Dessie Farrell believes Dublin's 21-point destruction of Meath in Saturday night's Leinster final was the side's best performance since he took over from Jim Gavin late last year.
The 3-21 to 0-9 win delivered a tenth straight provincial title for the All-Ireland champions and it sets them up nicely for a crack at the winners of Sunday's Ulster decider between Donegal and Cavan.
“We knew we'd have to step it up for a Leinster final and, based on what we'd seen from Meath, they were coming in very confident. They had been bagging a lot of goals, they were on the crest of a wave, so it was definitely going to focus the minds for sure. I think we saw a pretty decent and focused performance from us tonight which was very pleasing.”
This was Dublin's 15th Leinster senior football title in the last 16 years and the only time they won by a greater margin was in 2008 when they had 23 points to spare on Wexford.
No-one expected Meath to win here but the hope pre-match was that they would provide a stiff examination of Dublin's All-Ireland credentials and offer some hope to the rest of the province that the days of dominance may soon be brought to an end. Much of that positivity was based on a ding dong league battle in Parnell Park last month when Meath were unfortunate to succumb to a four-point loss. Farrell thought that was a sign of things to come as well. Instead, he admitted, this was much easier than expected.
“It was. Meath had put together some very good performances. We got a sample of it in Parnell Park a couple of weeks back when they probably counted themselves unlucky not to have got more out of that game and we were ready for a big challenge here today.”
Next for Farrell is a watching brief as the Ulster decider is contested in Armagh's Athletic Grounds and it is pretty obvious who the Dublin boss expects to be facing when the All-Ireland semi-final swings around in two weekend's time.
“Cavan have shown remarkable resilience but Donegal's performances have been hugely impressive and I'm quite familiar with a lot of the talent they have up there.
“Declan Bonner has done a great job. Not alone have they gifted players on the field but there is impact off the bench as well. They have been exceptional in their previous outings so it will be interesting to see.” --