It was the first time the penulktimate stage had been held at the stadium and while the number pales alomhgside the 82,300 sell out that came for the Men’s semi final between Dublin and Mayo it is a significant step up on previous years.
The profile of the fans who came was young with lots of groups coming along from clubs and that has to be a positive for the long term future. Tickets priced at only €2 for Under 16’s was a smart move in order to keep the momentum going that has seen record crowds attending Finals day over the past number of years.
The focus now turns to September 15th when Dublin will aim to win their fourth title, and third in succession against a Galway team who came through a dramatic Semi final win against Mayo and will be bidding for their second title and a first since 2004.
Meath will face Tipperary in the Intermediate Final while the Junior title will be between Louth and Fermanagh. All three finals will be televised live on TG4.
A highlight of yesterday’s action was the gaelic for mothers and Others game at Half Time in the second semi final between Sherrif Street and Ballybough. Tthe two local sides from the North East Inner City took the field with as much of a celebratory mood as any team that had just won the All Ireland and, guided by Michael Daragh McAuley who will be there in a different capacity next week, turned in a performance that entertained the fans, themselves and their families in the stands.
Image credit: Brendan Moran, Sportsfile