2001 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final

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2001 All-Ireland Football Final
Event 2001 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship
Date 23 September 2001
Venue Croke Park, Dublin
Referee Michael Collins (Cork)
Attendance 70,482

The 2001 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final was the 114th All-Ireland Final and the deciding match of the 2001 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship, an inter-county Gaelic football tournament for the top teams in Ireland.

Galway defeated Meath.[1] Neither side has contested a final since this game.

Competition structure[edit]

Each of the 32 traditional counties of Ireland is represented by a county side. Every county, except Kilkenny, participated in the 2001 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship. The "overseas county" of New York also participated, while London played no part in the competition due to the outbreak of Foot-and-mouth disease.[2] Each county in Ireland is located in a province; for the purpose of the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship, London and New York are located in Connacht. The 2001 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship began with the four provincial championships – knock-out competitions between county sides in the same province. The four winners of these championships progressed automatically to the All-Ireland quarter-finals. The sides which did not win a provincial championship entered the All-Ireland qualifiers to determine which other four teams would play in the quarter-finals. New York, however, only competed in the provincial championship.


County Galway (left) and County Meath (right) shown within Ireland.

The 2001 Championship was the first to feature the qualifying system,[3] in which sides who had not won their provincial championship competed for the right to join the provincial winners in the "All-Ireland series". Galway, who had lost to Roscommon in the Connacht Championship semi-final, thus became the first side to contest an All-Ireland Final having not won their provincial championship.[4]

Galway had previously contested the final on 21 occasions, winning 8 times (in 1925, 1934, 1938, 1956, 1964, 1965, 1966 and 1998) and losing on 13 occasions, the most recent of which was the previous year.[5] They were appearing in the final for the third time in four years.[6] Meath had won the title 7 times (in 1949, 1954, 1967, 1987, 1988, 1996 and 1999) and lost on 8 occasions. Manager Seán Boylan had been in charge for 8 of Meath's previous final appearances, including replays.[7]

The two counties had not played each other in the Championship since 1970, when Meath won by four points.[8] In 1966, the sides contested the final.[8]

Earlier in 2001, Galway lost the National Football League final against Mayo.[9]

Routes to the final[edit]


Round Opposition ScoreNote 1
2nd qualifying round Wicklow 3–12 – 1–09
3rd qualifying round Armagh 0–13 – 0–12
4th qualifying round Cork 1–14 – 1–10
Quarter-final Roscommon 0–14 – 1–05
Semi-final Derry 1–14 – 1–11

Ordinarily, Galway, having lost to Roscommon in the Connacht Championship semi-final, would have played no part in the All-Ireland series as they did not win their provincial championship. However, the introduction of the qualifier system this year gave them a second opportunity to reach the final. The county entered at the second qualifying round, against Wicklow,[10] and with further victories against Armagh[11] and Cork,[12] joined Meath at the quarter-final stage.

Going into the final quarter of their semi-final against Derry, Galway were trailing by five points but ultimately won the game 1–14 (17 points) to 1–11 (14 points).[6] Derry had named an unchanged line-up from their quarter-final against Tyrone,[13] while Galway initially did not name anyone at right wing forward as they were waiting on fitness reports on Jarlath Fallon and Paul Clancy;[14] Fallon went on to start the game.[6] Galway were leading 0–05 – 0–4 when Enda Muldoon scored Derry's goal in the 26th minute.[15] Matthew Clancy scored Galway's goal in the 66th minute.[6]


Round Opposition ScoreNote 2
Quarter-final Westmeath 2–12 – 3–09
Quarter-final replay Westmeath 2–10 – 0–11
Semi-final Kerry 2–14 – 0–05

Meath won the year's Leinster Championship, by virtue of victories against Westmeath,[16] Kildare[17] and Dublin,[18] to seal their place in the All-Ireland quarter-final.[19]

