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'I struck it well and the rest is history now': Rock holds his nerve to deliver for Dublin

The Ballymun Kickhams man proved to be the matchwinner again as he slotted over a last-gasp free.

DEAN ROCK SAYS he learned his lesson from missing a last-minute free in Dublin’s league final defeat to Kerry earlier this year to hold his nerve to clinch a third successive All-Ireland title for Jim Gavin’s side.

Dean Rock Rock scored seven points. Source: Gary Carr/INPHO

Rock showed nerves of steel to dissect the posts with a 76th minute free to separate Dublin and Mayo by just a single point at the end of a pulsating All-Ireland senior football championship final at Croke Park.

“Absolutely delighted the ball went over the bar, Diarmuid [Connolly] did well to win the free and it’s my job to put it over the bar and thankfully it went over,” he told RTÉ Sport at full time.

“It’s my job to put it over the bar, I love being in these situations. Obviously the league final I learned from, I missed a kick to get a draw and thankfully this time it went over the bar. I just struck it well and the rest is history now.”

The Ballymun Kickhams sharpshooter, who seven points, including four from play, praised Mayo for their part in a breathless encounter which saw both sides finish with 14 men.

“There’s always a point in it and thankfully we came out on the right side of it,” Rock added.

“It’s unfortunate for Mayo to come out on the wrong side but they’re a fantastic team and they bring out the best in us. I’m sure it’ll be the same next year.

“It’s a dream come true to win one, to win three, four and some lads winning five it’s just incredible. It’s just all down to the hard work everyone puts in, from the backroom team to the players to the guys who didn’t make the panel today. This is for them.”

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Late Rock free secures Dublin All-Ireland three-in-a-row as Mayo just fall short again

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