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BLue wave I’ve never been as proud of this current Dublin team as I was in last weekend's victory over Cavan

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Stephen Murray of Cavan in action against Brian Fenton, left, and Dean Rock of Dublin. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Stephen Murray of Cavan in action against Brian Fenton, left, and Dean Rock of Dublin. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

Stephen Murray of Cavan in action against Brian Fenton, left, and Dean Rock of Dublin. Photo: Ray McManus/Sportsfile

I don’t think I’ve ever been as proud of a Dublin performance as I was at Croke Park last Saturday.

It was just the way they brought all their talents to the job of beating Cavan in an All-Ireland semi-final.

All the skill, all the patience, all the incredible hunger, men with multiple All-Ireland medals scrambling around on the ground for a loose ball even when Dubin were 10 points ahead.

Brian Fenton was magnificent in midfield — we almost take the Raheny man’s excellence for granted now.

Dean Rock, I thought, inserted himself into the Player of the Year conversation, along with Fenton and Ciarán Kilkenny.

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Ciarán Kilkenny of Dublin in action against Pádraig Faulkner of Cavan during the match at Croke Park. Photo: Dáire Brennan/Sportsfile

Ciarán Kilkenny of Dublin in action against Pádraig Faulkner of Cavan during the match at Croke Park. Photo: Dáire Brennan/Sportsfile

Ciarán Kilkenny of Dublin in action against Pádraig Faulkner of Cavan during the match at Croke Park. Photo: Dáire Brennan/Sportsfile

Dean’s five points in the first half were the foundation for the Dublin success – they just allowed Dublin to build up their lead and then pull away from Cavan.

I have to give credit to Cavan.

They came to play football, not do blanket defence, or any of that stuff.

But they just ran into a Blue Wall of defiance and an attack that was clinical in converting chances into scores.

It has been a great year for this Cavan team.

They’ll be disappointed right now – but the team has to hold their head high and reflect on a great Ulster championship campaign.

Ironically, Cavan are a side for whom the Super 8s would have been ideal this season.

Instead of running straight into Dublin in the semi-final they would have got three matches against top-notch opposition, games that would have brought them on no end.

So they must not get mentally hung up on this defeat.

Learn from it and put it in the bank for next year.

Certainly, Dublin definitely brought their years of experience and composure to this win.

They held the ball, moved it around and waited for the scoring chance to arrive.

Cavan, perhaps understandably, rushed some of their decisions and some of their efforts to play the ball.

And Cavan, to have any chance of pulling off a massive shock, had to play the perfect game – they just kicked too many silly wides for that to apply.

I wrote here last week that Cavan needed to score a minimum of 2-14 to have a shot at the win.

They never came remotely close to getting the goals needed – and even then 2-14 wouldn’t have been enough – not near enough!

Five points down at the break, Cavan would have been hopeful of hanging in there, hanging in to stay with the Dubs and see would there be a crack in the armour of this brilliant team.

Instead Cavan were run off their feet in the second half.

It was akin to what Dublin did to Mayo in the semi-final last year.

Maybe there wasn’t the ‘shock and awe’ of the 2-6 without reply of 16 months ago.

But this was just a series of incisions that wounded Cavan’s spirits.

Very few Dublin attacks in the second half didn’t end with a score.

It was a relentless drip-feed of points, each of which put huge pressure on Cavan to retain the kick-out that followed.

Cavan had done well in the first period on their own kick-outs but in the second half all that was to change.

Dublin either won primary possession through the superb Fenton or else the half-backs and half-forwards hunted in packs for loose balls.

Robbie McDaid’s goal, when it eventually came, had its origins in three Dublin players surrounding a Cavan player on the ground at midfield.

Had the Dublin goal come earlier, I fear for Cavan that this could have really gotten out of hand – and Mickey Graham’s team would not have deserved that.

Now Dublin boss Dessie Farrell will sit down this afternoon in front of his TV and see who his team will play in the decider on Saturday week.

If it is Tipperary, then Dessie and several players will all remember the 2011 All-Ireland Minor Final very well indeed.

If it is Mayo, then they know the manic intensity that awaits.

More of the same from the Green and Red, the one team that has been consistently able to get under Dublin’s skin over the last decade.

It should be a great game today and a great final too.

But a change of manager and a few players leaving the camp has changed nothing as far as I can see.

Dublin show no sign of relenting in their quest for football excellence.

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