BBC News NI looks back at some of the most memorable repeats.

A whole new brawl game

The record books say that Dublin has contested two replays and been crowned champions after both. Just don't tell a Cork man that the Dubs have a 100% record when it comes to final reruns.

The 1894 showpiece was the seventh All-Ireland final and the first to require a repeat match after a low-scoring draw in Thurles, County Tipperary.

With 10 minutes left of the replay and the Rebel County leading by two points, several Dublin players were attacked by Cork supporters after which they refused to play on.

The GAA decided to award the championship to Dublin, but the Cork County Board never accepted this and four months later gave gold medals to its "victorious" players.

Comeback kings

The first of Kerry's seven replayed finals, of which they've won five, took place in 1914 at Croke Park and saw the Kingdom put Wexford to the sword on a windy November night.

Harry Boland, a close associate of Michael Collins who fought and died on the anti-treaty side during the Irish Civil War, refereed a clash which, like its predecessor, was the epitome of a game of two halves.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Harry Boland, Michael Collins and Eamon de Valera

Indeed, with the wind at their tails, all of Kerry's two goals and three points came in the second half, with Wexford failing to register a score after the break just as they had during their first capitulation four weeks earlier.

The cursed county

Mayo has tasted All-Ireland glory just three times despite making it to the final on 16 occasions.

Image copyright KARL BURKE/AFP/Getty Images
Image caption A dejected Mayo fan after the 2016 replay loss

Replays have been particularly cruel to them, with two losses from two games, the first in 1996 against Meath.

At the first time of asking, Mayo looked primed to win their first championship since 1951, only to have victory snatched from them by a lumped ball from Colm Coyle which bizarrely bounced over the bar for an equalising point.

Two weeks later, the same player would be sent off, along with Mayo's Pat McEneaney, for his part in a mass brawl involving 27 players.

When calm was eventually restored, Meath ran out winners by a single point - 2-9 to 1-11.

Since then the "cursed county" has lost six more finals, including an agonising replay by a single point against Dublin in 2016.

A year later, they lost by the same margin to the same Dublin team as the Dubs racked up their third Sam in a row.

Four and no more?

Image copyright Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty
Image caption A Dublin fan and a Kerry fan cheer their teams during the drawn 2019 final

Were Kerry to look for omens as to why they might beat Dublin at the second time of asking on Saturday, it's perhaps a painful loss that they could cling to.

In 1972, with Offaly bidding for a second successive Sam, Kerry held them to a creditable draw in the final, only to be beaten by nine points in a replay three weeks later.

It was a humiliation for the Kingdom and their biggest loss in a final.

A decade later, although not a replay, it was Kerry dreaming of the mythical five-in-a-row and Offaly would again prove to be their nemesis, with a heartbreaking last-minute goal from substitute Séamus Darby depriving them of history by a single point.

This time round, the Kingdom would dearly love to be the ones breaking hearts and crushing dreams at Croke Park.

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