Ballyboden manager Andy McEntee has developed a special line in handling “well, you weren’t expecting that” press conferences. Once again, his team had confounded consensus predictions.
He was asked about the new All-Ireland champions’ status as just fourth or fifth favourites to win this year’s Dublin championship and laconically replied: “We will probably go to sixth after this. Every game we win, we seem to drift.”
He was less good-humoured about Declan O’Mahoney’s suspension, which prevented the veteran centrefielder from sharing the success, after attempts to overturn a red card from the semi-final failed.
“Declan was a huge motivating factor for the team. We felt that he should have been playing and we tried to make a positive out of what was very much a negative for a great servant of the club.
“I did expect him to get off. We looked at the video evidence. We had a statement from the player that he tackled, and I’ll probably get into trouble for this, but it’s disappointing when you see an association like the GAA hide behind process and procedures instead of doing the right thing.
“Yet again we turn around and see club players being treated differently from county players, and that’s all I really want to say. I’m going to get into enough trouble as it is.”
He was asked had he anticipated the team giving their best performance on the biggest day of the year.
“I wouldn’t say we expected to shut them out to seven points and win the game by 12 or 13 or whatever we won by, but I did expect us to put two full halves together, which is something we haven’t done all year, and that was a challenge,” he said.
His counterpart, Declan O’Reilly, was at a loss.
“We targeted a good start; it didn’t happen for us,” he said. “They got a much better start than us. I think it rattled us a bit; I think we lost our composure.”