The mythical “5 in a row” has been achieved after Dublin beat Kerry in yesterday’s All Ireland Final replay with a 1-18 to 0-15 win at the second time of asking after a draw two weeks ago. Kilkenny and Kerry both tried to reach this magical milestone in the early 80’s for Kerry and in the late 2000’s for Kilkenny who were beaten by Liam Sheedy’s Tipperary in 2010.
What Dublin have managed to achieve is special and this group will now go down in the annals of GAA history as the first team to win the “5 in a row”. This loss will sting in the Kingdom for a few months but when they look back on making the All Ireland Final they will realise how well the year went. It is tough to look back at this point but give it a few weeks and you will then realise how well Peter Keane and this young group did to reach the Final.
There is always next year although that won’t be any consolation at this stage, Kerry showed how well they are capable of competing but like most sides since Kerry last won the All Ireland in 2014 this Dublin team has proven to be a class apart from all contenders since 2015.
The 2nd half yesterday was very reminiscent of another team sponsored by AIG, Dublin were extremely clinical in everything they did after Eoin Murchan stroke in the opening minute of the 2nd half. The work done by Dublin in possession was a sight to behold and even though it upset the Kerry support it won’t matter to Dublin this morning as they are the All Ireland champions for a record 5th time in a row. Like Donegal in 2012 the way in which the win was achieved will only concern the beaten team.
Dublin will be thankful to key men like Stephen Cluxton, Jack Mc Caffrey, Ciaran Kilkenny, Con O Callaghan and Dean Rock all hit the right notes yesterday where in the drawn game they failed to make a telling mark in the contest. Yesterday was a different story as the much famed possession game was in full view in the 2nd half of the contest.
Jim Gavin has done very well to continue to work that was started by Pat Gilroy and Paul Caffrey. He and his management team have moulded a team with a huge work rate and appetite for success. The 5 in a row has been reached and now the clamour for the “surge for 6” will begin. Jim Gavin has said he will speak to the Dublin County Board in the near future about his own future and his management team will surely all speak to him about their own futures.
The “5 in a row” has been achieved, I am lucking to have live through a period where many sporting records have been broken, Ireland beating New Zealand, the grand slam being won and now the mythical 5 in a row has been achieved. Not since 1982 was this close to being done but now Dublin have managed it and will want to continue their impressive record into the 2020 season. For now though they can bask in the glow of their win yesterday.
For Kerry, it will take time to recover from this set back but with time they will be back to challenge again in 2020….