IT might have been 72 years coming — but Dublin’s hurlers gave the Kilkenny Cats a good scalding and brought some silverware home at last.
Coming a week after Dublin’s footballers lost against All-Ireland champions Cork in the final few minutes of their Allianz NFL Division One final, the Blues managed to bring a smile to hard-pressed fans in the capital with their first National League hurling title since 1939.
The Dubs took on the Cats at HQ and gave fans a thrilling day out after securing a 0-22 to 1-7 scoreline.
Although the odds were firmly in Kilkenny’s favour, the Dubs stepped up to the challenge to cruise to victory.
Sean Noone, from Cabinteely, spoke to the Herald about the special day.
“Dublin were fantastic, I’ve never seen Kilkenny beaten like that before. They were probably poor for Kilkenny standards, but it’s definitely the best we’ve ever played.”
Paddy Diviney, from East Wall, said it was great to experience history in the making.
Ciaran Byrne, from Lusk, and Alan Moran, from Ayrfield, summed up the game as an absolute revelation.
For four generations of the Mannion family, from Ballymun, the glory was particularly special.
“We’re out and out Dubs. I was born in 1931 and was at the last final that Dublin won. We went to the 1946 final too, when we were beaten by Clare,” said grandfather Paddy Mannion.
“It’s wonderful to be from Dublin today. Any Kilkenny hurler is good but we excelled. We stood up against the greatest opposition to ever play in Croke Park.”
Breda Molloy, from Clonsilla, has been proudly wearing the Blues colours since the 1940s.
“The Dubs are firmly back. I was so happy on the final whistle. I was a child when they lost in 1946 and I’ll never forget it.”
Shane Sutton from Baytown said it was a groundbreaking day.
“I thought Kilkenny were poor and we recognised that early on. Dublin scored very well.”
Jason Prendergast, from Northern Cross, thought the Dubs’ hard work really paid off.
“The first half was mostly in Dublin’s favour. I couldn’t understand why our goal was disallowed but in the end we didn’t need it,” he said.
Blanchardstown couple Alan Carter and Siobhain Geraghty praised the Dublin manager.
“Anthony Daly is a genius. We always thought that. He’s doing a great job.”
Michael Brady, from Raheny, brought his son Dean (15) to enjoy the occasion.
“After the disappointment of last week’s football defeat, we were delighted to see such a good win. We really deserved the title,” he said.
Castleknock local Stephen Moore, said it was a case of now or never: “Despite being a scrappy game overall, it suited us in the end. We were a far better side than Kilkenny on the day.”
Finglas girls Alice McCormick and Marie Richardson were delighted.
“It was determination from Dublin that saw us through to the end. They just never said never and it paid off,” said Alice.
Diarmuid Phelan, from Swords, went along to Croke Park to enjoy the big day with sons Josh (9) and Luke (6).
“We go to all the matches and the boys love it. They play hurling too and it’s a huge thing for the sport,” he said.
– Laura Butler
Article Source: herald.ie