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'They were trying every trick in the book. I think it was a GPS someone threw at him'

James McCarthy saw his Ballymun Kickhams club mate hold his nerve.

Dean Rock nailed the match-winning free for Dublin.
Dean Rock nailed the match-winning free for Dublin.
Image: INPHO

AS DEAN ROCK lined up the free deep in injury-time of yesterday’s All-Ireland final, the pressure intensified around the Dublin marksman.

The stakes were high but the attacker held his nerve to steer the ball over the bar and secure Sam Maguire glory for Dublin.

“They were trying every trick in the book,” revealed his Ballymun Kickhams club-mate James McCarthy of the pressure Mayo were applying.

“I think it was a GPS someone threw at him? But look, it doesn’t matter now. He kicked it. We just keep winning. That’s the answer to it.”

Victory arrived after a ferocious battle in a game where McCarthy was relocated to wing-back early on after Jack McCaffrey’s withdrawal.

“It was the toughest game I’ve ever played. They hit us with absolutely everything in the first half and we were just hanging in there.

“They probably should have been a few more scores up but the testament of our character was we just hung in there.

“We got in at half-time and just said ‘look we’ll go out here and cut loose.’ And we did.”

“You plan for those things but it’s All-Ireland final. Anything can happen. It’s chaotic. It’s madness.

“He (Jack) was a big loss for us. He was playing so good. We just had to adjust.”

James McCarthy celebrates James McCarthy celebrates Dubliin's win. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The triumph add another honour to McCarthy’s decorated football career.

“(It’s) just amazing. The first one was huge. It gives you that bit of belief and gives you a bit of insatiable hunger to win more.

“But I’m just lucky to be around at a time when these players come together. We’re very close. That’s the biggest thing for us.

“And it means that when it comes down to the line, you look at each other and drive through and pull it out of the bag.”

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Fintan O'Toole

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