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Currie in first taste of action at Croker

THE thing about being Dublin's sub goalkeeper is, it's a little like playing second violin to Paganini – you don't get a gig very often.

Remember Bryan Murphy, the Kerry-born, former Kingdom U21 and Naomh Barróg goalie who came on when Stephen Cluxton was last sent off back in 2003 against Armagh, in circumstances roughly equally petulant to Saturday night's kick on Kevin McLoughlin?

No? How about John Leonard, the understudy to Cluxton during Pillar Caffrey's era?

Michael Savage anyone? A man who should expect a call this week – if it hasn't come already – from Dublin management.

Twice now, Shane Supple – arguably one of the best five goalkeepers in Ireland – has ended his involvement with Dublin, so inactive were his stints as number two to Cluxton's number one.

And so Seán Currie, the safest hands in Ballymun, got his inter-county debut on Saturday night as the shock still rumbled around Croke Park over the surprisingly crotchety actions of the most experienced and decorated player on the pitch.


Yet if Jim Gavin, as you might reasonably suspect, was annoyed with his captain he wasn't about to allow those feelings seep into the public domain.

"Life is full of mistakes," he said.

"The most important thing is to learn from them and to grow from them."

Of Cormac Reilly's decision to send Cluxton off, there can be no qualms or questions.

Kevin McLoughlin attempted – as many have done and will do again – to prevent Cluxton quickly executing his kick-out.

So he lashed out with his left foot, a swipe which will cost him a trip to Tyrone this Sunday for a match from which Dublin need to annex some points.

On came Currie in what probably ranked as the most intense League game of this or any other season. "Seán had a great season last year with Ballymun and played very well this year as well. It was good for him to come in and I thought he played very well," was Gavin's assessment.

Largely, his kick-outs were long and accurate, finding Diarmuid Connolly on a couple of occasions and more often than not, hitting his targets. Yet a couple of overcooked foot passes, clearly symptomatic of nerves but wildly dissimilar to the distribution of the man he had replaced, proved – if such evidence were needed – just how utterly vital Cluxton is to Dublin's cause.