herald

Thursday 8 December 2016

'Out of jail ... but we'll win replay'

Lisa Fallon, Caragh Dawson, Aoife Walsh, Leah Butler - all from St Jude's GAA club - cheer on the Boys in Blue Photo: Collins Dublin, Gareth Chaney
Lisa Fallon, Caragh Dawson, Aoife Walsh, Leah Butler - all from St Jude's GAA club - cheer on the Boys in Blue Photo: Collins Dublin, Gareth Chaney

They could have won it, they could have lost it - but most of the Blue Army are just relieved Dublin have another crack at retaining their All-Ireland title.

The Boys in Blue will be getting back to the drawing board in preparation for Saturday week's replay with Mayo.

While they came within seconds of getting the win on Sunday, the game could have gone against them, according to Raheny man, Declan Coulter (52), who took in the game with his son, Mark.

"Dublin were lucky. Mayo just came at them. Their shooting was way, way off. I thought we could have lost it," he said.

Relief was probably the best way to describe how Robbie Lupton, from Inchicore, felt post-match.

Although, he didn't have much time to take it all in, with replay tickets on the mind from the final whistle.

"We got out of jail," he said. "We can't play as bad again.

"There's always a worry [about tickets] for the replay, but we got them for this one, so hopefully we'll get them again," he added.

Nerves

David Bolger (19), from Glasnevin, was involved with the Dublin Under-21 footballers this year.

He said that despite having Mayo connections, a victory for the westerners would have been heartbreaking.

"It was nerve-racking," David said. "My nerves were shattered.

"I thought they were going to give a free [to Mayo] at the end there and I would have been out the door if Mayo had won.

"My mother is from Mayo, but I wouldn't be able to stand them winning," he added.

Leaving the final result aside, it was palpable tension for supporters in the dying moments.

This was particularly the case for some rival families - who have two more weeks of slagging before the two teams get to do it all again.

Married couple Aoife and Padraig Keane, who live in Milltown in Dublin, wore opposite jerseys to the game.

Dubs supporter Aoife (33), a project manager, said: "That was a seriously intense match and one of the best finals in years. I'm expecting our first baby next March and we've agreed the baby can be a Mayo supporter."

Husband Padraig (34), an IT manager from Louisburgh, said: "I've been to seven All-Irelands with Mayo and the other finals were never as tense as this one. I think 65 years is long enough to wait and Sam Maguire is going to Castlebar after the replay."

The excitement is already building for another Croker classic, but the October 1 date has made things a little complicated for devoted supporters.

Replay

Matt Mooney (30) and his partner Janice Lowry (29), from Raheny, are season ticket- holders, but had been due to fly out the day of the replay for Matt's birthday.

Not anymore, they explained.

"We'll have to change our flights, we're not too happy about that," Janice explained.

The pair, who are heading to London and Las Vegas, were on their phones at the final whistle in a desperate attempt to get different flights.

"We'd rather be here, we're going to do it all over again.

"They'll definitely win it in the replay," Janice added.

Meanwhile, it'll be even more difficult for one Mayo supporter, who came all the way from Thailand for the game.

Seamus McHugh (31), from Castlebar, said all working commitments have now been thrown out the window.

"I'm living in Thailand the last five years," he said.

"I'm supposed to be flying out in the morning.

"Not now, I won't be going back for another two weeks.

"I'll cancel work, whatever, I'll wait," he added.

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