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Monday 5 December 2016

Our blue heaven: Fans go wild as Dublin win All Ireland final

Dublin's Bernard Brogan celebrates with team-mate Paul Flynn, right, after the game
Dublin's Bernard Brogan celebrates with team-mate Paul Flynn, right, after the game
Dublin's James McCarthy, left, Diarmuid Connolly, and Cian O'Sullivan, right, celebrates after the final whistle
Dublin's Alan Brogan, left, and Michael Darragh MacAuley celebrates after the final whistle
Paul Flynn, Dublin, celebrates his side's victory. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final, Dublin v Kerry, Croke Park, Dublin
Paul Flynn, Dublin, celebrates his side's victory. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final, Dublin v Kerry, Croke Park, Dublin
Dublin players celebrate with the Sam Maguire cup
Dublin players celebrate with the Sam Maguire cup
Dublin players celebrate their side's victory
Dublin players celebrate with the Sam Maguire cup
Diarmuid Connolly, Dublin, celebrates his side's victory. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final, Dublin v Kerry, Croke Park, Dublin
Dublin captain Stephen Cluxton lifts the Sam Maguire cup
Diarmuid Connolly, Dublin, lifts the Sam Maguire cup
Dublin captain Stephen Cluxton lifts the Sam Maguire cup
Dublin's Bernard Brogan celebrates after the final whistle. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final, Dublin v Kerry, Croke Park, Dublin
Bernard Brogan, Dublin, lifts the Sam Maguire cup. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final, Dublin v Kerry, Croke Park, Dublin
Dublin's Bernard Brogan, right, and Paul Flynn celebrate after the final whistle
Alan Brogan, Dublin, lifts the Sam Maguire cup. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final, Dublin v Kerry, Croke Park, Dublin
Dublin manager Jim Gavin celebrates after the final whistle
Dublin's Diarmuid Connolly celebrates
Diarmuid Connolly, Dublin, celebrates his side's victory. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final, Dublin v Kerry, Croke Park, Dublin
Ciaran Kilkenny, Dublin, celebrates his side's victory. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final, Dublin v Kerry, Croke Park, Dublin
Denis Bastick, Dublin, celebrates his side's victory. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final, Dublin v Kerry, Croke Park, Dublin
Dublin captain Stephen Cluxton lifts the Sam Maguire cup. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final, Dublin v Kerry, Croke Park, Dublin
20 September 2015; Alan Brogan, Dublin, celebrates his side's victory. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final, Dublin v Kerry, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
20 September 2015; James McCarthy, Dublin, in action against Colm Cooper, Kerry. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final, Dublin v Kerry, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
Sunday 20 September 2015. Smithfield: John Hill, Finglas.
20 September 2015; Paul Flynn, Dublin, in action against Paul Geaney, Kerry. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final, Dublin v Kerry, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
20 September 2015; Stephen O’Brien, Kerry, in action against Jack McCaffrey, Dublin. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final, Dublin v Kerry, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
20 September 2015; Peter Crowley, Kerry, is tackled by Diarmuid Connolly, Dublin. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final, Dublin v Kerry, Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

Dublin are All Ireland champions for the third time in five years after seeing off Kerry in a tense battle at Croke Park.

The Dubs were the far better side throughout but wasted chanced after chance to keep Kerry within touching distance.

Brian Fenton got the Dubs going with a neat finish inside the first 20 seconds after Diarmuid Connolly picked up a loose ball from the throw in.

Dublin roared out of the blocks and should have had the first goal of the game when Denis Bastick cut right though the Kerry defence before passing to Dean Rock who saw his shot fr4om close range well saved by Brendan Kealey.

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Gavin’s men did add a second point in the sixth minute when Paddy Andrews was hauled down after more impressive, direct attacking from Dublin and Dean Rock tapped the resultant over the bar at the Canal End stand.

James O’Donoghue and Paul Geaney responded for the Kingdom with a point apiece to level matters after seven minutes.

Worryingly for Dublin, Stephen Cluxton seemed to have left his kicking boots at home as he wasted three kick outs in the opening stages as the wet conditions made it tough for the 30 men on the pitch.

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Paul Flynn, Dublin, in action against Paul Geaney, Kerry. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final, Dublin v Kerry, Croke Park, Dublin

Following a messy spell when both slides hit poor wides, O’Donoghue put the Kingdom ahead for the first time with a well-taken 16th minute point.

A Dean Rock free levelled matters in the 18th minute before Cluxton made amends for earlier errors with a point from 40 metres out to put the Dubs back in front.

A Geaney point restored parity in the 25th minute before Brogan registered his first score with a slick point off his left foot on the turn and Jack McCaffrey curled over another four minutes later and the Duns led by two again, 0-6 to 0-4.

Paddy Andrews continued where he left off from in the semi-final win over Mayo when he hit another quality point from a tight angle as Dublin took control.

Philly McMahon added Dublin's eight point just before the break to give Gavin's men a four-point advantage.

Jonathon Lyne opened the second half scoring with a sublime point from a tight angle before O’Sullivan made his mark to narrow the gap to two points.

A surging run by Connolly yielded a 40th minute free which Brogan duly dispatched between the posts to give Dublin a 0-9 to 0-6 lead.

Brian Fenton missed a glorious goal opportunity in the 46th minute when he smashed the ball off the post and relentless Dublin should have been out of sight at this stage.

But Flynn, who missed a simple point moments earlier, added another point soon after to restore Dublin’s four point advantage.

Diarmuid Connolly was pulling the strings for Dublin by they could not take advantage and continued to rack up the wides.

Kerry were not to be outdone, as O’Donoghue and O’Sullivan both scored to narrow the gap to two and, somehow, it was game on again.

After plenty of wasted opportunities, Flynn scored a vital point for Dublin with ten minutes remaining and the gap was back to three.

Killian Young had a golden chance for a goal and to level the game in the 66th minute but he fumbled the ball at a vital stage and it proved costly as Dublin went down the other end with Alan Brogan scoring a fine point minutes after his introduction.

Bryan Sheehan pointed a free to make it a three point game in injury time but Dublin held on to secure a third All Ireland in five years.

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