Asked whether Dublin would now be favourites against Kerry, he smiled. “Not a chance, we’ve no chance against Kerry, but the rumour is that we’ll turn up anyway,” he said..
The former Fianna Fail leader commended Dublin’s “super-subs”.
“We played really well, we did smashing and there’s always a lot talked about the Dublin super-
subs, but they were brilliant on Saturday,” said Mr Ahern.
“Alan Brogan was outstanding and Kevin McManamon is always outstanding – it was a really good day and a really good match,” he added.
Other familiar faces among the crowd were President, Michael D Higgins, former Taoiseach Brian Cowen, and pro-golfer Shane Lowry.
Two-time All-Ireland winning Dublin defender Ger Brennan was doing his bit for his former teammates by “singing away” for the side from the Cusack Stand with his brother Derek.
It wasn’t all plain sailing for the Dubs though, with tension felt around Hill 16 in the early minutes of the second half as Mayo gained momentum.
But three goals in quick succession from the boys in blue and supporters soon found their voices with chants of “cheerio” to the Mayo contingent.
Supporters are confident of their team finishing the job against Kerry in two weeks time, but the clamour for tickets begins now, according to Niall O’Connor (41) from Swords.
“The demand for tickets in the club is going to be unbelievable,” said Niall.
“The phone calls for the replay started within a half an hour of the first match and it’ll be the same again this time,” he added.
He thinks the two Mayo games will have Dublin more than prepared for the threat of Kerry.
“I think we’re going to do it, we’re up to speed now, battle-
hardened and we’ll be too good for Kerry in the final,” he said.
Iconic Dublin supporter Shane Peppard (30) from Clondalkin was painted in blue and leading the chants on Hill 16, along with his two sons Clayton (9) and Callum (5), who are confident of All-Ireland victory.
“It was outstanding,” said Shane.
“It was absolutely electric on the Hill. It was exciting stuff and I’m delighted we’re in the final.
“I don’t know how I’m going to get a ticket for the final now,” he added.
Eoin Wayne (9) from Swords and his mother, Joanne Butterly were barely able to watch when Dublin went behind.
“It was very good, but stressful,” said Eoin.
Joanne said: “It was nerve-racking – terrifying – and when we went four points down I thought we were gone, but when we scored the second goal I could relax a bit.”
Killiney man Kevin O’Shea (24) told the Herald that the noise from Hill 16 and the Nally Terrace drove the team over the finish line.
“The atmosphere was unreal.
“We were on the terrace and it was unbelievable,” he said.
Claire Whelan (24) also from Killiney said after Saturday’s performance there was no doubt about Dublin winning the Sam Maguire Cup this year.