Thursday 19 October 2017

Dublin beat Meath to claim the 52nd Leinster title

Dublin captain Stephen Cluxton lifts the Delaney Cup
Dublin captain Stephen Cluxton lifts the Delaney Cup
Dublin manager Jim Gavin with Brian Cullen after the final whistle
Dublin's Jack McCaffrey lifts the Delaney cup after his side defeated Meath in the Leinster final
Bernard Brogan, left, and Paul Mannion celebrate after the game
Paul Hogan, son Darragh (4), granddad Ben and brother-in-law David Peppard with his son Ben (5) celebrate
Eoghan O'Gara with daughter Ella on the pitch after the game
Meath captain Kevin Reilly after the match
Dublin captain Stephen Cluxton takes a successful free kick late in the game
Meath's Michael Newman reacts after missing a goal chance
Meath's Joe Sheridan looks dejected in the dying moments of the match
Meath manager Mick O'Dowd reacts after Stephen Bray misses a chance at goal
Bernard Brogan in action against Meath's Kevin Reilly
Ciarán Kilkenny in action against Meath's Peader Byrne
Meath's Brian Meade in action against Rory O'Carroll
Meath supporters cheer on their team against Dublin
A Dublin supporter during the game
Dublin captain Stephen Cluxton leads his team during the parade
Dan O'Regan, and Orla Gannon at Croke Park

Fiona Ellis

IT was a game of two halves in more ways than one.

And luckily for the boys in blue, they were able to turn around their performance in the second half and clinch their 52nd Leinster title.

Dublin GAA fans were out in force celebrating their win against Meath at Croke Park yesterday, where they saw off a challenge from their old rivals.

Dublin 'jesters' Darragh Hogan (4) and Ben Peppard (5) had a "brilliant" day out with their respective dads Paul and David, and granddad Ben.

"The game was brilliant," said Paul. "I was a bit nervous whether Meath were going to do it, but my nerves settled after the second half. They had us sweating, though."

The Royal fans, although bowed, were not broken despite losing 0-14 to 2-15.

Anne Farrelly, living in Tullamore, Co Offaly, but originally from Meath, has been to almost every Meath match since 1987.

"I didn't expect them to make it, I'm a realist," she laughed. "But I said to myself, if we held our own against them and weren't destroyed, I was going to be delighted.

"We put up a good fight in the beginning."

One of the most colourful fans on the day was Alicia Gayson (38), from Clondalkin, who looked like a pink Dublin superhero, complete with a Dublin flag cape. She was with her daughter Shannon (15), son Cian (13) and friend Tanya Dunne.

Alicia said she was "absolutely horrified" during the first half as Dublin struggled against Meath.

Meath looked set for a shock win when they led by 0-09 to 1-04, but the Dubs took control in the second half and emerged victorious.

Birthday boy in blue Martin Kennedy (66), from Loughlinstown, said the win was the best present he could have hoped for.

His daughter got him tickets to the match as well as a special treat: a ticket upgrade to a private suite.

"We had a brilliant time," said his wife, Ann, holding her teddy mascot. "We were delighted. It was beautiful. We got coffee, sandwiches, buns, you name it."

"It's just as well Dublin won today," said Martin. "If they had lost I'd have gone home with my heart in my boots."

Emma Buckley (22) from Tallaght was another Dublin fan who celebrated her birthday yesterday. Her friends, Louise Corrigan and Sinead Keogh bought her the tickets as a present.

"It was a great birthday," she said. "We were screaming from the hill all day."

Despite their differences, there were still smiles from loved-up couple Des Grogan (39) from Cabra, and Niamh Harmon (32) from Kildalkey, Co. Meath.

The pair have gone to every Dublin versus Meath game in their nine years together.

"At this stage it's more an exercise in humiliation for me really," said Niamh. "But it's always really good fun. "

Irish Independent

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