Meath were drawn against Westmeath in the quarter-final and Galway were scheduled to play Roscommon; both of these fixtures were repeats of matches played in the provincial championships.[20] There was no repeat of Galway's earlier defeat as they triumphed 0–14 to 1–05 (8 points) in Castlebar.[21] Westmeath, who had lost to Meath by a single point in the Leinster Championship,[22] were leading Meath by 9 points on 20 minutes but the game eventually finished a 2–12 (18 points) – 3–09 (18 points) draw (Meath score given first).[22] Despite having Hank Traynor sent off, Meath won the replay 2–10 (16 points) – 0–11.[23]

Meath reached the final following a 2–14 (20 points) to 0–05 victory against the defending champions Kerry.[24] Kerry, who started the game with all but 2 of the players who won the title the previous year,[25] only managed to score a single point in the second half.[24] Meath's line-up was unchanged from the previous round;[26] only 2 players did not start the 1999 final.[26] John McDermott scored Meath's first goal towards the end of the first half to give his side a 5-point lead at the break.[24] The lead was extended to 11 points following 6 unanswered points at the beginning of the second half.[24] John Cullinane scored Meath's second goal in the 66th minute;[24] an earlier goal was disallowed for an infringement on the square ball rule.[24] Kerry's Éamonn Fitzmaurice was sent off late in the game.[24]


Meath were expected to win their eighth All-Ireland senior football title.[27][28]

Referee Michael Collins had also officiated Galway's semi-final match.[15]

Galway's hurlers contested the 2001 All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final on 9 September, but lost to Tipperary.[29] Dual player Alan Kerins, who played in the hurling final, was named as a substitute for the football final.[30] The Galway and Tipperary managers complained about the condition of the Croke Park pitch following the hurling final;[31] a few days later, Croke Park spokesman Danny Lynch stated every effort was being made to prepare the pitch for the football final.[31] The new Hogan Stand of the stadium was under construction at the time.[32]

The build-up to the final was overshadowed by the September 11 attacks.[33] The atmosphere in Galway and Meath was more muted than it would normally be leading up to an All-Ireland final.[33]


Galway won easily, their second title in four years. At full-time it was Galway 0-17 : 0-08 Meath.

In the All-Ireland Minor Football Championship Final, held just before the senior game, Tyrone and Dublin drew 0–15 – 1–12.[34]

Meath, who announced their starting line-up on their then recently launched website a couple of days before the final, started with the same 15 players who began the semi-final against Kerry.[8] All but two of the side had started the final two years previously;[8] Richie Kealey and Ray Magee replaced Paddy Reynolds and Enda McManus.[8]

Match report[edit]

The first half lacked quality play.[35] Both sides scored six points,[36] but also amassed many wides.[35] Galway's Donnellan sent two frees wide.[35]

Meath's Ollie Murphy was substituted on 45 minutes after breaking a finger.[37] Nigel Nestor was sent off following a second yellow card shortly afterwards,[37] with Meath trailing by two points.[38] In the 59th minute, with the score 0–13 – 0–08,[36] Trevor Giles missed a penalty for Meath.[37] Some commentators suggested John McDermott dived to win the penalty.[39] Padraic Joyce scored ten points for Galway, nine of which came in the second half.[39] Meath's full-forwards had little of the ball - they only amassed 2 wides during the game[40] and only scored two points in the second half.[35]

Match details[edit]

