It wasn’t pretty viewing for the small Dublin support in the Gaelic Grounds or for their fans in the television audience on eir Sport.
Trailing by a point 0-05 to 0-04 after a quarter of an hour, Dublin somehow managed to find themselves trailing by nine points after 26 minutes when Aaron Gillane put his penalty past Alan Nolan in the City End goal.
Gillane’s accuracy from placed balls, as well as the influence of Diarmaid Byrnes and Gearoid Hegarty were causing all sorts of problems for the Dubs, who couldn’t keep up with the pace.
After a disappointingly heavy defeat to Offaly in round one, followed by a snatch and grab win over Antrim in a game where they looked comfortable going down the final stretch, there are problems with this Dublin team who are struggling so far this season.
For manager Pat Gilroy, it is clear where the problems lie:
“The second-half of the first-half we completely dropped off our intensity and once we do that we are vulnerable.
We are certainly not getting the performances in the games that we are seeing in terms of training.
“We have got to look at that and see why are dropping off in those periods, because when we drop off we really get hurt.”
Improvement is needed and the tasks do not get any easier as the All-Ireland champions Galway come to Parnell Park next weekend, before what is looking like a crucial group stage finale against Laois.
“But we know the root cause of this, once we drop off our intensity around the middle third we are very vulnerable. If we don’t get that we are not going to win games.”