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Late Rock free secures Dublin All-Ireland three-in-a-row as Mayo just fall short again

Both sides finished with 14 men in a pulsating decider.

Dublin 1-17
Mayo 1-16

Fintan O’Toole reports from Croke Park

THE CHAMPIONS ARE still standing tall and in a frantic finale at Croke Park, it was Dublin’s free-taker Dean Rock who held his nerve best to secure Sam Maguire for his team.

Stephen Cluxton lifts the Sam Maguire Cup Stephen Cluxton lifts the Sam Maguire. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

After referee Joe McQuillan judged that Diarmuid Connolly had been fouled 40 yards out, Rock was a model of composure in the 76th minute as he slotted over the resultant free.

Mayo tried desperately to secure a levelling point but Dublin’s ball retention was superb as they protected that precious one-point advantage to ensure Stephen Cluxton would get his hands on the silverware.

Aidan O’Shea with Brian Fenton Mayo's Aidan O'Shea and Dublin's Brian Fenton Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

It was another pulsating All-Ireland final contest played out by this pair of rivals with both sides finishing with 14 men. John Small and Donal Vaughan were both dismissed in the 47th minute, Small shown a second yellow card after a foul on Colm Boyle and a red card was brandished toward Vaughan for his rash challenge on Small in retaliation.

It came at a juncture when Mayo trailed 1-9 to 0-11. They had been rocked early on by a well-taken Con O’Callaghan goal after he scythed through the Mayo defence. But the Connacht outfit recovered to control the opening half with Andy Moran and Jason Doherty striking some lovely points as they went in at the break in front 0-9 to 1-5.

Donal Vaughan receives a red card from referee Joe McQuillan after a strike on John Small Donal Vaughan receives a red card from referee Joe McQuillan. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Dublin produced a far better performance in the second half as they reeled off the points yet they were hit by a Lee Keegan goal after a superb Mayo team move in the 54th minute. Mayo grew in confidence after that and Cillian O’Connor hit the brace of points that sent them two clear with seven minutes remaining.

Then Dublin showed the greatness of champions. Paul Mannion, James McCarthy and Dean Rock hit big points to nudge them in front before a marvellous O’Connor point tied the teams again.

A replay beckoned before Rock intervened as the match-winner.

Scorers for Dublin: Dean Rock 0-7 (0-3f), Paul Mannion 0-3, Con O’Callaghan 1-0, James McCarthy 0-2, John Small, Brian Fenton, Diarmuid Connolly, Kevin McManamon, Eoghan O’Gara 0-1 each.

Scorers for Mayo: Cillian O’Connor 0-7 (0-4f), Lee Keegan 1-0, Andy Moran 0-3, Jason Doherty, Kevin McLoughlin 0-2 each, Donal Vaughan, Colm Boyle 0-1 each.

Dublin

1. Stephen Cluxton (Parnells)

4. Michael Fitzsimons (Cuala)
2. Philly McMahon (Ballymun Kickhams)
5. Jonny Cooper (Na Fianna)

6. John Small (Ballymun Kickhams)
3. Cian O’Sullivan (Kilmacud Crokes)
7. Jack McCaffrey (Clontarf)

8. Brian Fenton (Raheny)
9. James McCarthy (Ballymun Kickhams)

15. Dean Rock (Ballymun Kickhams)
11. Con O’Callaghan (Cuala)
10. Ciarán Kilkenny (Castleknock)

13. Paul Mannion (Kilmacud Crokes)
26. Eoghan O’Gara (Templeogue Synge Street)
14. Paddy Andrews (St Brigid’s)

Subs

22. Paul Flynn (Fingallians) for McCaffrey (inj) (8)
19. Diarmuid Connolly (St Vincent’s) for Andrews (half-time)
25. Kevin McManamon (St Judes) for O’Gara (half-time)
17. Bernard Brogan (St Oliver Plunkett’s Eoghan Ruadh) for Flynn (65)
12. Niall Scully (Templeogue Synge Street) for O’Callaghan (68)
20. Cormac Costello (Whitehall Colmcille) for Mannion (74)

Mayo

1. David Clarke (Ballina Stephenites)

6. Chris Barrett (Belmullet)
2. Brendan Harrison (Aghamore)
18. Patrick Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels)

5. Lee Keegan (Westport)
7. Colm Boyle (Davitts)
4. Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis)

8. Seamus O’Shea (Breaffy)
9. Tom Parsons (Charlestown)

10. Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore)
11. Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy)
3. Donal Vaughan (Ballinrobe)

13. Jason Doherty (Burrishoole)
14. Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber – captain)
15. Andy Moran (Ballaghaderreen)

Subs

12. Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber) for Seamus O’Shea (51)
19. Stephen Coen (Hollymount-Carramore) for Durcan (55)
23. Conor Loftus (Crossmolina) for Moran (63)
20. David Drake (Ballaghaderreen) for Doherty (70)
22. Danny Kirby (Castlebar Mitchels) for McLoughlin (75)
17. Ger Cafferkey (Ballina Stephenites) for Higgins (75)

Referee: Joe McQuillan (Cavan)

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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