FOR the first time since 2004, Dublin teams were left empty handed at the annual Kennedy Cup competition which was held in Limerick last week.
Having won the Kennedy Cup, the blue-ribbon competition of the weekend, ten of the last eleven years, the DDSL fell at the final hurdle this year, losing 1-0 to Kerry in the final. The other two Dublin sides at the competition, the NDSL and SDFL, were also unsuccessful as the Cup, Shield, Bowl and Trophy competitions were all won by leagues from around the country.
The beaten finalists began the competition in Group 2, and set off to a blistering start, beating Longford 13-0, but followed it up with two 1-1 draws against North Tipperary and Kilkenny. They still managed to just about secure their place in the quarter-final of the Cup competition on goal difference. They played out another 1-1 draw in that quarter-final against the Midlands but won the penalty shootout 4-2.
Meanwhile, the NDSL started the weekend in Group 1, alongside South Tipperary, Athlone, and the Sligo/Leitrim league. The promising North Dublin group won all three of their group games scoring 11 goals and conceding just one in those fixtures. That placed them in the Cup quarter-final where they met Kildare and eventually advanced via a 4-3 win on penalties after a scoreless draw after extra-time.
Up next was a semi-final Dublin derby against the DDSL which ended the North Dubliners chance of success, with their city rivals running out 2-0 winners. To finish off their weekend, the NDSL, who last won the Kennedy Cup in 2011, played the Limerick Desmond league in a 3rd/4th place playoff which they won 4-1.
In the final of the Cup, a Dylan Murphy strike for Kerry separated the sides in a close fought game in which the DDSL had more of the chances.
The (SDFL) was the other Dublin side at the competition. They eventually finished 19th in the competition of 32 teams. They finished third in Group 8 despite starting the competition with a 2-1 win over Carlow; they followed that result up with a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Wexford and a 2-0 loss against the Midlands.
The South Dubliners went on to play West Cork in the Shield quarter-final which they won 4-1 on penalties after a scoreless draw. They then lost 3-2 to Mayo in the semi-final before beating Waterford 3-0 in the 19th/20th place playoff.