'Dublin have no real rivals in Leinster'
SUNDAY in Croker wasn't all about the "miracle" of Westmeath or the remorselessness of Dublin, according to Tom Carr.
It was also about the scary fall from grace of Dublin's putative chief rivals for the Delaney Cup, Meath and Kildare.
The last decade has witnessed the "most mentally frail Meath" in Carr's memory - "and yesterday copper-fastened their frailties.
"They just don't have the characteristics of any of the successful Meath teams, in terms of their crassness and their sporting ignorance, I'd call it, and their rough edges and their ruggedness. They just don't have that."
If some of that may cause offence in the land of the Royal, the former Dublin manager actually means it as a back-handed compliment.
He was doing RTÉ co-commentary on Sunday's semi-final against Westmeath. "They had opportunities to stem the tide," he points out. "Two clear points - possible goals, but definite points - and they did neither. Old Meath teams wouldn't do that."
The Meath of his era "wouldn't let you away with anything. Everything was to maximise the damage as much as possible - in tackles, in defending, in scoring. And I was actually making the point through the first half: super Meath performance, great stuff, but they still did things that showed a lack of ruthlessness. They still had opportunities to take scores, and they just didn't. They kicked some silly efforts and shot selection was stupid at times.
"And I actually said that this type of thing at some stage of the championship is going to come against them because they're not showing a ruthless streak. Little did I think it would come against them at the end of the game."
If anything, Carr sounds even more pessimistic about the plight of Kildare after their 19-point trimming by Dublin. "Kildare are as poor as I've ever seen them," he laments.
While stressing the need for Westmeath to build on their semi-final ambush, he adds: "What they did against Meath is absolutely useless if they go out and put in a performance similar to Kildare. Because let's be fair, Kildare were actually pathetic in their efforts ... they made no effort to take on Dublin whatsoever."