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six shooters Nothing will convince me now that this Dublin team isn't the greatest of all time

Some achievement for Farrell to take on a winning team and add in his own ingredients to spice up Gavin's recipe


Niall Scully of Dublin hugs the Sam Maguire Cup following the All-Ireland victory over Mayo

Niall Scully of Dublin hugs the Sam Maguire Cup following the All-Ireland victory over Mayo


Niall Scully of Dublin hugs the Sam Maguire Cup following the All-Ireland victory over Mayo

It's onwards and upwards to the Magnificent Seven, which is just seven months away now that the GAA have decided to play the 2021 All-Ireland final next July.

Believe you me, as they shared a quiet moment with their families on Saturday night, these Dublin players and their management team will have rolled that notion around in their minds.

Why not? They delivered anything but a vintage performance at Croke Park, but when the game was in the fire, Dublin pulled away.

To fight fire, you need water and the Dubs won the match by six points to one from the resumption after the second-half water-break.

Those who know me, and those who don't, are sure I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Blue.

And nothing now, bar some other county, sometime in my dotage, winning one more consecutive All-Ireland titles than this great team will do, will convince me that this Dublin football outfit is not the greatest team of all time.

Their skills, athleticism, passion, hunger, dedication set them apart.

And I still don't believe they get the credit they deserve.

For instance, Stephen Cluxton probably won't get the goalkeeping All-Star this year.

I suspect it'll go to Ray Galligan of Cavan, who had a great year.

But what more can Stephen do than not concede a goal in the Championship?

It's incredible: five games without shipping a goal.

If he doesn't get one, three or four of the Dublin defence ought to, because that was some effort over 350 minutes of football.

Speaking of awards, I've never heard of an award for Man of the Half-Match.

But if there ever was to be one, then Saturday night was the night for it - and Brian Howard deserved it in spades.

What a display by the Raheny man as he won possession, fielded brilliantly and drove his team forward.

Paul Mannion, too, was really solid when he came on and kicked a brilliant free.

A free that must have broken Mayo hearts for they have no-one who could kick a free like that.

And as I mention Mannion, he is one of a group of players who have been with Dessie Farrell since they were 12-year-olds, pitching up in Parnell Park - hoping to get on a Dublin development squad that Dessie would lead.

Brian Fenton, John Small, Ciarán Kilkenny, Robbie McDaid, and the absent Jack McCaffrey, were others from that group of fresh-faced kids who have been with Dessie through Minor and Under-21 triumphs, all the way to a Sam Maguire win.

It's a great achievement for Dessie to take on a winning team and keep it winning.

Taking over from Jim Gavin seemed like madness to us outsiders - there was nowhere to go but down, it seemed.

Actually, there was somewhere else to go, you could stay at that peak of Gaelic football.

And Dessie managed it; it's truly a wonderful achievement, and on the awards front again, he would be a shoo-in for Manager of the Year if there was such a thing in this terrible year of 2020.

Dessie did it, in part, by putting his own stamp on things. He introduced McDaid, Seán Bugler and Paddy Small to the Dublin starting line up.

And it was top men like Howard and Mannion - five All-Stars in the last three years between them - who paid for that determination to shake things up with their places.

Still, I expect them to start next year and maybe Jack Mac might return to the fold?

Now there's a thought to worry other counties, this Dublin panel might actually be getting stronger as the years go by.

Remember Dublin's Under-20s were in last year's and this year's All-Ireland finals.

Will anyone retire now? I doubt it.

There are one or two long-serving players for whom injuries were an issue this year, like Michael Darragh Macauley and Cian O'Sullivan, but why would they walk away if they can heal their bodies before pre-season begins?

I've a funny feeling these senior Dublin players have decided they are going to go on until some team beats them and they can then be carried out on their shields.

So who can stop them? Yes, Kerry, Donegal, Tyrone, maybe Galway, and, indeed, Mayo can all dream of being the ones next year.

Mayo's youngsters, who had been so good on the way to the final, were found out on Saturday.

Tommy Conroy, Ryan O'Donoghue and Eoghan McLoughlin were all taken off and Oisín Mullin faded after a very good first half.

The big lesson Mayo must take from this is that scoring 5-20 against Tipperary didn't matter a jot to Dublin.

What Dublin would have noted in the semi-final was the way the Tipp lads bounded, time and again, through the heart of the Mayo defence.

And Dublin used that tactic repeatedly last night and it gave them the goals that won another famous All-Ireland.

There's a thought to worry other counties, this Dublin panel might actually be getting stronger

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