Quiet lead-in so far to Sunday’s decider

“What time is the Dublin match on at?” The woman behind me in the queue to pay at the petrol station across from Meagher’s pub in Fairview early yesterday afternoon appeared to be in earnest but she was obviously a bit flustered when I told her that the Dubs hadn’t any team in action in the camogie finals being played at HQ. Then the lights came on: it was the footballers she was thinking of and we had a bit of a laugh about how much more crowded the locality would be around that time seven days hence.

It’ll be fairly full-on around these parts next Sunday, for sure, but with less than a week to go until the ball is thrown in at Croke Park, it’s easy to forget that, for the first time in sixteen years, Dublin are back in the decider. There are a few flags hanging out of windows (one of them is from ours – the small lad is well up for it), there’s a bit of bunting here and there but there’s no sign as yet of any sheep getting painted. There’s sure to be a bit more razzmatazz over the coming days but, to be honest, I can’t see the hype machine getting out of second gear this side of Sunday.

Most of the Dublin lads that I’ve spoken with aren’t expressing too much confidence about their team’s chances on Sunday. Like the rest of us, they’ve seen how Kerry operate and the way they peak at this time every year. They know that their own team has improved year-on-year under Pat Gilroy but that, man-for-man, Kerry look to have the edge on them. This isn’t Kerry-style cute hoorism or newly-minted Metropolitan self-deprecation: it’s just a case of telling it like it is.

And there’s no talk either amongst the Dublin fraternity of the fabled Kerry-Dublin ‘rivalry’. “We’ve only ever beaten them in 1934, 1976 and 1977” snorted an acquaintance down at the club on Saturday. “What sort of rivalry is that?” That’s about the size of it, for sure, though I can’t see those chilling statistics saving us from plenty of ould guff about it in the media over the coming days.

All the talk around here for now is, as you can imagine, about tickets. Although they’re not overly optimistic about their chances of landing what would be their 23rd All-Ireland senior title next weekend, it seems that everyone up here would like to be there to see the spectacle for themselves. Just in case, like.

We’ll be watching the action from the comfort of the couch ourselves on Sunday though I’d say we’ll be taking a run out down towards Ballybough beforehand to catch a bit of the atmosphere. If that lady I met yesterday is down getting petrol again next Sunday she won’t be in any doubt then that the Dubs are playing that day. She might still need reminding, though, that the throw-in for senior final is scheduled for 3.30pm.

9 thoughts on “Quiet lead-in so far to Sunday’s decider

  1. The Drive For Five is melting like an ice berg WJ. Funny really, the much maligned Galway both in football and in hurling now own three of the major championship six titles up for grabs. Their U21s have the hurling and football cups. The minors have the hurling and their footballers were unlucky v Dublin s minors.

    So Dublin are now down to two and both are next week. I wont begrudge them to be honest because lately I have detected an annoying arrogance within Kerry and its followers. And every balloon needs pricking every now and again…just to hear the bang.

  2. It is, for sure – losing four All-Ireland finals in three weeks wouldn’t be a record to savour for the Dubs. They’re strong favourites to beat Tipp in the minor but those Tipp lads looked okay to me when they beat Roscommon in the semi-final. I’d obviously like to see them do the Kerrymen in the senior final as it’d mean the kids would (via the local school) get to touch Sam before I do. And, let’s face it, Kerry don’t exactly need another All-Ireland. Losing would also give them a truckload of ‘hurt’ and ‘agony’ and all the rest that they can then use to fertilise their desires for 2012.

    Galway are having a great poor year too – what we wouldn’t do for a haul like that in any given year. Incidentally, that’s the second time that Galway have won both the U21 football and hurling championships in the same year: the last time they did so was back in 1972. The only other county that has done this was Cork, who managed it in both 1970 and 1971 (which incidentally means that the feat was achieved three years in a row back then). The only county apart from Galway that has ever won the two U21 titles and the minor hurling one in the same year was Cork – back in 1971. It’s hard to best the Donkey Ayters!

  3. lots of dub acquaintences that i wouldnt have heard from for a while dropping text/mails wondering if have come across any spare tickets for Sunday. We have all been there of course but honestly speaking id say every mayo fan who really wanted a ticket ended up getting one in the end. Sunday will be different though….supply and demand will not match up. Having said that you would hope that the genuine dub fans ( 15 k is a figure i have in my head based on leage games during the year) do get a ticket.

  4. Yes a quiet build up so far to the final. Not much yet about the traditional and dream final. I am sure though as the week goes on you will see fellas like “The Bomber” getting wheeled out for interviews. Or maybe Paddy Cullen and Mikey Sheehy talking about “that goal”. Or Brian Mullins or Paudi O’Shea. Plenty of trips down memory lane to come about “the greatest rivalry in gaelic football”. I suppose a few of the current Kerry crop too talking about the unbearable hurt and pain if they lose. Then if this match ends in a draw we will have it all again for another week. Everything points to a Kerry win and an end to their mammoth 2 year famine.

  5. This is the first final ever that I am supporting Dublin. I remember being a paid up member of ABD in the early 1990’s, between the arrogance of the Herald and 98FM/104 it was easy to dislike the Dublin set up. This Dublin team seems better grounded than others, Pat Gilroy comes across very well.

    Getting Connolly back is huge for Dublin, the Brogans will score goals given the same chances we made against Kerry in the semi. I expect to see Bryan Cullen with Sam around here on Monday night

  6. i want kerry to hammer them , purely so that we can lay claim to being the second best team in the country , otherwise i would have no problem with a dubs win , they have some great fans.

  7. I thoroughly agree with you Roger. I would like to see a ccomprehensive Kerry win even I grudge it to them. Anyway, if they dont win they’ll be like savages next year.
    Two bits of news on the Mayo News: (a) Andy Moran and Donal Vaughan have been called up for assessment for the Australian tour team. (b) Paul Jordan and Martin Connolly have resigned from James Horan’s backroom team.

  8. Can’t agree, Grainne – the little lad will be an utter pain in the hole for weeks if his beloved Dubs don’t win it! And Kerry will be savages even if they do it – you can imagine them prattling on about the hurt of not winning since last September come next summer even if they win on Sunday. By the way, did anyone hear the report on the radio yesterday where someone in the Kerry camp was going on about fallen trees down there and how it was upsetting their training? I didn’t hear it myself but it certainly sounds like something they’d go on with. The food poisoning rumour should be due out any day now as well …

    I hadn’t heard about Andy and Donal but can’t say I’m surprised: I’d be expecting to see both included in the All-Star nominations list as well. I heard the stories about Paul and Martin the other day but nothing official has been confirmed yet as far as I know.

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