Monday 19 March 2018

Fans welcome back their champions

Dublin stars take to the pitch once more for a good cause

Charlie Meehan (10) and Ryan McGuirk (6) with Bernard Brogan
at the match in Parnell Park last night
Charlie Meehan (10) and Ryan McGuirk (6) with Bernard Brogan at the match in Parnell Park last night
Dublin captain Bryan Cullen with the Sam Maguire cup
Conor Foley (8) has his jersey signed by Darren Daly

Allison Bray

A deafening roar erupted from the stands at Parnell Park last night as Dublin captain Bryan Cullen triumphantly hoisted the Sam Maguire cup at a charity match.

The 2011 All-Ireland senior football champions took to the pitch in fighting form to take on the reigning Dublin county champions Kilmacud Crokes despite spending most of the past three nights celebrating Dublin's first All-Ireland victory in 16 years.

"We're still up for it," croaked Dublin half forward Paul Flynn, his voice still hoarse from the post-victory celebrations.

And the jubilant Dublin team showed the festivities hadn't blunted their edge very much as they came away victorious by a comfortable margin.

But the party hadn't stopped for many of the die-hard Dubs who paid €10 to see their heroes in action once again in support of the Crosscare and the Temple Street Children's Hospital charities.

James McCormack, (40), from Tallaght, south Dublin, brought along his daughters Samantha, (10) and Sophie (9) to see their heroes in person.

"The party has been going on since the final whistle," he told the Irish Independent.

Fellow die-hard Dub Niall McGuirk from Coolock and his sons Robert, (9) and Ryan (6), also couldn't get enough of the boys in blue last night.

"The first match we went to this year was on the first of January, so it's been a nice end."

Mick Foley from Swords and his son Conor (8) and his friend Sean Kinsella (9) formed a little scrum at the entrance to the stadium to get as many autographs as possible. Their strategy paid off as they proudly displayed their heroes' signatures on their Dublin jerseys.

Mick wasn't too worried about their performance last night, however. "I think tonight is just a run-out to sweat some of the alcohol out," he said.

Conor, meanwhile, said he was over the moon watching his first All-Ireland match live at Croke Park. And he vowed to return to next year's All Ireland championships to cheer on the Dubs again.

Irish Independent

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