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Jim Gavin Photo by: Sportsfile

Gavin praises his players after Dublin beat Kerry in epic All-Ireland semi-final

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Jim Gavin Photo by: Sportsfile

Dublin manager Jim Gavin has paid tribute to his team after they beat Kerry in one of the greatest gaelic football matches of all time.

The Dubs will now meet Mayo in the All-Ireland final after a sensational 3-18 to 3-11 win over the old enemy in Sunday’s semi-final.

The teams were level with just seconds remaining when a goal from substitute Kevin McMenamon sparked the seven point winning margin.

Gavin was quick to praise his team’s resolve in an interview with Irish state broadcaster RTE after the game.

He said: “There’s a great resolve and determination and willingness never to quit in this Dublin team.

“When we came down to the final quarter we had a great belief. The players themselves had great belief in their own ability.

“We knew that they were going to keep coming strong and they kept the intensity of the game up at a great level throughout the full 70 minutes.

“It’s a credit to them for doing that against a formidable Kerry side who really threw everything at us...but we’re really happy to come out with the result.

“The game ebbs and flows and we accept that with the way we play our football, the game goes up and down and we needed to keep to the game plan.”

Inspired by the brilliance of Colm Cooper, Kerry rocked Dublin with three first-half goals but the Leinster champions showed huge character to stay in touch.

Gavin added: “They didn’t waver and even at half-time there was no sense of panic and it was very calm and very focussed. They were looking forward to the second-half challenge and thankfully we came through in the end.

“It was a great game, two teams that really believed they could win.

“Both of them showed that in the way they played football, the way we believe, and certainly Kerry believe, the way it’s meant to be played.

“It could have gone either way at the end. The Dublin camp are acutely aware of that.”

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