herald

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Dubs are hailed 'the greatest' after booking their place in history with three-in-a-row

Dublin fans and brothers Jason, Dylan, and Christian O’Sullivan from Palmerstown Pic: Collins
Dublin fans and brothers Jason, Dylan, and Christian O’Sullivan from Palmerstown Pic: Collins

Hoarse renditions of Molly Malone reverberated around Hill 16 as Dublin's army of supporters celebrated yet another All-Ireland title in the most dramatic fashion.

The Boys in Blue put their fans through the wringer again as they claimed their third title in succession.

Relief was the emotion of the day as the green and red from the west put Jim Gavin's charges to the pin of their collars.

Peter Walsh, from Stillorgan, took in the game with his son, Conor (7).

"We're delighted. This boy was very, very worried about it, but look, with 10 minutes to go the Dubs done the business," Peter said.

Tom Mooney from Belvedere Place Pic: Collins
Tom Mooney from Belvedere Place Pic: Collins

"I feel very sorry for our friends in Mayo, but they don't hand the trophies out unfortunately. We would have taken a draw, with a minute gone [into injury time], but in fairness, the Dubs stepped up.

"They are the greatest I've ever seen."

Eimear Nevin (25), from Templeogue, was in shock that the Dubs managed to get over the line yet again.

"We didn't really feel it was going to happen. It went to the wire," she said.

Nerves

"We were literally on the edge of our seats, I couldn't watch it at one point.

"Our hearts go out to Mayo. The curse exists."

Aishling and Zoe Cunningham from Clonsilla
Aishling and Zoe Cunningham from Clonsilla

Among the crowd were Sky Sports favourites, Jeff Stelling and Chris Kamara, who were taking in their first All-Ireland Football Final.

It wasn't just the supporters inside Croke Park who were feeling the effects of the nail-biter. Graham Whelan and Debbie Aiken (27), from Ballyfermot and Tallaght respectively, watched the game in the Big Tree pub.

Graham insisted his nerves were gone at the end.

"I can't take it, I can't take the nervousness any more," he said.

"It should be getting easier, but it's not, we robbed it today. We did well though," he added.

Meanwhile, Debbie was feeling the tension more than most.

"I thought I was going to have a stroke mixed in with a heart attack," she said.

Asked if she had managed to keep her fingernails, she answered: "Just about."

"I couldn't even watch when Dean Rock was taking the free. My head was buried in my hands," she said.

Despite the rich vein of All-Ireland final form in recent years, Dublin supporters were not taking the treble for granted. Ronan O'Reilly (38), from Tallaght, insisted he would not mention the words "three-in-a-row" until the final whistle blew.

"It was very close in the end, but I'll take it," he said.

"Hopefully that's the end of Mayo and maybe Kerry for a couple of years, but we'll see what happens."

Drumcondra TD, Noel Rock, told the Herald that the eerie silence around the stadium at times highlighted how tight the game was.

Sweating

"It was very tense. We're in a great era, but we should never take it for granted," he said.

"I felt like I was playing, my palms were sweating. It was very muted towards the end. While it's a great era for us, remember to pay attention to the ladies' game next week and get behind them as well."

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