Many words could be used to describe Dublin’s latest championship win. Flashbacks to 2005 and 2008 had the general GAA public hoping that a great day in Croke Park would accompany the clashes that Kerry and Mayo provided in the other semi-final pairing.
But it was not to be, Dublin hammered Tyrone. The victory was comprehensive, emphatic and powerful and here we discuss the main five talking points from today’s game.
Tyrone have not learned a whole lot from last year
All Tyrone players speaking prior to their last few games raised the point of how they learned a harsh lesson in 2016 and that experience was going to stand to them as they headed to the business end of the 2017 season. Despite facing a great team today, Tyrone looked to have learned little from last year. Their defensive set-up was extremely limited as they failed dramatically to find the balance between defence and attack.
Dublin are a great team
It is an obvious point, but time is slowly seeing everyone give Dublin the compliments they deserve. This really is a great footballing team. Their annual cake-walk through Leinster a lack of regular tests has forced people to question certain aspects of this Dublin team. But it does take an incredibly good team to keep doing what they do, and today was a performance of pure class from the Boys in Blue.
Dublin have incredible strength and depth
It may be one the reason they are a great team, but the personnel that came off, or were present on, the Dublin bench today were of the highest quality. Two former Footballer of the Year recipients, Bernard Brogan and Michael Daragh MacAuley saw no game time. Diarmuid Connolly was withheld until the the 70th minute, Kevin McManamon and Paul Flynn also entered the fray. It’s an obvious point at this stage, but one that cannot be stressed enough.
Outside of the obvious qualities, the workrate of the Dublin player’s was phenomenal against Tyrone. Their supreme conditioning must play a part, but the appetite for work and the quality of work from each of the Dublin players cannot be understated. How often were players like Paul Mannion and Niall Scully tracking back and turning over ball? The likes of Cian O’Sullivan and Jack McCaffrey were everywhere with a purpose. The attitude of their players today was one for all young players to aspire to.
Three-In-A-Row or The Curse of 51?
After today a major milestone will be achieved on the 16th of September. Either Mayo For Sam will become real and the Curse of 51 will be put to bed, or this Dublin side will be three-in-a-row winners, claiming their fifth title in seven years. Dublin will have to be regarded as favourites after today, but Mayo will have a major say in this game. Replays have been required to separate the two in the last two seasons, this All-Ireland final will be fascinating.