A Leinster final that at least evoked an ambiguity of feeling: Kildare showed definite signs of progress: proof that there is some development among counties in Leinster. Yet in spite of that, Dublin are as untouchable as ever, and weathered a Daniel Flynn-inspired revolt to squeeze the life out of the Lilywhites in the second-half.
Dublin had to overcome some setbacks on way to a record seventh successive Leinster title, notably the black-card to Dean Rock midway through the first-half.
But then such rocky paths are smoothed by having players of the quality of Bernard Brogan in reserve. It was Brogan who replaced Rock, and while Con O'Callaghan took over free-taking duties, Brogan was imperious from play.
He's no longer an automatic starter for Dublin, and has admitted that he believes that he doesn't have the natural talent of the younger players who are pushing him out of the frame.
But that does himself a disservice, and Brogan showed his considerable talent, kicking 0-05 from play. The critical part of the game were the fifteen minutes after the break, in which Dublin disabused Kildare of any notions of a Leinster title by outscoring them 0-08 to 0-02, with Brogan to the fore: kicking two points from play.
Brogan has spoke in the past of how he had to fight for his Dublin place, having spent more time hurling for Dublin at minor level than he had kicking ball.
— Paulie Keenan (@Pauliewhitewing) July 16, 2017
Bernard Brogan finishing like an unfinished footballer. #GAA
— John Fogarty (@JohnFogartyIrl) July 16, 2017
This Bernard Brogan kid is decent ! #dubvkil
— stephen bambrick (@babsclio) July 16, 2017
Bernard brogan the David fairclough of the GAA #leinsterfinal
— John casey (@Johncasey14mayo) July 16, 2017
Don't think Dublin have ever had a better forward than Bernard Brogan.
— Kieran Cunningham (@KCsixtyseven) July 16, 2017
You know you're looking at a serious Dublin team when Bernard Brogan is wearing the no.18 jersey👀👀... #DubvKil
— Adam_Cronin26 (@adam_cronin26) July 16, 2017
Brogan said last month that he was hungry to prove himself worthy of a starting spot: "I've been a starter for many a year. I've a new challenge. I have to show Jim and the management team that I still have the legs to impact a game".
That's how to do it.