Two Kilmeena men created history in Croke Park in the recent past when they entered the fray late into the All-Ireland Championship Semi-Final fixture between Mayo and Dublin. Clubmen Packie Keane and John McDonnell entered the record books for their timely intervention for their respective counties Mayo and Dublin in Croker, in front of a packed stadium. Both scoring a goal in the dying moments of the game to secure a draw, ensuring another day out for relieved managers Horan and Gavin.
Packie, when asked to explain his incursion onto the field of play retorted: “I’m fed up leaving Croke Park over the years’ depressed and browned off. The thought of traveling back down to Westport on the train with all the other dejected supporters following another defeat would have been just too much. I couldn’t stick it any longer watching the Mayo lads plebing about with the ball when they should be taking their scores”.
Clearing the sideline barriers with one almighty leap and then breaking through a cordon of ground staff before picking up a loose ball around the center of the field, Packie weaved and dodged through a series of Dublin players before scoring a dramatic goal, leveling the scores to the relief of the Mayo fans. Explaining his return to engage with the Dublin No 6 (I’m being kind here) following his dramatic solo run, “Jayus, he nearly took the head clean off me on my run towards goal. I wasn’t going to let him away with that now was I”. Asked if the red card received following the incident would impact on his chances of any future call up by Mayo manager Horan, he replied “He knows where to find me if he wants me, I’m not going anywhere in a hurry”.
John's intervention onto the field of play, on the other hand, was somewhat more opportunistic. A member of ground staff, inadvertently left a sideline boundary gate open momentarily, and John, seizing his moment, dashed onto the pitch leaping high into the air to field a high ball around the center of the field before soloing 50 meters to score a dramatic goal, emulating Packie’s earlier feat, sending the Dublin fan's on Hill 16 into a frenzy.
Explaining his reasons for his dramatic entrance: “I may be living in Kilmeena, but I am still a Dub at heart. I just couldn’t contain myself when I saw Packie clear the sideline barrier giving Mayo the added advantage of an extra man. My presence just balanced the numbers. Anyway, it was something I always dreamed of, scoring a goal in Croke Park for Dublin against Mayo. Now what could be sweeter than that”.
Packie slams the ball past a hapless Steven Cluxton in the Dublin goal to level the scores in the All-Ireland Football Semi-Final against Dublin.
John’s formidable fielding skills in the center of the field for Dublin had a telling affect on the outcome in the All–Ireland Football Semi-Final against Mayo in Croke Park recently.