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2012 Flashback: Lightning Mayo start leaves Dubs' two-in-a-row dream in cinders

David Clarke made two fantastic saves as the men from the west just about got over the finishing line.

The Mayo players celebrate at the final whistle in September 2012.
The Mayo players celebrate at the final whistle in September 2012.
Image: INPHO/James Crombie

MAYO WENT INTO their 2012 All-Ireland semi final encounter with Dublin in a similar vein to this year’s exploits — scoring plenty of goals.

They put four past Roscommon in the Connacht semi-final and had blasted three against Down in the All-Ireland quarter final. Dublin had comfortably beaten Wexford and Louth in Leinster but were pushed hard by Meath and Laois after that.

Two early points settled the Dublin faithful before Mayo took a stranglehold on the semi final encounter. Cillian O’Connor and Alan Dillon did most of the damage while Dublin’s Paul Flynn rattled the crossbar. The half-time lead was six points but it had stretched to nine after 52 minutes and RTÉ commentator Darragh Maloney was declaring 2 September 2012 as ‘Mayo’s Day’.

Pat Gilroy’s Dublin were made of sterner stuff, however, and Mayo, with their collective scoring touch deserting them, were pushed to their limits. Twice they had to rely on fantastic saves from goalkeeper David Clarke.

imageClarke spreads himself to save from Brogan. INPHO/James Crombie

The Dubs’ last chance came as Stephen Cluxton lobbed a ball towards the Mayo goal-mouth but it was eventually scrambled clear. Gilroy’s reign as Dublin manager, which brought All-Ireland glory less than a year before, was over. James Horan prepared his men to face a Donegal team that had discovered where the net was.

The ‘curse’ would drag on for another year but Horan’s men are back and better than ever.

Watch the highlights from the 2012 clash here:

Gavin Cooney
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