Wednesday 21 August 2019

Dubs' juggernaut rumbles on as rout of the Royals keeps drive for five alive

Thrilled: Dublin stars Brian Fenton and Brian Howard of Dublin celebrate with young Raheny club-mates after the match. Photo: Daire Brennan/Sportsfile
Thrilled: Dublin stars Brian Fenton and Brian Howard of Dublin celebrate with young Raheny club-mates after the match. Photo: Daire Brennan/Sportsfile

Laura Lynott at Croke Park

It was hardly a shock victory - with the juggernaut that is the Dublin football team, the result was never in any real doubt.

But as the Boys in Blue were crowned Leinster senior football champions for the ninth year in a row, having smashed their neighbours Meath, there was really only one question - had the Royals even turned up for the match?

The scoreline was excruciating for the travelling fans at Croke Park yesterday, 1-17 to Dublin and just a paltry four points for Meath.

And with such a comprehensive thrashing, there was a muted fanfare as the Blue Army left the stadium in the pouring rain.

Many remembered the wall-to-wall blue skies for the Leinster final last year. But a win's a win, and Dubliners never shy away from showing pride in their team.

Liam Fennell, from Donnycarney, said: "The team is just so good, they're so far ahead.

Fan fun: Billy McEvoy and daughter Sinead had divided loyalties. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins
Fan fun: Billy McEvoy and daughter Sinead had divided loyalties. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins

"It's hard luck for Meath and for all the other teams but it really is a case of either catch up or shut up.

"Meath didn't score for 28 minutes and Dublin upped the game in the second half.

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"They took over, as they always do, there's no one to beat them, they have no hope.

"I'm looking forward to the games coming and I think we'll get the five," he said, one eye already on All-Ireland final day.

Peter Lawlor, Johnny Burke and ‘Dublin Gerry’. Photo: Colin O'Riordan
Peter Lawlor, Johnny Burke and ‘Dublin Gerry’. Photo: Colin O'Riordan

But Liam still remembers the bitter taste of losing and he never wants to see his team go back to the miserable old days in the 1980s when Kerry were riding high.

"I used to watch Kerry win one after the other," he said. "I know what it's like to walk out of Croke Park in defeat but I hope the Dubs' winning never stops."

Royals fan Denise Sutton, from Stamullen, asked: "Did Meath even turn up today?"

Many felt there had been a lacklustre performance from the Meath men.

Kayd Kavanagh (3) arrives at Croke Park. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins
Kayd Kavanagh (3) arrives at Croke Park. Photo: Gareth Chaney, Collins

"The whole game was a bit of a disappointment, Meath's performance was terrible - they lacked confidence, they couldn't carry it through," said Denise, who attended the final with her brothers, Barry and Sean Sutton, nephew Rhys Sutton (11), and friends Leanne Caffrey, and Brian and Ian Kavanagh. "We knew Dublin would perform," she added. "But we felt Meath weren't in this. And while the atmosphere was good at the start, in the second half it died down.

"Croker wasn't as packed as it used to be either."

And she was right - the attendance was just 47,000.

At least one member of the family seemed to be happy though. Young Rhys was delighted with his second-ever match at Croker and he enjoyed seeing his favourite, Ben Brennan, play.

"I go to as many games as possible," Denise said. "At the end of the day, it's a great day out for family and I'm delighted that Rhys enjoyed it."

Team didn’t turn up on the day, Meath fan Denise Sutton felt. Photo: Colin O'Riordan
Team didn’t turn up on the day, Meath fan Denise Sutton felt. Photo: Colin O'Riordan

Fans rushed into nearby venues and for transport home as the rain poured down as the game came to an end.

And many commented they had never seen a Leinster final with such unseasonable weather.

Some supporters took to Twitter to air their disappointment in the performance Meath put in at the Croke Park showdown.

But for now Dublin seem to be unstoppable and the 'drive for five' rumbles on.

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