Dublin have a rare old time as London bridge a great gap
Kildare defence shredded by Bernard Brogan and company in 16-point loss
“At this moment in time in Kildare, there is angst. You need courage to stand up and be counted. They’re going to get torn apart in the next few days and so am I. I’m sure I’ve a lot of good friends out there who will give me a good going over in the next few days. That’s life, you just keep coming back.”
As for Dublin, the machine rolls on. Two games played, two 16-point victories bagged. They could even afford to give Kildare a five-point headstart here, overcoming an early Paddy Brophy goal to ease away.
“There were some nice passages of play and some well-constructed scores,” said Jim Gavin. “But we’re always looking for improvement and that’s not coming from me, it’s coming from the players. They’ll drive it on. We were looking for a result today and we got it.”
The result of the day was in the west, where London found their way to a Connacht final for the first time in their history. Or anyone else’s history, for that matter. They built up a huge lead in the first half, with goals from Cathal Magee and Ciarán McCallion and went in at the break 14 points up. Not alone that, but they went in with Leitrim in disarray having lost Darren Sweeney and Emlyn Mulligan to injury.
Leitrim very nearly hauled them in, however, tipping away with frees from Kevin Conlon, three points from play by Rob Lowe and a James Glancy goal that put the wind up the London players. But Paul Coggins’s side held on in a frantic finish.
“We managed it!” he said. “We’d great support from the all the London board. We had to arrange three different flights for all the players to get here. But our only focus all week was this game, on this pitch, and wanting to make that final. We really, really wanted to achieve that.
“I mean we went in at half time, and knew the game wasn’t over in any shape or form because there was a very strong wind. You try to keep players’ minds on that. They put in so much work in the first half, emptied the tank really, and maybe just found it more difficult to get into the game in the second half. To achieve a victory like that, to make a Connacht final, means everything really.”
Even after 129 years, the championship can still find novel ways to amaze.