Dublin cruised to their seventh Leinster SFC crown in a row with a nine-point victory over Kildare on Sunday.
The Dubs remain on track for three All-Ireland titles in a row and nobody will begrudge them the favourite tag to retain their crown. 21-year-old full-forward, Con O’Callaghan highlighted the never ending conveyor belt of talent at the disposal of Jim Gavin with a scintillating performcace, kicking twelve points, half of those from play with the other half coming from placed balls.
Gavin has now overseen 15 Leinster championship games since taking over the dugout in the capital in 2012 and Sunday’s defeat of the Lilywhites was only the second time in his reign as boss that they failed to win by a margin of over ten points.
The Boys In Blue bainisteoir recently made headlines following his side’s provincial semi-final hammering of Westmeath when he refused to conduct one-on-one interviews with lead broadcasters RTÉ and Sky Sports as a retaliation to the analysis, which he felt was unfair, of the Diarmuid Connolly linesman incident which has seen the All Star forward pick up a twelve week suspension.
In the wake of yesterday’s game, where he could hardly have a complaint to make about his team’s display, Gavin had a bone to pick with the playing surface in Croke Park. He questioned the allowance of a Coldplay concert taking place in the stadium just eight days before such a big game.
Speaking to Newstalk’s Oisin Langan after the game, he said:
“It wasn’t great now for both teams, and it’s probably something the GAA need to have a little reflection on.”
“The groundsmen did an excellent job, an outstanding job actually, to turn it around so quick but going into a provincial final is that the right thing to do to be replacing that part of the pitch, probably a fifth of the pitch?”
The Round Towers Clondalkin clubman was critical of the GAA’s decision to give the go ahead for such a massive concert so close to the Leinster SFC final.
“I could see both sets of players slipping in that part. It was very hard, that’s one thing I’d say about it. It’s not a fault of the groundsmen – they were put in a situation to turn the pitch around – so it’s probably for the management of Croke Park to have a look at it,” Gavin continued.
“A provincial showcase football game in Leinster, is that the right thing to do?”
The Dubs now head for the All Ireland quarter-finals on August 5, while the Croke Park pitch is undergoing another reconstruction ahead of U2 concert this weekend.