5 talking points as Dublin exact sweet revenge on Cork on All-Ireland final day

1. Sweet, sweet revenge for Dublin

AFTER NARROW LOSSES to Cork in the 2014, 2015 and 2016 All-Ireland finals, Dublin finally put the hurt and heartbreak to bed on the biggest day in the ladies football calendar.

Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

They may have lifted the Brendan Martin Cup in Croke Park last September to make it fourth time lucky, but that was against Mayo.

Today, they successfully defended the title making it two in-a-row for the first time in the county’s history.

There was a huge amount of talk of revenge in the build-up, how special it would be to beat the old enemy who had inflicted so much hurt upon the Sky Blues.

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Dublin played it down of course, but how sweet it must have been as the final hooter sounded today.

2. Another record-breaking attendance 


Last year, 46,286 turned out to Croke Park to watch Dublin lift the silver, and that was record-shattering. But today, that increased further and is close to double the 27,374 fans who watched Cork edge Dublin in the 2014 decider.

Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

It comes as the sixth-highest attendance across all Gaelic games codes this year; the two All-Ireland finals, the two hurling semi-finals and the Dublin-Galway football last four clash edging it.

3. An intriguing battle 

The crowd at HQ, and those watching from home were treated to a fine exhibition of all-out football today. 

It started quite cagey and tactical, as expected, both sides getting their bearings on the game as neither could afford to give anything much away at early doors.

The game then started to flow more and more as it turned into an exciting end-to-end battle with physicality coming the fore. Two brilliant sides brought the best out of one another and it turned into a titanic contest, settled mainly by Carla Rowe’s 49th-minute goal.

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Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

4. Goals at crucial moments key

Carla Rowe’s second individual major as the clock ran down ultimately settled the finely-balanced contest, making it 3-8 to 1-10 as it struck 50. But the two Dublin goals that preceded it also came at crucial moments.

Sinéad Aherne cooly converted a penalty in the 16th minute to make it 1-3 to 0-3 and give Mick Bohan’s charges the edge. Prior to that, Cork had started to get a foothold on the game with three Orla Finn frees but that stopped them in their tracks. 

Áine O’Sullivan’s super goal had drawn the Rebels level again and some points at both ends followed. But Rowe’s 28th-minute goal made it 2-5 to 1-5 as half time approached. 

5. What’s next?

Well, there’s already talk of a Dublin three in-a-row. After writing two pieces of new history this year — a first Division 1 league title and a first championship back-t0-back — that’ll surely be to the back of players’ minds as they face into winter.

Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

Who’ll stay on though? Will seasoned campaigners finish on a high or come back for more?

They’re are a clinical and well-drilled outfit and with youth on their side, this could very well be the start a reign of terror, similar to that Cork had.

But this is a different Cork team. They impressed this year and although their bid for a 12th title in 14 years fell short, they’ll surely bottle the hurt of losing a first All-Ireland final and come back all guns blazing in 2019.

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