All-Ireland SFC replay: Dubs step up a gear

September 05, 2015

Dublin's James McCarthy with Diarmuid O'Connor of Mayo during the All-Ireland SFC semi-final replay.
©INPHO/Tommy Grealy.

Dublin 3-15
Mayo 1-14

A purple patch which yielded an answered 2-03 midway through the second half paved the way for Dublin to defeat Mayo in an exhilarating All-Ireland SFC semi-final replay at Croke Park this evening.

This was up there with the best of them in terms of intensity, movement, scores and passion, it had it all, but ultimately it was Dublin who pushed on for the win.

Dublin's bench played a massive part in this game as the introduction of Michael Darragh Macauley, Alan Brogan and in particular Kevin McManamon paved the way for their success.

Mayo looked impressive for long periods and the two O'Connor's, Cillian and Diarmuid, impressed throughout, but they will be disappointed with the quality of long ball that they let into Aidan O'Shea.

The pace of the game was unbelievable right from the throw in as the sides went for score for score in the opening 35 minutes.

Mayo had a great start to the second half when they scored 1-01 without reply as Cillian O'Connor got their goal, and they were in a comfortable position when Patrick Durcan pointed in the 53rd minute.

However, Dublin stepped up a gear as James McCarthy's point was soon followed by their opening goal as Alan Brogan played in the impressive Brian Fenton whose low shot across the small square was met by the lunging Bernard Brogan and directed into the net.

A minute later, Bernard Brogan cut in along the endline and handpassed across the square to the awaiting Philly McMahon who palmed the ball to the net to add to his earlier point.

The outstanding Paddy Andrews and McMahon, who finished the game with 1-02 from corner back, both pointed and virtually ended the game as a contest by the 53rd minute.

The first half was played at a frantic pace, one that is rarely seen in football. There were mistakes by both sides in the opening 35 minutes, but the quality of football was a joy to behold.

Dublin were the first to get off the mark as Bernard Brogan lofted over a point from the wing, but the lead was short lived as Aidan O'Shea found Kevin McLoughlin in acres of space and fired over at his ease.

Mayo then took the lead as Barry Moran, who wouldn't be known for his scoring attributes, kicked a fine point from distance but Dublin responded quickly as Andrews took a pass from Ciaran Kilkenny and kicked his opening score of the game.

The Dublin forward soon doubled his tally after he received a pass from James McCarthy and scored from a tight angle, but Mayo hit the next three scores.

It was the turn of the O'Connor brothers to leave their mark on this game as firstly Cillian scored an absolutely beauty from off the outside of the boot and split the posts.

Then moments later, Diarmuid showed that he could match his brother in the skill level as he arrowed a shot over the bar from 45 metres.

In between this, Cillian O'Connor received the first yellow of the match as he tackled Stephen Cluxton when the Dublin goalkeeper was in possession.

A foul by Jack McCaffrey on Aidan O'Shea ended with not for the last time, the ball being brought forward and O'Connor had no problem tapping over the free to leave it 0-05 to 0-03 after 18 minutes.

Three minutes later and the first real goal scoring chance arose when Bernard Brogan played in an unmarked Philly McMahon who had acres of space just 20 metres from the Mayo goal, but the Dublin defender fired over the bar with Dean Rock running off his shoulder.

The Dubs were on top during this period and the impressive Kilkenny kicked an excellent score off his left boot to make it 0-05 each by the 22nd minute.

More indiscipline by Dublin saw the ball brought forward after they had given a free away and O'Connor made no mistake. A quick kick out saw the ball worked to Andrews and from a very tight angle, the in-form forward sent the ball over the black spot.

Denis Bastick became the first Dublin player in the referee's book after he fouled Tom Parsons, but it was Dublin who got the next score as Bernard Brogan played in Andrews and he kicked his fourth point of the half.

Mayo's long ball had been their one downfall in the first half, but Aidan O'Shea did get one sniff at the goals and he duly slotted over a point.

The pace was frantic and from the kick out again Brian Fenton found space to kick a point to put Dublin 0-09 to 0-08 as half time approached.

In a lone forage forward, Lee Keegan nonchalantly slotted over off his left boot and the sides were level for the fifth time. A good score by Kilkenny was cancelled out by yet another close range Cillian O'Connor free as the sides went in at half time.

Mayo started the second half well and even though there was no score for the first five minutes of the second period, the Connacht champions then hit 1-01 without reply.

Cillian O'Connor tapped over a free and two minutes later sub Andy Moran broke through the Dublin defence and laid off to Cillian O'Connor who managed to squeeze the ball into the net.

Rock (free) and Patrick Durcan from play swapped scores and then Dublin stepped up a gear as they virtually won the match in the next ten minutes.

Andy Moran popped over a free in the 64th minute for Mayo's first score in eleven minutes but this was to be their last score as McManamon scored 1-01 to send the Dubs through to a mouth-watering clash against Kerry in the All-Ireland final.

Dublin - S Cluxton; J Cooper, R O'Carroll, P McMahon (1-2); J McCarthy (0-1), C O'Sullivan, J McCaffrey; B Fenton (0-1), D Bastick; P Flynn, P Andrews (0-5), C Kilkenny (0-2); D Rock (0-2f), D Connolly, B Brogan (1-1). Subs: M Fitzsimons for J Cooper, M D Macauley for D Bastick, A Brogan for P Flynn, K McManamon (1-1) for D Rock, E Lowndes for D Connolly, J Small for B Brogan.

Mayo - R Hennelly; G Cafferkey, D Vaughan, K Higgins; L Keegan (0-1), C Barrett, C Boyle; S O'Shea, T Parsons; D O'Connor (0-2), A O'Shea (0-1), K McLoughlin (0-1); B Moran (0-1), C O'Connor (1-6, 0-5f), J Doherty. Subs: P Durcan (0-1) for D Vaughan, A Moran (0-1f) for S O'Shea (BC), A Freeman for B Moran, D Drake for C Boyle, S Coen for T Parsons, M Ronaldson for K McLoughlin.

Referee - E Kinsella.

Most Read Stories