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Earned

THE skies over Croke Park may not have been blue but Dublin fans were in Blue Heaven anyway.

It wasn't pretty but the two-point win means the Boys in Blue are one step closer to ending 16 years of pain.

A red card, a disallowed goal and a Donegal defence that was similar to a brick wall couldn't stop Dublin's march towards the final.

As the unbridled joy spilled on to the streets around Croke Park, fans vowed to be back on September 18 to topple the might of Kerry.

"It was a war of attrition, the Dubs never gave up and in the 55th minute they picked off Donegal to turn it around," said die-hard fan Tony Ainscough, who trekked to HQ with his son Morton (8) from Meath.

"For the first time in years Dublin have it won ugly.

"This will be my first final ever, I can't believe I'm going to see the Sam Maguire in real life, it's so exciting," added Morton.

Famed supporter 'Dublin Gerry', said although it wasn't the spectacle the crowds were hoping for, the result speaks for itself.

"The main thing is we're in the final, it doesn't matter how the boys played," he said.

Swords-local Terry Snow said: "It was hard work and well-earned -- we knew it was going to be tough.

"Ultimately we made the right decisions and the bench made a huge difference.

"Kerry have been here many times but can we do it -- of course we can!"

Templeogue native Pauline Clifford is already counting the days until the upcoming showdown, where she and her Kerryman hubby will be in opposing colours.

"Bring on the Kingdom -- we'll wake up now and show them we deserve the Sam Maguire," said Pauline, who turned up to HQ with friends Lorraine Doyle and Liz Heffernan.

Lucan man Paul McHugh brought his five-year-old son Charlie to headquarters and insisted that facing Kerry as underdogs will be positive for Gilroy.

"I'm delighted we're underdogs for the final, hopefully we'll take them by surprise," he enthused.

hnews@herald.ie


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