Dublin's Bernard Brogan and Mayo's Ger Cafferkey. INPHO/James Crombie

Conor Deegan – 3 key Dublin v Mayo battles’s columnist looks at the contests that could decide today’s game.

1.  Ger Cafferkey v Bernard Brogan

It’s absolutely crucial after what happened in last year’s final that Mayo get the defensive match-ups right this time around at the start.

Anyone watching last year was stunned to see that Ger Cafferkey, Mayo’s standout full-back, was not on Michael Murphy. Mayo suffered then and must learn now by having Cafferkey pick up Bernard Brogan.

Normally he’s done well on him but Brogan did kick six points the last day against Kerry. There were signs that the spark is back in his game and he is a major threat.

Cafferkey is a big, tough and effective defender. He knows the challenge that faces him but if he nullifies Brogan, it will be a key factor for Mayo.

2. Michael Darragh MacAuley v Aidan O’Shea

I’m coaching Michael Darragh MacAuley’s club this year, Ballyboden St Enda’s, and like everyone else I’ve been hugely impressed with his form for Dublin.

He’s meeting tomorrow another player who has been excellent throughout this summer. Aidan O’Shea has been outstanding for Mayo and will want to gain a foothold for his side by dominating this sector.

Dublin cannot let Mayo boss them around at midfield. MacAuley will want to get moving around the pitch and run at the Mayo defence which will cause problems and lead O’Shea to chase him. It’s a huge duel between the two favorites for Footballer of the Year.

3. Alan Freeman v Rory O’Carroll

This might not seem the most critical of duels but if Cillian O’Connor does not last the full game or does not play, the onus will fall on Freeman to perform. He’s a good player who comes out in front to win the ball cleanly.

There’s a few jitters about that Dublin full-back line when the ball is pumped in quickly on top of them. O’Carroll needs to command and settle things down for Dublin. If Freeman starts to dominate that area, it will be a major plus for Mayo as he seeks to repeat the form he showed against Tyrone.

The Dublin selector who famously captained Leitrim to beat Mayo

6 talking points about tomorrow’s All-Ireland minor football final

Your Voice
Readers Comments
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.