The Toughest Rivalry allows two very different sports' worlds to respectfully collide, providing an opportunity for each to learn from one another and grow in knowledge and skill. 

Gianlucca Vialli

AIB The Toughest Rivalry 2018

TWENTY years later one club admits it was the greatest escape in their history and their opponents still regard it as highway robbery of the most audacious kind.

When AIB sought out a great GAA rivalry to illustrate their new mini-series 'The Toughest Rivalry' to be broadcast this summer, it didn't take long to come up with a classic.

Even before throw-in the 1998 All-Ireland club football semi-final between Dublin's Erins Isle and West Cork's Castlehaven had loads of sub-plots.

It pitted city versus country and teams from two counties who had recently won All-Ireland senior finals; Cork in 1989 and '90 and Dublin in '95.

Both teams were gifted with some of the biggest stars of their generation.

Harry Redknapp

Erin’s Isle, from Finglas, could not have had more quintessential Dubs in their line-up than totemic players like Charlie Redmond, Mick Deegan and Keith Barr, whose two brothers Johnny and Eddie were also key men.

Castlehaven was a tiny coastal club from the heart of West Cork but it too contained footballing giants, particularly Cork stars Niall Cahalane, Larry Tompkins and John Cleary, though Cahalane was suspended for the infamous game.

What transpired when they met in Thurles is still talked about with shaking heads and rolled eyes, especially in 'Haven.

The dramatic final moments were brilliantly captured by the Irish Independent's Vincent Hogan next day where he wrote there were “fairies in Tom Semple's field” and a feeling of “crime, mystery and black magic” after Erin's Isle stole the most contentious of last-gasp victories.

With just 13 minutes left Redmond was controversially sent off, reducing the 'Isle to 14-men and six points down but a Ciaran O'Hare goal got the margin down to two as the clock ticked towards the red zone.

What happened next, well that remains a blur and point of debate, even for the neutrals who were there to witness what happened on February 23, 1998.

A long ball from the Dubs looked to be dribbling wide but Robbie Boyle spooned it back across the Castlehaven goalmouth to a goal-line that was suddenly vacant and Niall Crossan shot.

The ball hit one post, then ricocheted over to the other and came out but a green flag went up.

Did it cross the line? Did it hit a stanchion? Opinion is still divided but the match officials gave a goal, the whistle blew and Erins Isle stole it by a point while Castlehaven stood rooted to the spot in disbelief.

“Two attacks, two goals, the only breaks we got all day,” admitted Keith Barr while Cleary murmured: “It's just a freak. We're shell-shocked.”

Two decades later both clubs are up for a big re-match and the added twist is that they will be prepared for it by two renowned figures from Premiership soccer.

Erin’s Isle, who lost the subsequent All-Ireland final to Corofin of Galway, will be managed by Gianlucca Vialli who was not only World Footballer of the Year in 1995 but managed Chelsea and Watford.

Castlehaven will be managed by Harry Redknapp, the epitome of a classic Cockney and one of the wiliest and longest serving managers in the Premier League.

They won't be doing it alone as their assistants will be two men who played key roles in 1998, and with their help and insight Vialli and Redknapp will be exposed to all aspects of a GAA club, on and off the field.

AIB believe that GAA, as #TheToughest sport of all, is built upon rivalries at club, county, provincial and national level that bring out the best in everyone involved.


The Toughest Rivalry allows two very different sports' worlds to respectfully collide, providing an opportunity for each to learn from one another and grow in knowledge and skill.

Exposing some of professional soccer’s biggest talents to GAA sets the stage for a compelling journey into the drive and determination that builds powerful teams and will underline the passion and pride created by unwavering community support.


To prepare himself Harry Redknapp even paid a visit to his local Connacht championship team.
The London footballers are currently managed by ex-Wexford captain Ciaran Deely whose work in sports science and fitness once brought him to Queens Park Rangers academy. Redknapp is a former QPR manager and a mutual friend at the club put him in touch with Deely.

