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Dubs produce the goods in a superb Lord Mayor's show

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PRECISION FINISH: Dublin’s Carla Rowe scores her second and her side’s third goal despite the efforts of Cork Doireann O’Sullivan, Martina
O’Brien and Róisín Phelan

PRECISION FINISH: Dublin’s Carla Rowe scores her second and her side’s third goal despite the efforts of Cork Doireann O’Sullivan, Martina O’Brien and Róisín Phelan

PRECISION FINISH: Dublin’s Carla Rowe scores her second and her side’s third goal despite the efforts of Cork Doireann O’Sullivan, Martina O’Brien and Róisín Phelan

Blessed with a warm day. Always a help to add a few bob to the gate.

There were rows of coaches parked on the Alfie Byrne Road. Everybody was looking forward to the Lord Mayor's Show.

Just like the TG4 spectacular from the Mansion House on Saturday night.

Niall Quinn looked down from an advert in Clontarf. He has known the feeling of lacing up the boots on All-Ireland final day.

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CAPTAIN FANTASTIC: Dublin captain Sinéad Aherne lifts the Brendan Martin Cup after her side’s victory in yesterday’s TG4 All-Ireland Ladies SFC final at Croke Park

CAPTAIN FANTASTIC: Dublin captain Sinéad Aherne lifts the Brendan Martin Cup after her side’s victory in yesterday’s TG4 All-Ireland Ladies SFC final at Croke Park

CAPTAIN FANTASTIC: Dublin captain Sinéad Aherne lifts the Brendan Martin Cup after her side’s victory in yesterday’s TG4 All-Ireland Ladies SFC final at Croke Park

The poster was promoting coverage of the English Premiership. But Croke Park had a Super Sunday of its own.

Over the bridge at Fairview Park, the big 'Supporting the Dubs' banner rustled gently in the breeze.

A man and a woman, in Dublin jerseys, held hands going across the Luke Kelly Bridge.

A window of a house on Clonliffe Road had a picture of Dublin- 'the 2018 All-Ireland Football champions'. Would the Blue Sisters be joining them for tea?

Across the road in another house, there was a Dublin flag flying from one window, and a Cork flag from the other. Silence over the cornflakes.

The river of people approaching the stadium was growing rapidly. Nobody needed to ask "is this the way to Amarillo?"

The great soccer man, Martin Lynch, was in the congregation. Converted. Everybody wanted to march in the Jackies' Army.

Former President of the Association, Wally Thompson, was outside the Hogan. He was there in the very early days of Dublin ladies football. How the sport has grown. A couple of men with English accents were asking does anybody need a ticket.

Inside, Jerry Grogan brought the good news about Ireland's rowing heroics from Bulgaria. The 1993 All-Ireland champions, Kerry, were honoured. Mary Jo Curran among them. The Mick O'Connell of Ladies Football.

Heaven

In came the Dublin players at 20 minutes to three to take their seats as they looked at the Intermediate final. They were right beside the podium. The steps that lead to Heaven.

There was a God high up on Level 7. His Master's Voice, Mícheal Ó Muircheartaigh. On his way to the Press Box, he passed a picture of Michael O'Hehir.

Mick Hanley was commentating for Dublin City FM. His co-pilot was Willie Lillis, who led Dublin to their first Leinster title all those years ago at Dr Cullen Park.

The audience was a little bigger at HQ yesterday - 50,141. And when Dáithi Ó Sé announced the record crowd at half-time, he got one of the biggest cheers of the day.

"Isn't that unbelievable," stated a voice in the corridor.

Memorable

Among the gathering were the faithful from Clann Mhuire in North County Dublin. They help up a banner: 'Good Luck, Carla'.

And it led to a memorable wheel of fortune.

Carla Rowe scored a goal for the Dubs in the first half at the Hill end to help the champions lead by 2-6 to 1-5 at the break.

Dublin's opening goal came from a penalty. From the skipper, Sinéad Aherne. Precision.

It was hard work out there. Space had to be earned. The tackling was terrific. And the blocking too. There was no let up in the pace. Compelling stuff. They were level three times before the interval. Áine O'Sullivan's curled shot to the top left hand corner brought Cork's goal.

Cork almost got a second goal in the opening pages of the second half. Eimear Scally's shot was heating for the net only for Niamh Collins to clear off the line.

"That was a vital moment," noted Cork captain, Ciara O'Sullivan.

"I felt that could have been a turning point," offered Cork manager, Ephie Fitzgerald.

But ten minutes from time, the North County erupted again as cultured Carla drilled in her second goal. The Dubs were on their way. 3-11 to 1-12. In a match that will have them applauding deep into the winter.


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