I do believe there was alot of hype that we had arrived, we had beaten Kk, won the Nat League in style, won the Leinster Champ in style, we were on a roll. It's true about Kk off year (though they also have won some fairly soft ones themselves, so 'off years' for me are any year when it's won without any team having to be great).
And I do believe just being in the final would have been great, no argument, you take it when you get it, you never know when the next chance will be. However I don't look at it as a big missed opportunity. For one thing we just didn't quite do enough against Cork. Then you look at Cork playing out of their skins to hang onto Clare's coat tails.
Make no mistake, Clare were clearly the better team but took the foot off the throat in the first game. They dominated that game and then conceded a couple of fairly soft goals. They also didn't nail as many frees as they should have.
Certainly for Cork, that last second equalising point by Clare was a missed opportunity, because Cork over-achieved that day and another chance to win an All-I wasn't about to come, as we have subsequently seen. And they were so close that day.
Dublin were only close in theory, and I think i practice we would never have handled Clare as well as Cork did that day