So close but so far as brave Dubs miss out on final glory
SO near and yet so far. Dublin fans could almost taste their first bite at All Ireland hurling in decades – but it all turned sour very quickly.
A sending off, a scramble goal – and it was all over bar the Cork shouting.
Supporters of the boys in blue were downbeat as they left Croke Park on the losing side of a 1-24 to 1-19 scoreline.
The result means that Dublin have not beaten their Leeside rivals in the hurling championship for 86 years.
Meanwhile, Cork go on to their first All Ireland final since 2006.
Some young Cork fans sang: "Where's your double now?" as they made their way from Croke Park.
But Frank Quigley (45), from Kinsale, was quick to praise Dublin's performance.
"Dublin took the initiative in the second half and gave Cork a real game. It was very close," he said.
Danny Lane (50), from Kiskeam, had similar thoughts: "I thought the game would be 50-50 from the start and it proved that.
"Hopefully, we will win it [the All Ireland] now. We'll be prepared for whoever comes along in the final."
For Brian Holland (32), from Newcestown in Cork, the result was a surprise.
"It's unbelievable to be in the final. I thought Dublin would win it by three or four points before the game.
"Jimmy Barry Murphy did brilliantly to get Cork here."
But he warned: "This Dublin team will be back. They will be quicker than the Cork team after this season. They'll win an All Ireland in the next few years."
Dublin fans were proud of their team, but disappointed with the result – with most thinking that Ryan O'Dwyer's 49th minute sending off changed the game.
Edward Burke (30), from Knocklyon, was certain that the red card was the wrong decision.
"It was the ref's decision that sent it to Cork. Up to that it was either team's game."
Where will Dublin go from here? Gerry Courtney (36), from Ballyfermot, has no doubts. "We'll be back again. We're Dublin!"