There are key elements that build belief and confidence once an All-Ireland final gets underway. It could be a block, a free, a moment of high fielding, a surging run — something that boosts a team’s morale and makes them feel invincible. All the talk of winning big starts to become a reality in front of your eyes.
This game turned on a few events. Dublin centre forward Ryan O’Dwyer, who was having a big influence on the game at the time, picked up a second yellow card with 20 minutes left at a time when the Metropolitans were a point to the good. For the record, the first card was harsh. Anthony Nash sent the free over the bar to level proceedings.
Whatever about young dual stars such as Ciaran Kilkenny and Cormack Costello opting for the big ball, the decision by one of his most established and seasoned players, defender Tomas Brady, to turn his back on hurling this year came as a major blow to Dublin manager Anthony Daly.