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Dubs' resilience breaks Mayo hearts in classic

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'All credit to the Dublin squad, their manager Jim Gavin, and all of the support squad.' Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

'All credit to the Dublin squad, their manager Jim Gavin, and all of the support squad.' Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

'All credit to the Dublin squad, their manager Jim Gavin, and all of the support squad.' Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

It was a gala day for Irish sporting people the world over. Both Dublin and Mayo, roared on by 83,000 fanatical supporters, served up a great game worthy of a great Croke Park occasion.

In truth, neither side deserved to lose and at close of play there was merely a kick between both teams. For Dublin it was an epic three-in-a-row, their first in nearly a century. We know they will celebrate as only true Dublin supporters can.

For Mayo, another year of heartbreak. But it was a campaign for which they are well entitled to hold their heads very high, though it remains as far away as ever from 1951 and the last time Sam Maguire went home to Mayo.

Yet all credit to the Dublin squad, their manager Jim Gavin, and all of the support squad. They have set the bar very high indeed, with a brand of all-action attacking and positive Gaelic football.

Three consecutive All Ireland wins is a very fine achievement, ranking them alongside the great Kerry teams of the 1970s and 1980s. The intriguing thing is that Mayo came within a whisker of meeting and even surpassing the Dublin gold standard.

The heartbreak of Mayo fans, as they took the long road west last night, was felt the length and breadth of the land. The storied green and red produced their best team and they went down to a fractionally better Dublin team.

In the end the Dublin resilience broke Mayo hearts on a truly great day for Irish sport.

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