Mary Hannigan’s TV View: Dream final turns into a Kerry nightmare
Neutrals were having a hard time deciding who not to support as Dublin bring Sam home
Dublin’s Stephen Cluxton trotted up and down the pitch “like the slow boat to China”, according to Martin Carney. Photograph: Ryan Byrne/Inpho
It wasn’t easy leaving Wales v Uruguay but it had to be done. The Rugby World Cup might just come around every four years but we get a mere one senior lads’ All-Ireland football final every 12 months, and since 1887 we’d only seen Kerry and Dublin square up 12 times. An easy decision, then, the Dream Final™ beckoned.
“My arse,” as Joe Brolly put it of this dream notion, somewhat disputing the idea that the residents of the other 30 counties – 32 if you include London and New York – were all a-tingle in anticipation of this encounter, Michael Lyster agreeing wholeheartedly, saying his dream final would be “Galway against anyone”.
And the last time it was Galway against anyone, the anyone was Meath, way way way way back in 2001, Colm O’Rourke’s dreams still haunted by Padraic Joyce and Co who banjaxed his fellow county men that day.
Minority of onePat Spillane
Pat’s black suit and blue tie suggested he’d had an apocalyptic premonition before dressing that morning, but he still tipped his green and gold brothers to prevail.
Joe? “A hesitant vote to Kerry.” Colm? “A hesitant vote to Kerry.”
The loud bangs in the background might have been champagne corks popping in the Dublin dressing room, but Joe might – or might not – have cooled their boots by noting the Kerry bench had scored more than Derry this year.
Colm, meanwhile, forecast the game wouldn’t actually start until midway through the second half, that there’d be a whole lot of shadow-boxing until then, so that was an invitation to return to the conclusion of Wales v Uruguay. But there are certain Rugby World Cup foregone conclusions that are entirely missable, like South Africa v Japan – which seemed like a good time to walk the dog. (How much did the Boks win by?)
Match time and the rain was pelting down, and Kerry not being used to precipitation struggled, the Dubs leading by four points at the break.
By the start of the second half, the floodlights were on, the day – and the game – turning in to a damp squib.
A quick check on the World Rugby Ads Cup, returning to hear Martin Carney tell Ger Canning that “you never saw players in an All-Ireland final playing in their confirmation suits”. None the wiser.
Dublin, to their credit, tried valiantly to make it a contest by missing a bunch of chances, but Kerry must have their holidays booked, going out of their way to avoid a replay.
Ger: “Sam Maguire will spend the winter in the capital!” (Cork: “Really? Welcome home!”)
“What do you think of that, Kieran Donaghy?” Joe was probably tempted to ask, but, for once, behaved himself. Ish.
“Kerry were lucky they weren’t neutered out there,” he said, Colm taking it a step further by suggesting they’d been “murdered”.
“No ifs, no buts, no maybes – comprehensively beaten,” said Pat, the dream final turning in to the night terrors.