That’s right. Terrible decision too. We threw away that league final with Gilroy substituting so many players in the last 15 minutes. It was something of an achievement in itself that we didn’t let that defeat, following on from the Cork comeback to beat us in the 2010 All-I semi-final really undermine us in the 2011 championship.
People in hindsight spoke about wake-up calls, learning curves, and not wanting to let the hype distract from the push for the All-I in 2011 but those were damaging defeats mentally so it’s all the more remarkable that the lads went on to win that All-I, against Kerry of all teams, and with the game seemingly gone at 64 minutes.
Shows the single-mindedness of the main figures involved, and in that last 7 minutes Vs Kerry it was a couple of the backs, McCauley, the Brogans, Connolly (not really rated dependable even after the Qtr final performance), and Kevin Mac (not really rated until that goal), and of course Cluxton, who stood up and took that All-I. MDMA also created a simple free from one great run in the 2nd half, and then set up BB for the point that put us ahead on 70 minutes.
I’d love to hear/read interviews with some of these guys and the coaches to know what was it that brought so many players together to that level in those moments. Whatever about the Brogans, it wasn’t expected of pretty much any of the rest of them, including Kevin Nolan. McCauley’s two interceptions which eventually resulted in the goal and one of the points were massive factors in the turning of history for Dublin Snr Footballers. Add in his brilliant interceptions in the 2013 semi-final (lead to the ‘winning’ goal), and the 2016 semi-final (also eventually led to a vital score), and his contribution to crucial moments in the biggest games is remarkable. Along with Kevin of course. Such an epic winning mentality. We missed his contribution a bit this year, the combination of him and Fenton would be a dream midfield for us if McCauley still has the legs for another summer.
Yes there were many others, some of Philly and Fitz’s winning of the ball late on in the 2016 final replay, and the final last year for example. Costello’s three points in 2016. McCarthy in many games, take your pick, perhaps this year’s final most of all. Mannion in this year’s final 2nd half, not to mention his goal in the 2013 semi-final which got us back in the game. Connolly in the 2nd half of the final, and the 2013 final. Philly in the 2015 semi-final replay and final.