Fintan O’Toole reports from Croke Park
MAYO PRODUCED A dramatic late rally to score 1-4 without reply and claim a draw against Dublin in a pulsating All-Ireland senior football semi-final this afternoon.
Cillian O’Connor’s 69th minute goal from a penalty after Colm Boyle was fouled was a crucial score before Andy Moran hit the levelling point.
Dublin finished the game with 14 men after Diarmuid Connolly received a straight red card following an off the ball incident involving Lee Keegan.
Connolly netted in the 5th minute from the penalty spot after Paul Flynn was fouled to help Dublin lead 1-7 to 0-7 at the break.
Their place in the final looked assured when Kevin McManamon grabbed their second goal in the 58th minute as he booted home a rebound after Rob Hennelly had smothered an initial shot from Brian Fenton.
McManamon’s goal pushed Dublin ahead 2-9 to 0-10 and despite Cillian O’Connor kicking a ’45 soon after, Dublin’s spirits soared as they clipped over three neat points courtesy of Bernard and Alan Brogan, and Jack McCaffrey.
A 2-12 to 0-11 lead had Dublin’s fans dreaming of a September final date with Kerry but they didn’t score for the remaining 14 minutes of action – nine of normal time and five in injury-time.
Moran, Keith Higgins and Alan Freeman nailed points to give Mayo hope with six minutes left and then they nearly netted through Moran only for John Small to stop his shot on the line after Cluxton was turned over in possession.
The green flag was raised soon after to leave Mayo fans in full voice and Moran then brought the teams level.
A pulsating period of injury-time saw Connolly dismissed, McCaffrey produce a heroic block to deny Mayo substitute Mickey Sweeney from pointing and Cluxton miss the chance to land a match-winning free in front of Hill 16.
Dublin will wonder how they conspired to draw a game after playing some lovely football in the first-half with Flynn, Ciaran Kilkenny and Paddy Andrews all excelling.
Mayo were reliant on Cillian O’Connor for scoring inspiration in the first-half as he bagged six points from frees. Lee Keegan’s point in the opening minute was Mayo’s solitary first-half score from play.
Dublin accelerated clear in the third quarter but couldn’t close out the match as a drama-laden finale delivered a replay next Saturday.
Scorers for Dublin: Diarmuid Connolly 1-2 (1-0 pen, 0-1f), Kevin McManamon 1-1, Ciaran Kilkenny 0-3, Bernard Brogan, Paddy Andrews 0-2 each, Alan Brogan, Jack McCaffrey 0-1 each.
Scorers for Mayo: Cillian O’Connor 1-9 (0-8f, 0-1 ’45, 1-0 pen), Andy Moran 0-2, Alan Freeman, Keith Higgins, Lee Keegan, Diarmuid O’Connor 0-1 each.
1. Stephen Cluxton (Parnells)
3. Rory O’Carroll (Kilmacud Crokes)
4. Philly McMahon (Ballymun Kickhams)
2. Jonny Cooper (Na Fianna)
5. James McCarthy (Ballymun Kickhams)
6. Cian O’Sullivan (Kilmacud Crokes)
7. Jack McCaffrey (Clontarf)
8. Brian Fenton (Raheny)
23. Michael Darragh MacAuley (Ballyboden St Enda’s)
10. Paul Flynn (Fingallians)
14. Paddy Andrews (St Brigids)
11. Ciaran Kilkenny (Castleknock)
15. Bernard Brogan (St Oliver Plunketts/ER)
12. Diarmuid Connolly (St Vincents)
13. Dean Rock (Ballymun Kickhams)
21. Michael Fitzsimons (Cuala) for O’Carroll (blood sub) (4)
24. Kevin McManamon (St Judes) for Rock (half-time)
26. John Small (Ballymun Kickhams) for Cooper (43)
9. Denis Bastick (Templeogue Synge Street) for MacAuley (black card) (51)
18. Alan Brogan (St Oliver Plunkett’s-Eoghan Ruadh) for Andrews (54)
17. Tomás Brady (Na Fianna) for Fenton (58)
22. Eric Lowndes (St Peregrines) for Bastick (black card) (68)
16. Rob Hennelly — Breaffy
6. Chris Barrett – Belmullet
2. Ger Cafferkey – Ballina Stephenites
4. Keith Higgins – Ballyhaunis (Capt.)
3. Donal Vaughan – Ballinrobe
5. Lee Keegan – Westport
7. Colm Boyle – Davitts
9. Tom Parsons – Charlestown Sarsfields
11. Aidan O’Shea – Breaffy
10. Diarmuid O’Connor – Ballintubber
8. Seamus O’Shea – Breaffy
15. Jason Doherty – Burrishoole
19. David Drake – Ballaghaderreen
12. Kevin McLoughlin – Knockmore
14. Cillian O’Connor – Ballintubber
20. Patrick Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels) for Vaughan (10)
21. Andy Moran (Ballagahderreen) for Drake (45)
26. Alan Freeman (Aghamore) for Doherty (61)
13. Barry Moran (Castlebar Mitchels) for Seamus O’Shea (65)
25. Mickey Sweeney (Kiltane) for Diarmuid O’Connor (70)
Referee: Joe McQuillan (Cavan)