Rebels lead the way in magic moments from the 1990s

Rebels lead the way in magic moments from the 1990s
Teddy McCarthy, Cork gathers the ball against Galway in 1990. Picutre: Ray McManus/SPORTSFILE.

CORK will be the fore in the second episode of Ireland’s Greatest Sporting Moment this Thursday, 9.30pm on RTÉ2, when the show looks at the 1990s.

The double, Cork City's draw with Bayern Munich, Steve Collins' boxing triumph at Millstreet, and Sonia O'Sullivan at her peak are among the longlist of events in the mix to feature. There will also be two Rebels on the panel, Ronan O'Gara and Derval O'Rourke, along with Ruby Walsh.

Cork's Derval O'Rourke. Picture: Miki Barlok
Cork's Derval O'Rourke. Picture: Miki Barlok

Presented by Des Cahill and Evanne Ní Chuilinn, the three will debate a shortlist of five, to be announced on Thursday at 5pm, with the viewing public at home making the final decision as to what is the Greatest Irish Sporting Moment of the 1990s.

The final five will be drawn from the following longlist:

1. Ireland v Romania shoot-out (1990): 

The Nation holds its breath. After Packie Bonner had saved from Daniel Timofte, David O’Leary stepped up and sent Silviu Lung the wrong way and Ireland into the 1990 World Cup Quarter Finals.

2. Cork’s Double (1990): 

The only county in the modern era to have won both the Football and Hurling All Ireland titles. Teddy McCarthy picked up 2 medals.

3. Dave Barry goal v Bayern Munich (1991): 

Dave Barry celebrates his goal against Bayern Munich.
Dave Barry celebrates his goal against Bayern Munich.

Noel O’Mahony’s City went into the Uefa Cup first-round tie against the German aristocrats as massive underdogs. Dave Barry scored an unforgettable first half goal as Cork City held the mighty Bayern Munich.

4. Dublin Meath saga (1991): 

The first round of the Leinster Championship between Meath and Dublin in 1991 produced four matches, the first million pound gate in the history of the GAA, and moments of drama that live on vividly to this day.

5. Michael Carruth Olympic Boxing Gold (1992):

Irish Army Corporal Michael Carruth brought home Ireland’s first Olympic Gold in 36 years by overcoming Cuban, Juan Hernandez Sierra.

6. Vintage Crop wins the Melbourne Cup (1993): 

Trained by Dermot Weld and with Mick Kinane on board, the Irish stayer became the first overseas-trained winner of one of the World’s richest turf races.

7. Houghton’s goal v Italy (1994): 

Ray Houghton’s iconic goal and celebration against Italy at Giants Stadium in the 1994 World Cup will never be forgotten.

8. Offaly comeback (1994): 

Offaly completed one of the most sensational ever comebacks in an All Ireland Final. Limerick were on course to end their All Ireland famine, 5 points up with 5 minutes to go but goals by Jimmy Dooley and Pat O’Connor turned the tie on its head.

9. Sonia O’Sullivan World Championship 5,000m gold (1995): 

O'Sullivan was left with the dilemma of whether to compete in the 1500m or the 5,000m at the World Championships in Gothenburg. She had been unbeaten at 5000m, although the fastest time of the year (a new world record) had been set by Portugal's Fernanda Ribeiro. In the end, O'Sullivan chose the 5000m, and kicked clear of Ribeiro to win the world title in 14:46.47.

10. Clare’s All-Ireland win (1995): 

Clare’s breakthrough win changed the face of hurling forever. New teams emerged to challenge the place of the old order, giving rise to the most dramatic and controversial period in hurling history. This moment typified what became known as the hurling revolution.

11. Steve Collins v Chris Eubank (1995): 

Unbeaten in 43 bouts, boxing’s most polarising fighter came to Millstreet, Cork on St Patrick’s weekend and lost his WBO title to Steve Collins.

Picture: Denis Minihane
Picture: Denis Minihane

12. Peter Canavan’s All-Ireland final 0-11 display (1995): 

In spite of an incredible individual performance, Tyrone ended up controversially losing by a point to Dublin.

13. 14-man Wexford overcome Limerick (1996): 

For the first time in 28 years, the Slaneysiders lifted the Liam McCarthy Cup with a hard-fought victory over Limerick.

14. Michelle Smith’s Olympic medal haul (1996): 

Smith’s three golds and a bronze in the pool stunned the world. Two years later a shadow was cast over the achievement when she was banned for 4 years for adulterating a urine sample.

15. Ken Doherty wins 1997 World Snooker Championship: 

The Darlin’ of Dublin was in terrible form going into the World Championships and was in danger of dropping out of the top 16. As the Championship progressed, confidence grew and he beat Steve Davis on the way to setting up a final with the man Doherty describes as ‘the greatest ever’, Stephen Hendry. The nation was enthralled as Doherty overcame ‘The King of the Crucible’ by 18 frames to 12. The streets of Dublin were thronged as Doherty received a home-coming normally reserved for the international football team.

16. The Maurice Fitzgerald final (1997): 

Fitzgerald scored 0-9 of Kerry’s 0-13 total in their win over Mayo.

17. Offaly sit-in (1998): 

The infamous ‘drawn game’, with Clare three points up towards the end of the replayed All Ireland Hurling semi-final, referee Cooney, blew the final whistle with only 33 minutes gone in the second half. Offaly fans staged a sit-down protest in Croke Park afterwards.

18. Sonia O’Sullivan’s World Cross Country Double (1998): 

Ireland's Sonia O'Sullivan holds aloft the Irish flag. Picture: AP Photo/Thomas Kienzle
Ireland's Sonia O'Sullivan holds aloft the Irish flag. Picture: AP Photo/Thomas Kienzle

O’Sullivan entered both the short course (4 km) and long course (8 km) events, a double rarely attempted by athletes. O'Sullivan won both events, and her 4 km time of 12:20 was an incredible 14 seconds faster than her nearest rival.

19. Ireland’s double European Success (1998): 

Ireland became the first ever nation to become European Champions at U16 and U18 level and became the first ever Irish team to win to win a major soccer trophy. Both teams were led by Brian Kerr and the successes heralded a new dawn for Irish football.

20. Jordan record their first Grand Prix win (1998: 

Ireland’s first Formula One team became well known for their rock ‘n’ roll approach which lit-up F1 throughout the 90s. Their defining moment was a first Grand Prix win when Damon Hill beat Ralf Schumacher to the 1998 Belgian title.

21. The Carberry Grand National (1999): 

Trained by Tommy, with son Paul in the saddle, Bobbyjo became the first Irish-trained Grand National winner since L’Escargot in 1975 - Tommy was the jockey that day.

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