WHAT A WEEKEND IT WAS FOR DUBLIN FOOTBALL
What a weekend it was to be a Dublin supporter, have the heartbeats returned to normal levels for the sky blue faithful, probably not yet, the Dublin Senior Ladies and Men’s footballers treated their fans to two classic drama filled All Ireland semi-finals and supporters although they went through a rollercoaster ride of emotions, can look forward to two All Ireland Finals in September.
On Saturday Gregory McGonigle’s squad headed to Kingspan Breffni Park in Cavan to battle it out with Mayo for a place in September’s showpiece final. Dublin were scintillating in the first half as they tore into Mayo with a ferocious intensity and work rate and two brilliant goals from Player Of The Match Sinead Aherne who finished with a personal tally of 2-06, sent Dublin in at the break leading by six points.
Early in the second half that lead was pushed out to eight points and Dublin looked like they were on their way to a comfortable victory, but all credit to Mayo who staged a great comeback to draw level late in the game. But with the clock heading to zero and extra-time looming Aherne won a free out on the left wing, she dusted herself down, steadied herself and stroked the ball beautifully straight between the sticks from an acute angle. The hooter sounded seconds later to signal a dramatic victory with the last kick of the ball and cue the celebrations from the Dublin players, management and supporters and all thoughts switched to Croke Park and the All Ireland Final on the 25th of September were either Cork or Monaghan await.
Then with very little time for supporters to calm their nerves and come down from the high, they were put through the ringer again the following day as Dublin and Kerry served up a classic encounter in headquarters. Dublin were favorites to progress and for the first twenty five minutes they bossed the game, hitting some excellent points and limiting Kerry to few opportunities.
But a poor kickout by Cluxton was punished clinically by the Kingdom for the first goal of the game and suddenly the game was back on. Unusually a bit of panic spread through the Dublin team and Kerry capitalised with a second goal minutes later and out of nowhere had built up a five point lead to take into the second half.
The stunned Sky Blue supporters in Croke Park though were soon in full voice as Jim Gavin’s men put in a storming second half to first draw level and then two late points from O’Gara and Connolly sealed a two point victory in one of the best football games played on the hallowed Croke Park turf in years and with it sealed another Final tussle with Mayo on September the 18th.
Dublin supporters can now look forward to two All Ireland Finals in Croke Park in September one week after another and can dream of hopefully celebrating two All Ireland titles resting safely in the capital for the next twelve months.
The build up to both finals begins in earnest now and the scramble for tickets will be all consuming for fans over the next couple of weeks for what could be the most memorable September ever for Dublin supporters.
September 2016 is Gonna Be Tropic!!!!