Wednesday 20 June 2018

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Double header with the inevitable results at chilly Croker

Dublin supporters (l-r): Michelle Dunne, Lorna Hilliary, Sandra Hilliary, Laura Curtis, Gillian Callen and Michelle Donohoe from Clonsilla
Dublin supporters (l-r): Michelle Dunne, Lorna Hilliary, Sandra Hilliary, Laura Curtis, Gillian Callen and Michelle Donohoe from Clonsilla
Fermanagh fans Aisling Fee and Aoife McCaffrey from Tempo
Kildare fan Avril McCrann (right) with Kerry supporter, Joanne Trant
Nicola Anderson

Nicola Anderson

It was much like watching the waltz scene in a romantic movie just before the couple lock eyes across a crowded ballroom.

We already knew what was going to happen - but we kept watching anyway just in case there turned out to be a surprise twist in the plot.

And there wasn't - unless you count the heroically dashing Fermanagh, who turned out to be the real stars, scoreline regardless.

With such a degree of inevitability about the results of these All Ireland quarter finals, it was almost a miracle that 58,680 fans bothered their barney to show up for the double-header, amid swirling, chilly winds in Croke Park.

First off was the merciless pistol-whipping of Kildare by Kerry, and as the Kingdom's goals racked up with zero effort, fans of both sides were left groaning, wishing the pain for Kildare would end.

Colm Cooper was back for his first championship start since Kerry's 2013 All-Ireland semi-final defeat to Dublin.

And personally clocking up two goals and three points, it's as if he's spent the past two years cryogenically frozen. The Gooch is most definitely back - and in mint condition.

And if that wasn't enough misery for the limping Kildare side, Paul Galvin was practically upside down on the sidelines as he warmed up with a few technical Pilates stretches - which instantly took social media by storm.

The final scoreline had to be read through your fingers: Kerry 7-16 to Kildare's 0-10.

"The next will be even worse," predicted a veteran fan.

"They're going to hammer them," predicted sisters Paula (16) and Kelly (17) Murphy from Finglas.

Home from Australia for the first time in five years, Michelle Dunne from Blanchardstown - who lined out for Dublin some years ago along with friend Lorna Hillary, was back to shout on the home side.

While Shane Peppard (30) from Clondalkin was the ultimate fan, laying it all on the line as he togged out in shorts and just a thin skim of blue body paint. Any hope of heat lay in the form of a blue 'Hulk'-style wig. But, asked if he was cold, he gave a defiant "Nope".

The second half belonged to the Northern men who even managed to outscore the boys in blue.

However, a final score of 2-23 to 2-15 wasn't nearly enough of a victory for Dublin.

Irish Independent

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