Penn State yesterday, Dubs today? Blue guys sweep at Croke Park this weekend!? #dublinvdonegal
— Cory Hanson (@HansonCory1) August 31, 2014
The day of the Croke Park Classic, Kerry and Mayo played a spectacular semi final replay over in Limerick- much to the dismay of many fans here in Ireland who view Croke Park as sacred GAA ground. To have a Gaelic game, especially a football semi final, pushed out by an invading American sport was unthinkable.
But the GAA didn't foresee the semi going to a replay, and the schedule was what it was. Kerry overtook Mayo in an historic battle, and the winner of Dublin and Donegal would take them on in the final later this fall.
During the week, we kept seeing references to the big game in the local press. Whenever a matchup like this rolls around, the media don't only cover the upcoming sports action. Donegal is a rural county in western Ireland with a small population. Dublin is, well, Dublin. Overtones of the plucky country folks (a bit exaggerated) taking on the wealthy and sophisticated (very much exaggerated) Dublin were everywhere.
National publications like the Irish Times and Irish Independant were a bit more balanced, at least as far as this American could tell, but the Dublin-centered tabloids certainly had a pro-blue bent.
On match day, I was watching the game on RTE online while monitoring the Twitter feed of #dublinvdonegal.
Fair play Donegal! Lets get a goal for every cancelled #GarthBrooks concert #gaa #dublinvdonegal
— Colm McGlinchey (@ColmMcGlinchey) August 31, 2014
In the second half, Dublin mostly lost the plot, and Donegal started pouring in goals. Twitter became even more "Let's beat those city folk!" than some of the papers had.
Dublin fans were a bit less impressed...
Feckin hell #madness #dublinvdonegal
— Meghan Craughwell (@Bosco0111) August 31, 2014
Donegal rode the second half hot streak to a decisive victory at 3-14 (23 total) to 0-17 (17 total). That's a wide margin in this game, especially for a team that was a 6-1 underdog, as many happy Tweeters who had bet on Donegal on the moneyline.
my tenner at 6:1 looks safe now :-) #dublinvdonegal #gaa
— james_mc_f (@james_mc_f) August 31, 2014
Should have mentioned the priest this morning was wearing green and yellow vestments! Clearly more effective than the Jersey #dublinvdonegal
— Sorcs (@sorcsfs) August 31, 2014
Kilkenny hurling blasted Dublin in the Leinster (eastern Ireland region) final earlier this season on our first-ever visit to Croke Park. I'm not sure who I want to win, but I'm hoping for a great match with an equally entertaining Twitter feed on Sunday.