LAST week I billed Dublin's clash with Armagh as the defining game of the season for both sides.
It turned out to be exactly that and my sense that Dublin are continuing to improve was evident in this winning display. It was gritty, honest and will help build confidence.
The criticism they received throughout the summer was too harsh, too scattered and not realistic.
One must compare what a team is capable of, and what their objectives are, with how they are playing in the moment. Not how you feel they should be playing or setting goals that are simply unreachable at this stage of their development.
I feel they will reach the quarter-finals and depending on the draw can acquit themselves well.
Should they be paired with Roscommon for instance is there anybody going to argue they cannot reach the last four?
That would be as far as they have travelled since their last title win and for a young team with a completely new look that would be an incredible achievement.
Louth stand in Dublin's way and they have had some summer too! But this looks like the end of the road for Louth.
In my opinion the fall out from the Meath match, the energy expended and the sense of grievance that must surely remain will prove too much for Peter Fitzpatrick to repair. Dublin to march on then.