Dessie Farrell is proud of his Dublin team and he says that everyone in the county should be proud of them too.
They were beaten, but only just, by a stunning last minute free from Seanie O’Shea but they more than played their part in what was a tremendous occasion and a tremendous game of football.
Afterwards, Colm O’Rourke called it ‘one of the greatest sporting occasions’ he was ever at and there would be few arguments on that front.
Credit has to go to Kerry for that, but it has to go to Dublin too.
They were without their main man Con O’Callaghan, who missed out through injury today but even when Kerry looked like getting away from them, Dublin just clawed them back in with the old dogs Kilkenny and McCarthy in particular standing up.
Cormac Costello’s wonder-goal dragged them right back into the game then and for the last 20 minutes, it looked as if a draw was written all over it.
O’Shea’s moment of magic tipped the balance for a finish and afterwards, as he spoke to RTÉ’s Damian Lawlor, Farrell (left) was very gracious in defeat.
“Tremendously proud of the effort,” the Na Fianna man began.
“As we know over the years, there are some warriors in that dressing room. But the group has changed dramatically and we’ve brought in some new and young players and we saw many of them wear their heart on their sleeve today.
“Hats off to Kerry. They’re a great team, a coming team and they deserved their victory on the day.
“The finest of margins decide these games, a breaking ball can make the difference.
“I think when we got back into it, we took the foot off the gas a little and we let them re-group and re-gather themselves, and then it was toe-to-toe after that. It was a special kick by Sean O’Shea at the end to finish the game and look, that’s how it goes.”
“Some of our shooters who are experienced found it difficult kicking into that breeze and some of our decision making around shot-taking is questionable at times in those situations but look, by and large they were decent shots to take. Some days they go over, some days they don’t.”
“Today was always going to be a massive test and we spoke about that but it was that test of character that I was most interested in from our perspective and I think this group stood up, they’re starting to forge their own identity and own personality.
“The senior leaders led the group and the young players followed and I think everyone in Dublin should be proud of them.”
Dublin and Kerry players get up close and personal during last Sunday’s
All-Ireland semi-final; and Dubs boss Dessie Farrell. Photo: Sportsfile
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