Once again I attended (with Kate) a Dublin GAA match in Croke Park - the hurlers faced the mighty Kilkenny, while the footballers were up against last year's All-Ireland finalists Down. A crowd of just over 35,000 watched Dublin sensationally draw with Kilkenny, while the footballers grabbed an injury-time win over Down. In the middle of it all was Jedward - the novelty is wearing off.
The "warm-up" match saw Dublin's hurler's - out-played for a lot of the match keep their outside chances of a League final alive. Kilkenny missed the majestic Henry Sheflin, as Richie Hogan missed free after free - and should have been out of sight early on. But Dublin were just about deserving of the draw in what was a poor game.
In the football - the quality was also poor at times. Lots of mistakes and some dreadful shooting and passing from both sides - the likes of Kerry and Cork will be already be looking forward to a long summer in the Championship! A late goal from Alan Brogan came from the script as there was a minute's silence at the start of the match for his Grand Dad Jim who died yesterday. Despite the awful football on show at times, there was some quality - especially from Marty Clarke of Down in the second half. For Dublin. Both Bernard and Alan Brogan (not to forget Paul) were the best of the Dublin team.
I did not see potential All-Ireland winners in either team tonight - but the signs are that Dublin will be expected to at least win the Leinster Championship and get to another All-Ireland semi-final at least. Who knows after that. For now - there is a National League final to look forward to.