Confident champs in control at the Hyde

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ON THE MOVE: Dublin’s Noelle Healy tries to find space in a packed Mayo defence during last Saturday’s TG4 All-Ireland Ladies SFC qualifier Group 1 Round 3 clash at Dr Hyde Park, Roscommon Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile
ON THE MOVE: Dublin’s Noelle Healy tries to find space in a packed Mayo defence during last Saturday’s TG4 All-Ireland Ladies SFC qualifier Group 1 Round 3 clash at Dr Hyde Park, Roscommon Photo: Brendan Moran/Sportsfile

On the Marian Finucane Show, they were discussing the Presidency.

Dr Hyde Park is named after Ireland’s first President, Douglas Hyde. In the land of the primrose rose and blue. Earley Country.

The Dubs drove through one of Brendan Shine’s favourite villages, Knockcroghery. And it’s host of golden daffodils.

Declan Drake wished the Jackies all the best on Sunshine Radio. It was dull and dreary in Roscommon.

The sport’s First Lady, Marie Hickey, arrived. The TG4 cameras were in position early.

Famous

It’s a famous venue. It’s going to get a face lift. The scoreboard is old school. But it can keep count with the best of them.

At the back of that goal there was a store that said Paul Byron Shoes. The singer, Paul Byrom, is the son-in-law of Phil Coulter.

Saturday wasn’t the afternoon for the ball to be like a puppet on a string. The heavy shower before the throw-in had put an extra pep in the leather. It wasn’t sticking to the wet gloves.

When the rain came, the crowd moved to the back of the stand. Then the sun came out. But out on the pitch, both goalkeepers could have been humming “raindrops keep falling on my head”.

Paul Casey is part of Mick Bohan’s team. He skipped up the steps of the stand like he was back wearing the Dublin jersey.

The kindly Roscommon Gaels folk had the tea and sandwiches up in the Press Box.

It has been a turbulent few weeks for Mayo. They may be short of numbers. But they are big in heart.Both teams were through to the last eight. But you wouldn’t have thought so.

Mayo made a real game of it. And they were well in contention until the last chapter when the Dubs strode for home.

Sarah Rowe is class. She scored a delightful point from a tight angle, the first of the second period. It was one of the best of the game.

Grace Kelly is another footballer of high calibre. She also struck one of the most elegant points of the hour. And, just like Cavan did the previous week, Mayo asked some questions of the Dubs.

The champions answered them all. Once again, the defence turned Ciara Trant’s front garden into private property.

The Dubs spread the picnic blanket all across the turf. What Mick Bohan likes to see.

And they almost got the goal-of-the-season in the second half. Whisper it, but it brought back memories of Kevin Foley’s goal for Meath in the famous 1991 four-in-a-row saga all those years ago.

This time, Dublin moved the ball quicker than the Harlem Globetrotters. It was poetry in motion.

Yet when Carla Rowe turned it into the net, a square ball was given. A pity.

Dublin began the day attacking the Graveyard End. Both sides hit some fine points. The first wide didn’t arrive till the 16th minute.

And when Mayo levelled the match on 41 minutes, Dublin responded by getting the next seven scores without reply. Mayo weren’t to score again. The champions were home. If not dry.

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