Dublin claimed the treble in 2013, the National league, Another Leinster crown and the coveted Sam Ma Guire.
How and why did the Dubs have such a fine season, after Mayo exposed them in last summer’s All-Ireland semi-final?
Jim Gavin took over from Pat Gilroy and introduced lots of youth into the metropolitan’s side. Jack McCaffery, Paul Manion and Ciaran Kilkenny to name but a few.
Dublin topped the league table and set up a league final meeting with Tyrone. In a magnificent game of football Dublin won by the minimum, 0-16 to 0-15.
Five weeks later Gavin’s boys overcame Westmeath quite easily on a score line of 1-22 to 0-09.
Kildare and Kieran Mc Geeney were next to challenge; a goal from Tomas O Connor inside the first minute gave the Lillywhites a great platform but Dublin hit back with four goals of their own to hammer Kildare by 16 points, 4-16 to 1-09.
For the third year in a row Meath were in the Leinster final, having only been outdone by a Bernard Brogan goal in 2012 the Royals were full of confidence. And after an excellent first half Meath looked to be on their way as they lead by four at the break.
Second half goals from Paul Manion and Bernard brogan, however, ended Meath hopes as Dublin won their 52nd title.
In the All-Ireland quarter final Dublin had 85% of the possession, six clear cut goal chances and hit the post on a couple of occasions and still only managed to beat Cork by five points, 1-16 to 0-09. It was in this game that the Dubs showed their real strength as a force in Gaelic games.
In the semi-final Colm Cooper showed why he is the greatest player of all time with a virtuoso display. However the great man’s efforts couldn’t stop the champions elect as they ran out winners by seven points, 3-18 to 3-11.
In the final, the biggest in history if you believe the hype, Mayo were hoping to bridge a 62 year wait for Sam. In the first 25 minutes Mayo were sharper, hungrier, fitter and more coherent but their failure to convert their chances in scores coupled with Bernard Brogan’s first goal eight minutes before the break shattered James Horans’ side.
Another Brogan goal in the second half cancelled out Andy Moran’s earlier strike and the Dub’s were celebrating their second title in three seasons and 24th in total.