Wednesday 21 February 2018

Dubs’ delight is just the ticket... if you can get one for Final

Nationwide seat hunt as old enemies meet in dream final

Dublin supporter
Gerry Horan, from Drumcondra,
and Donegal fan John Porter, from
Buncrana, at the game
Dublin supporter Gerry Horan, from Drumcondra, and Donegal fan John Porter, from Buncrana, at the game
Donegal fan PJ Gallagher from Glenswilly with Dublin fan Sinead Murphy from Whitestown at the match
Fan Jamie McCarville (6) from Rathcoole, Dublin
Dublin fans Sinead Doyle and Emma Clarke

Grainne Cunningham

THE ticket frenzy has begun. After a low-scoring, unimaginative game in Croker yesterday, gaelic football fans can look forward to a dream final on September 18.

Legendary rivals Dublin and Kerry will come face-to-face in a battle for Sam Maguire for the first time in 26 years.

And memories of those famous contests of the 70s and 80s will no doubt ensure that the race for seats began even before the final whistle blew.

All around the country, favours will be called in, arms twisted and three-figure sums earned by anyone lucky enough to have a spare ticket for the final when football's aristocrats meet their long forgotten foes.

Triumphalism was strangely absent from the streets of the capital yesterday as thousands of supporters filed out of Croke Park.

Instead, the relief was palpable. Everyone knew it could easily have gone the other way. It very nearly did.

It wasn't pretty and much of it wasn't football, but it did the job -- that was the general consensus among the fans in blue.

Clinton Slowey from Templeogue said "it was a horrible game" but added that "football won in the end".

His friend Philip Fortune from Walkinstown agreed but insisted that despite Dublin's lacklustre performance, the boys in blue would be victorious in the final.

"It will be a better game, 100pc better than that," he said.

Daniel Hennessy, from Tallaght, agreed. "We will be going into the game as underdogs which is a better way to approach a final", he said.

Daniel said Donegal had "almost parked buses" in front of their goals.

Des, Philomena and Nuala Gallen were all heading back to Letterkenny last night, disappointed with the performance they had just witnessed.

Des said: "It's very hard to win a game if you don't score," while Philomena added: "If you play defensively, you pay the price".

Aisling Stewart from Donegal town said she was more nervous than excited at half time, even though Donegal had the edge.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny and Sinn Fein's Gerry Adams were among those who joined an 81,000-strong contingent in Croker for yesterday's match.

And the build-up to another royal battle continued outside the stadium as presidential hopefuls Gay Mitchell and Michael D Higgins both clasped hands and smiled hopefully at potential voters.

Irish Independent

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