Colours of Galway.svg
0–17 – 0–08 Meath
Colours of Leitrim.svg
P. Joyce (0-10)
J. Bergin (0-02)
P. Clancy (0-02)
M. Donnellan (0-01)
J. Fallon (0-01)
D. Meehan (0-01)
R. Magee (0-02)
N. Crawford (0-01)
J. Cullinane (0-01)
T. Giles (0-01)
E. Kelly (0-01)
J. McDermott (0-01)
O. Murphy (0-01)
Croke Park, Dublin
Attendance: 70,482[41]
Referee: Michael Collins (Cork)
Galway kit
Meath kit
1 Alan Keane
2 Kieran Fitzgerald
3 Gary Fahey (Captain)
4 Richard Fahey
5 Declan Meehan
6 Tomás Mannion
7 Seán Óg De Paor
8 Kevin Walsh
9 Michael Donnellan
10 Paul Clancy
11 Jarlath Fallon
12 Joe Bergin Substituted off 71'
13 Derek Savage
14 Pádraic Joyce
15 Tommy Joyce Substituted off 71'
Alan Kerins Substituted in 71'
Kieran Comer Substituted in 71'
John O'Mahony
1 Cormac Sullivan
2 Mark O'Reilly
3 Darren Fay
4 Cormac Murphy Substituted off 57'
5 Donal Curtis
6 Nigel Nestor Yellow cardYellow cardRed card 50'
7 Hank Traynor
8 Nigel Crawford
9 John McDermott
10 Evan Kelly
11 Trevor Giles (Captain)
12 Richie Kealy Substituted off 50'
13 Ollie Murphy Substituted off 45'
14 Graham Geraghty
15 Ray Magee Substituted off 70'
Paddy Reynolds Substituted in 45'
John Cullinane Substituted in 50'
Niall Kelly Substituted in 57'
Adrian Kenny Substituted in 70'
Seán Boylan

References: [41]


The Galway side returned to the county the day after the final.[42] They made appearances in Ballinasloe, Tuam and Galway city, where a civic reception was held, to greet fans.[42] The city's mayor, Donal Lyons, said Galway people across the world were proud when watching the side.[42] More than 10,000 fans gathered in Tuam.[42]

Tomas Mannion announced his retirement after the final.[43]


Note 1 Galway score given first.
Note 2 Meath score given first.


