Peace and quiet has been restored Chez WJ tonight but it was mayhem here at around five o’clock this evening as Dublin came back from the dead to snatch a sensational All-Ireland final victory over favourites Kerry. With seven minutes to go and the Kerrymen four clear the little lad had just started to wail but with Dublin back on terms two minutes later that was the last of the tears from that quarter today. Then when Stephen Cluxton drove over the match-winning free a few minutes later, I damn near had to peel him off the ceiling.
There was nothing for it at that stage but to grab the flags, get into the car and head towards Croker where within minutes we were in the middle of the throng pouring out of HQ. We drove around the environs of Croke Park for about a half an hour and then eventually made it down O’Connell Street before heading home, happy that we’d drunk deep on the post-match atmosphere.
I’m delighted that Dublin won today – for my kids who will, no doubt, very shortly be coming face to face with Sam at the local school, for all the loyal Dublin fans that I know and for everyone down at Vinnie’s where, as well as Pat Gilroy and Mickey Whelan on the sideline, the club had six players on the panel today. It’s a fantastic day for all concerned.
There’s also a big lesson for us from today’s result. Pat Gilroy’s Dublin are a team who have reached the summit by dint of an extremely strong work ethic and an uncompromising style of play, characteristics which James Horan is also aiming to instill in our lads. While on one hand, today’s All-Ireland win for the Dubs shows us how much further we need to progress if we are to be competitive at the highest level, on the other it provides us with a roadmap for how we might do so. Dublin dared to believe they could make it to the promised land and they got their reward today. It would be great to think that we might have a day like this to look forward to before too long as well.