Dubs stoic in defeat as Cats claim their seventh title in a row
There was to be no fairytale ending for Dublin yesterday as Kilkenny delivered a bravura performance to clinch their seventh successive Leinster Championship.
As local fans descended on Croke Park, hopes were high that this could finally be their day in the sun. As they filed out hours later, they were philosophical in defeat.
"We know now what it takes to win a Leinster Championship title," said a stoic Derek Keating, the newly elected Fine Gael TD from Lucan.
"I'm delighted the minor team won today, they did brilliantly. It's disappointing the senior team didn't do it. But Kilkenny had all their star players back," he pointed out.
Fellow Dail deputy, property developer and burgeoning style icon, Mick Wallace, was wearing his trademark pink. However, in deference to the fine weather, he had opted for a fuchsia vest rather than his usual cerise number.
Departing the stadium after the match, he gave a succinct appraisal of the match: "Kilkenny are to hurling what the Italians are to football."
Paul Murray, from Swords, had hoped his three-year-old son Joshua's first trip to Croker might have ended on a better note.
"It was a great game but Kilkenny had too much class for Dublin. It's a bit disappointing not to come out with a win but we'll win again."
Meanwhile Des Parsons, from Tallaght, had expected more from his team.
"I thought Dublin would have done a bit better, but Kilkenny were really on form today."
For the Cats, ratcheting up their seventh provincial title in as many years, it must all seem like the same old walk in the park.
Johnny Freaney from Callan, outside Kilkenny city, admitted that fans have got used to that winning feeling.
"It was a very good game. I thought Dublin put on a better show than I was expecting."
For Michael Murphy and daughter Aoibhne (3), from Kilkenny, it was a great end to their trip to the capital.
"It was a good win for Kilkenny, which was to be expected. But maybe not as comfortable a scoreline," said Michael.