Redknapp said: “I am thrilled to dive into the world of GAA. I took a trip out to London GAA training last week before arriving in Castlehaven to see what it is all about. Having been involved in professional football for my whole life, I am really looking forward to working with AIB to get a real understanding of this sport and the central role it plays in Irish life, not to mention getting one over on Vialli in the re-match.”


Vialli, who managed Chelsea to third place in the Premiership and an FA Cup title said:
I am very excited to embark on this journey with AIB. I have learned a lot during my 30 years involved in professional football as a player and manager, but I am delighted to get the opportunity to come to Ireland and learn more about GAA. I am interested in seeing what it is that makes this sport so special.”


For exclusive content and behind the scenes action from Gianluca and Harry’s journeys follow AIB GAA on Twitter and Instagram @AIB_GAA and


You are signed in as:null
Please Edit
Save Your Relationship and Get Your Ex Boyfriend/Girlfriend Back!contact: is certainly the best spell caster online and his result is 100% guarantee.
My Name Olivia Stephen form Tx,USA. After 12years of marriage, me and my husband has been into one quarrel or the other until he finally left me and moved to California to be with another woman. I felt my life was over and my kids thought they would never see their father again. i tried to be strong just for the kids but i could not control the pains that torments my heart, my heart was filled with sorrows and pains because i was really in love with my husband. Every day and night i think of him and always wish he would come back to me, I was really upset and i needed help, so i searched for help online and I came across a website that suggested that Dr Unity can help get ex back fast. So, I felt I should give him a try. I contacted him and he told me what to do and i did it then he did a Love spell for me. 28 hours later, my husband really called me and told me that he miss me and the kids so much, So Amazing!! So that was how he came back that same day,with lots of love and joy,and he apologized for his mistake,and for the pain he caused me and the kids. Then from that day,our Marriage was now stronger than how it were before, All thanks to Dr Unity. he is so powerful and i decided to share my story on the internet that Dr.Unity real and powerful spell caster who i will always pray to live long to help his children in the time of trouble, if you are here and you need your Ex back or your husband moved to another woman, do not cry anymore, contact this powerful spell caster now. Here’s his contact
Call/WhatsApp: +2348071622464
Website: .
Mi nombre es Kimberly Maria, estoy muy feliz hoy, de compartir este testimonio por la falta de deseo del Dr. Kola por mí. Soy de los Estados Unidos de América, quiero escribir rápidamente sobre un poderoso lanzador de hechizos de amor que me ayudó cuando tuve un malentendido con mi esposo que me llevó a divorciarme, contacté a este poderoso hechicero para pedir ayuda y Él en realidad me ayudó sin huir con mi dinero. Sigo el paso que él me pide y en 48 horas mi esposo me llamó y estaba ansioso por mi perdón y que no deseaba nada más que tenerme en sus brazos para siempre. Estoy lleno de tanta alegría y felicidad que encontré al Dr. Kola, espero que todos ustedes aquí encuentren este testimonio mío y recuperen a su esposo en solo 48 horas. Hizo un trabajo perfecto para mí. Estoy tan feliz y emocionado porque mientras escribo este testimonio, mi esposo está locamente enamorado de mí otra vez. Si hay algún cuerpo que está en dificultades y necesita ayuda, por favor póngase en contacto con el Dr. Kola en su correo electrónico y él está listo para ayudarlo sin importar la situación, aquí está su correo electrónico válido: dr. o vía whatsapp +16313154480

1) ser promovido en cualquier cosa que hagas.
2) Gana un buen dinero o gana una lotería.
3) lograr el éxito en los negocios.
4) problemas espirituales.
5) gana el juicio.
6) Busca a tu compañero de vida.
7) obtener un trabajo bien pagado.
8) obtener control sobre su matrimonio.
9) recibe el favor y gana la atracción de la gente.
10) recuperar el dinero perdido.
(11) te cura de todas las enfermedades. curables e incurables como el VIH / SIDA, cáncer, cualquier cosa
(12) resuelve problemas de embarazo y te bendiga con bebés.
(13) Deletrear para parar un divorcio
su dirección de correo electrónico una vez más es ( contáctelo por todo su problema espiritual) oa través de whatsapp +16313154480