Dublin joined Kerry and Wexford in the four-in-a-row club following their 2-17 to 1-14 win over Tyrone, here we look at how the day was won.
Kick-outs are an increasingly crucial part of the game and that was clearly illustrated in the opening 35 minutes.
Stephen Cluxton saw two kick-outs in a row go awry midway through the first half at a time when Tyrone were exerting great pressure.
He went long with both and Tyrone picked off points from Mark Bradley and Tiernan McCann, which meant a third of their first-half scores came directly from restart turnovers. In a game where Cluxton took 31 kick-outs, they were the only two Dublin lost all afternoon.
Things were more troubling for Niall Morgan and his team-mates at the other end.
With a three-point lead on the 20th minute, disaster struck when Morgan went for a quick kick right down the middle. Ciarán Kilkenny intercepted and off-loaded to Con O’Callaghan who fed Paul Mannion, before he was brought down for a penalty by McCann.
His subsequent two kick-outs did not find Tyrone hands either and Dean Rock popped over two points to put a completely different complexion on the game.
The Edendork man pulled off a fine save to deny substitute Cormac Costello in the second half, but the team will be disappointed collectively to have won 18 out of their 24 restarts.
If you were told before the game that Tyrone would register just 14 points, you would be forgiven that they would have been on the receiving end of a cricket score game. In truth, Dublin never looked like blitzing their opponents, but strangled the life out of the game - notwithstanding the late penalty to breathe life into the contest - with controlled and calculated play.
For Tyrone to emerge victorious, chances had to be gobbled up and while they raced into a five points to one lead, they still managed some poor wides in that period and by the break were just one short of double figures.
9 wides.. can't beat dublin with that carry on up front #AllIrelandFinal— Eamonn Magee (@Eamonn_Magee) September 2, 2018
After the break that trend continued. Even after Peter Harte's penalty, Lee Brennan wasted an opportunity to continue their momentum, but his effort drifted badly left of the posts and by the end they had a tally of 16 to their name.
By contrast, Dublin finished with just six in total.
WORK-RATE & GAME MANAGEMENT
Dublin’s history in the pantheon of great teams is assured, but perhaps the one thing that sets them apart is the attitude shown by each and every member of the team, particularly when the opposition is in possession.
No one illustrates that incredible work-rate better than Kilmacud’s Paul Mannion. One of the finest forwards in the game – his penalty was struck with complete conviction at a crucial juncture of the game, but it is desire to track back which sets the tone.
He was back in his full-back line on a number of occasions when the game was very much in the melting pot and proved his efficiency at either end of the pitch, finishing the game with 1-01.
"I missed one in the Leinster final so I made sure I practiced a lot," Mannion remarked honestly after the match about his penalty.
Jim Gavin's game management was again faultless, helped by the options at his disposal. Bernard Brogan couldn't make the bench, while Michael Darragh Macauley and Kevin McManamon both got in on the scoring act after their introduction as Dublin saw out the contest. The penalty was a reprieve, but in truth they never looked in real danger while Eric Lowndes, Cormac Costello, Mick Fitzsimons and Darren Daly brought further quality to proceedings.
It was noticeable how adept the Dublin replacements were in the art of slowing the game and inhibiting Tyrone's rhythm. The Ulster side were threatening to get up a head of steam, but the Dubs made the most of each restart and showed all their experience.
By contrast, it was notable that none of the Tyrone substitutes managed to score from play and the game petered out as the champions claimed the final two points of the game.
One interesting aspect of the unchanged Dublin selection was the swapping of Ciarán Kilkenny and Con O’Callaghan in the number 11 and 14 jerseys.
Both players started out relatively quietly, but once Dublin began to dig deep, the duo were integral to the fight-back and had their markers chasing shadows at times.
Tiernan McCann was tasked with keeping tabs on Kilkenny, but the Castleknock man slowly displayed his guile, not to mention pace as McCann’s influence fizzled out.
Cuala’s O’Callaghan has been functional if not spectacular this season, but has saved his best for when it really matters and Michael McKiernan was given a torrid time in the full-forward line.
Dublin’s second goal was a thing of individual brilliance, but also superb interplay between the young forward and Niall Scully.
The wing-forward dinked the ball into O’Callaghan who raced out in front of his marker. McKernan looked to have recovered, but the 2017 Young Footballer of the Year sold the defender a dummy and returned the pass for Scully to palm into the net.
Kilkenny’s only point of the first half was also a timely one as the reigning champions had gone 18 minutes without a score after the underdogs reeled off five on the bounce.
It’s something littered throughout the team and had Tyrone in trouble throughout. McCann and McKernan had their issues on Kilkenny and O’Callaghan when they got up ahead of steam, while Jack McCaffrey was his usual marauding self.
The wing-back scored a point in the opening 35 minutes, but a first-half wide was a snapshot into what he offers. The Clontarf man picked the ball up around half-way and made a beeline towards goal, easing past Aidan McCrory like he wasn’t there. Colm Cavanagh was next out to thwart the 24-year-old, but he ended up on his backside after a clever sidestep.
Eoin Murchan, Brian Howard, Paul Mannion and Brian Fenton at times glided past their opponents and it was an area where Dublin enjoyed a clear advantage.