  1. ^ Kenny, Tom (14 April 2011). "The men who first brought Sam to Galway". Galway Advertiser. Retrieved 14 April 2011. Kerry beat us in 2000 by 1 – 17 to 1 – 10, but the following year we won, beating Meath by 0 – 17 to 0 – 8. 
  2. ^ "Championship exclusion hits London hard". The Irish Times. 12 May 2001. 
  3. ^ "What might have been...". Irish Independent. 27 February 2010. 
  4. ^ "Galway must keep focus to deny improving Derry". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. 25 August 2001. Whatever the outcome, the winner of tomorrow's All-Ireland football semi-final will create their own special place in history as the first team to reach the final, having been earlier beaten in the provincial series. 
  5. ^ Campbell, John (21 September 2001). "GAA: A Royal command performance looms". Belfast Telegraph. 
  6. ^ a b c d Moran, Sean (27 August 2001). "Wide boys Galway turn it around; Galway 1-14, Derry 1-11". The Irish Times. 
  7. ^ O'Hara, Eamonn (21 September 2001). "Boylan pays Tribe-ute to opposition's class". Irish News. 
  8. ^ a b c d e Moran, Sean (19 September 2001). "Boylan names strongest line-up". The Irish Times. 
  9. ^ O'Riordan, Ian (1 May 2001). "Party put on hold as Mayo reset their sights". The Irish Times. 
  10. ^ Moran, Sean (2 July 2001). "No Aughrim ambush for Galway; Galway 3-12, Wicklow 1-9". The Irish Times. 
  11. ^ McGeary, Michael (8 July 2001). "Galway's flight of clancy". Sunday Life. 
  12. ^ Moran, Sean (23 July 2001). "Galway put O'Mahony through it; Galway 1-14, Cork 1-10". The Irish Times. 
  13. ^ O'Riordan, Ian (24 August 2001). "Derry again unchanged". The Irish Times. 
  14. ^ Moran, Sean (23 August 2001). "Galway leave vacancy in attack". The Irish Times. 
  15. ^ a b Campbell, John (27 August 2001). "GAA: Galway carve up case for defence". Belfast Telegraph. 
  16. ^ Reid, Philip (4 June 2001). "Meath show their survival instincts". The Irish Times. 
  17. ^ Moran, Sean (25 June 2001). "Normal service resumed as Meath rise to occasion". The Irish Times. 
  18. ^ "Dogged Dublin lack attacking bite". The Irish Times. 16 July 2001. 
  19. ^ "GAA:Roscommon's rare glory opportunity". Belfast Telegraph. 18 July 2001. 
  20. ^ "Dublin drawn against champions Kerry". The Irish Times. 23 July 2001. 
  21. ^ Duggan, Keith (6 August 2001). "Galway bounce back to silence the detractors; Galway 0-14, Roscommon 1-05". The Irish Times. 
  22. ^ a b "Westmeath remember their place in things". The Irish Times. 6 August 2001. 
  23. ^ Duggan, Keith (13 August 2001). "Meath give romance short shrift; Meath 2-10, Westmeath 0-11". The Irish Times. 
  24. ^ a b c d e f g Moran, Sean (3 September 2001). "Meath hordes tear down Kingdom; Meath 2-14, Kerry 0-5". The Irish Times. 
  25. ^ O'Riordan, Ian (29 August 2001). "Hassett takes over from Ó Sé". The Irish Times. 
  26. ^ a b O'Riordan, Ian (31 August 2001). "Reynolds loses out in reshuffle". The Irish Times. 
  27. ^ Breheny, Martin (22 September 2001). "Galway have the stomach to digest Meath". Irish Independent. Independent News & Media. Retrieved 22 September 2001. So much money has flooded onto Meath to win their eighth All-Ireland senior football title tomorrow that it's virtually impossible to believe that this is essentially the same side which took to the championship road last June shackled by uncertainty. 
  28. ^ O'Rourke, Colm (23 September 2001). "Expect a Royal party by tea". Sunday Independent. Independent News & Media. Retrieved 23 September 2001. ...I expect that Meath, by teatime, will have started a Royal party. 
  29. ^ Cregan, Eamonn (10 September 2001). "Tipperary prove team spirit counts". The Irish Times. 
  30. ^ Moran, Sean (17 September 2001). "Kerins fails to make Galway cut". The Irish Times. 
  31. ^ a b Campbell, John (11 September 2001). "GAA: Croker worries come to surface". Belfast Telegraph. 
  32. ^ Campbell, John (22 September 2001). "GAA: Hogan Stand just ticket". Belfast Telegraph. 
  33. ^ a b McNally, Frank (22 September 2001). "Galway fans bet on the hope that Meath have popped their corks". The Irish Times. 
  34. ^ Barton, Damian (24 September 2001). "Tyrone prove they have nothing to fear from Dubs; All-Ireland MFC final: Tyrone 0-15 Dublin 1-12". Irish News. 
  35. ^ a b c d O'Hara, Eamonn (24 September 2001). "Galway secure Sam with second half blitz". Irish News. 
  36. ^ a b Duggan, Keith (24 September 2001). "Final verdict: Score-by-score". The Irish Times. 
  37. ^ a b c Moran, Sean (24 September 2001). "Meath the victims as Galway turn it on; Galway 0-17, Meath 0-8". The Irish Times. 
  38. ^ Carney, Martin (24 September 2001). "Turning Points". The Irish Times. 
  39. ^ a b Archer, Kenny (24 September 2001). "A qualified success but joy for Tribe; Bank of Ireland All-Ireland SFC final: Galway 0-17 Meath 0-8". Irish News. 
  41. ^ a b Campbell, John (24 September 2001). "GAA: 'Sam' sits proudly over Galway Bay". Belfast Telegraph. 
  42. ^ a b c d Tierney, Ciaran. "Happy return for All-Ireland victors". The Irish Times. 
  43. ^ Jones, Adrian (25 September 2001). "Mannion says enough after second Sam; Gaelic Games". Irish News.