Kilkenny was immense in that second half and Dublin were impressive as they ran up a seven-point win that neither flattered them nor belied their superiority after the resumption of activities.
They may well go on to win the All-Ireland now, though I suspect Mayo or Donegal will have much more to offer as resistance in the half-back line than Meath had on Sunday.
They will certainly learn from this game and that first half reversal of fortunes that wasn’t on the agenda prior to the start of the Leinster final.
It all made sense in the end though and Dublin ended the day as they had started it, back on the pedestal reserved for real All-Ireland contenders in 2013 and back where they belong -- a bit like my lawnmower really.
RUGBY: There are some great photos going around various Irish websites at the moment from Paul O’Connell’s stag party in Clare last weekend. The best one features the Ireland and Lions star dressed as a Scouser from the Harry Enfield TV series of the eighties complete with Alan Kennedy moustache and the authentic Liverpool football club jersey from the time. I can only assume that Paulie is a Liverpool fan. He’s certainly a Limerick hurling fan and was on site on Sunday as his county won their first Munster hurling title since 1996 for the perfect end to his stag weekend.
GAA: Dublin are quite entitled to have goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton run up the pitch to take frees and 45s, but the Sunday Game analyst Kevin McStay claimed it took the ‘keeper eight minutes to take his kicks for goal in Sunday’s Leinster final win over Meath. Cluxton averaged 68 seconds per kick, but Meath’s Mickey Newman took just 43 seconds on average for his attempts at goal. Now that sounds like time-wasting to me.
RUGBY: Pity poor Gavin Henson, the very talented Welsh rugby player who can’t seem to put a foot right on or off the pitch of late. Henson recently signed for English side Bath and was enjoying a night out recently when he took a knock-out blow to the chin in a bar – from one of his own players! He’s clearly made an impression in his new surroundings.
HURLING: A Dublin fan of my acquaintance thinks his team is going to win the All-Ireland under Anthony Daly this year and won’t countenance the idea of Kilkenny retaining it. But the Cats proved again on Saturday, as they saw off Waterford in extra-time, that they are very much alive and kicking even if they are using up some of their nine lives.
GAA: Westmeath lost the Leinster minor football final to Kildare on Sunday, but they did make history with the presence of three players of African extraction on their team. One of them was racially abused in the recent semifinal win over Meath in Navan, and that sort of behavior cannot be tolerated in the GAA.
HURLING: The Limerick players allowed the TV cameras into their dressing room after Sunday’s magnificent win over Cork in the Munster hurling final and promptly entertained the nation with a stirring rendition of “Sean South of Garryowen” and their own particular take on the theme music from the Sunday Game show on RTE television. Priceless.
HEROES OF THE WEEK
CIARAN Kilkenny was brilliant for Dublin against Meath on Sunday, but the real story of the day developed down in Limerick where the home side ended a 17-year wait for a Munster hurling title. John Allen’s side benefited from a dubious red card decision but they fully deserved their breakthrough win. The scenes on the pitch afterwards proved how much it meant to all concerns.
IDIOTS OF THE WEEK
THERE were ugly scenes at a few GAA matches over the weekend, but none more pathetic than the sight of one mentor taking off his glasses and throwing them to a team doctor before joining in with the brawling masses at the Wexford-Longford game on Saturday night. The offender has rightly been castigated on national television here in Ireland. I only hope he realizes how stupid he looks.