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We're winning in the rain

DUBLIN fans will be rushing to snap up tickets for the All-Ireland semi-final following a blistering display by the Blues against Tyrone at a wet and miserable Croker.

Blues supporters were anything but miserable as they made a joyful exit from Croke Park after they roared their team to victory in a thrilling match which ended with Dublin winning 0-22 to Tyrone's 0-15.

They now have a date with Donegal on August 28 and, whisper it, Dub fans are hopeful of reaching an All-Ireland final.

The omens before the match weren't good as the rain clouds had gathered over Dublin for most of the day.

Although the rain didn't clear until the second half, some 52,000 fans, many of them clad in ponchos, turned up to GAA HQ to cheer their teams.

Not many fans were prouder than Castleknock's Jim Brogan -- uncle to Dublin footballers Bernard, Alan and Paul.

He was amongst the tens of thousands there to cheer the team on.

"They played very well, it's good preparation for the next game," beamed the proud uncle.

"Both teams would've been hungry for the win -- but today was our day.

"They have to meet each and every challenge as it presents itself."

Despite the torrential downpour, the Blues were too much for Mickey Harte's troops and earned their place in All-Ireland semi-final with a seven-point lead on the whistle.

Aidan Lynch, from Glasnevin, brought his family and said the Blues put up a great fight.

"They played very well considering there was a fair bit of competition -- Tyrone are a strong side," he said.

Tallaght man Paul Lennox thought the Blues simply outclassed Harte's team.

He said: "It was an all-round seventy-minute performance of pure man-to-man excellence. Tyrone are an ageing team and the Dubs were a lot stronger and fitter.

"A few years ago we might not have beaten them, but seeing that was brilliant."

Knocklyon locals Peter Farrell and Dave Ryan were also ecstatic to see the Blues defeat their old rivals.

"Two years in a row to beat Tyrone is just sweet -- they've beaten us so many times in the past and made us pay so we're getting our revenge now," the pair told the Herald.

"I think we'll definitely be at the final -- all we need to do is concentrate on closing out matches in the last five minutes."

Michael Cassidy, from Firhouse, brought his seven-year-old granddaughter Ella Tindale to HQ for the big event.

"Dublin were brilliant, they did everything right and they never stopped running," he said. "Their discipline was absolutely fantastic.

"Man of the match was definitely Diarmuid Connolly, he had a super game and scored points of his left and right."

Friends Nicki Fitzgerald and Sarah Doyle, from Swords said the Dublin defence was outstanding.

"Tyrone never got into it at all -- the Dubs were amazing."

The pair also commended the quality play of Diarmuid Connolly, who came back from an injury scare last week.

"Connolly was exceptional, he kicked seven points from play and they were at hard angles too."

Daragh Lowe, from Templeogue, took his girlfriend Fiona Kelly to the match, saying that it's always a positive to dominate Tyrone. He said: "Tyrone didn't really show up, I don't think it was much of a test for Dublin."

Pals Deirdre Walshe, from Newcastle and Eimear Boyce, from Clondalkin: "It was a brilliant night, really exciting.

"We thought the referee could have been fairer but we knew there was no competition there ultimately, the lads were great.

"We're booking our tickets to the semi as soon as we get home."

Malahide couple, Karl and Aisling Kavanagh were thrilled with the result and are excited for the deciding stages.

"We're really looking forward to the semi-final now, the in-laws are from Donegal so that'll prove for an interesting day."

Gilroy's footballers are set to take on Donegal in the semi-final on August 28.