Dean Rock celebrates his goal for Dublin. Evan Logan/INPHO
Saturday Night Lights

Rock's 1-3 guides Dublin to comfortable win over 14-man Mayo

Jordan Flynn was sent off for Mayo in the first quarter.

Dublin 1-11

Mayo 0-8

DUBLIN EASED TO their first win under Dessie Farrell as Mayo’s winless run against the Sky Blues, a record that stretches back to 2012, went on.

Mayo haven’t beaten their rivals in league or championship in 16 games now. That came in the All-Ireland semi-final seven and a half years ago in what was Pat Gilroy’s final game as boss.

They never managed to better Jim Gavin over his seven years in charge. This was seen as an opportunity to get one over on Farrell, who is still getting his feet under the table as Dublin boss.

The sides were deadlocked at 0-5 apiece at half-time, but Mayo badly faded in the second-half in front of 15, 148. The 14th minute red card for Jordan Flynn was a serious blow to their chances and their attacking play stuttered to a halt as they scored just three points after the 33rd minute.

They didn’t score from play between the 26th and 67th minute.

Following an O’Byrne Cup defeat to Longford and last weekend’s draw with Kerry, this was Farrell’s first win of his tenure. Farrell will be content to bring home the two points but Dublin were far below their best tonight.

It was an encounter that was nowhere near the quality of the Dublin-Kerry clash a week earlier in Croke Park. 

Dean Rock finished with 1-3 and Ciaran Kilkenny dictated much of their attack, while James McCarthy was a driving force from the half-back line. 

aidan-oshea-and-dublins-michael-fitzsimons Mayo's Aidan O'Shea tangles with Dublin's Michael Fitzsimons. Evan Logan / INPHO Evan Logan / INPHO / INPHO

Once again, Farrell went with an experienced side, though Paddy Andrews and Paul Mannion did drop to the bench despite being named to start. Kilmacud Crokes forward Dan O’Brien made his starting debut as a late replacement for Andrews, while Conor McHugh came in for Mannion. 

James Horan started Aidan O’Shea in a deep-lying centre-forward role while Ryan O’Donoghue, former U20 captain, played a link role between the lines.

Veterans Chris Barrett, Donal Vaughan, Seamus O’Shea, Matthew Ruane, Cillian O’Connor and Jason Doherty all failed to make the matchday 26.

Pádraig O’Hora and Jordan Flynn, both impressive against Donegal at wing-back and midfield respectively, were pushed into new roles. O’Hora to corner-back and Flynn to wing-forward. 

Flynn’s red card in the opening quarter had a major bearing on the game and Mayo seemed to run out of steam and ideas as the game wore on.

Rob Hennelly came in for Clarke, who struggled with his short kick-outs against Donegal last week. His distribution was good, though one dropped ball from a Rock attempt at the posts gave the home fans a fright.

This was a slow-burner with just two scores on the board after the opening 10 minutes, one apiece. Both sides shot poorly in the opening-half with Mayo hitting six wides and Dublin responsible for five.

Mayo were 0-3 to 0-1 ahead when Flynn, who made an impressive debut against Donegal a week earlier, was sent-off for a high challenge on John Small after 14 minutes in midfield. 

That left Eoin Murchan as Dublin’s spare man in defence, which cut out the option of putting early ball into the Mayo full-forward line.

fergal-boland Eoin Murchan blocks Fergal Boland. Evan Logan / INPHO Evan Logan / INPHO / INPHO

Horan responded by briefly pushing O’Shea inside where he came under the watchful eye of Rory O’Carroll, making his first league start since 2015 .

James Durcan, whose shot 1-3 off the bench last week, and Fergal Boland pushed the hosts two clear on the half-hour mark. But Dublin went in level as Rock’s second free of the night and McCarthy’s clipped effort left the teams level at 0-5 apiece at half-time. 

Lee Keegan was introduced at the interval and assumed marking duties on his old adversary Ciaran Kilkenny, but Dublin took control after the break. They became more aggressive in the tackle and cut down on the sloppy turnovers.

After McManamon put a dangerous ball across the area, Rock got a flick to loop it into the far corner of the net. Rock’s goal helped Dublin go on a run of 1-4 without reply.

Keegan was brought down as he broke into the danger area, allowing Durcan swing over a free for Mayo’s first score in 25 minutes. 

Mick Fitzsimons was sin-binned for taking down Diarmuid O’Connor, but Durcan missed the resultant free – his third missed shot of the second period. 

Tommy Conroy kicked a fine score after his half-time arrival into the fray and Boland landed one late, but that was about all Mayo could muster. McCarthy, Rock (free) and substitute Aaron Byrne extended the winning margin in the closing stages.

Scorers for Dublin: Dean Rock 1-3 (0-3f), James McCarthy 0-2, Ciaran Kilkenny, Niall Scully, Kevin McManamon, Aaron Byrne, John Small and Dan O’Brien 0-1 each.

Scorers for Mayo: James Durcan (0-1f) and Fergal Boland (0-1 advanced mark) 0-2 each, Diarmuid O’Connor (0-1f), James Carr, Aidan O’Shea and Tommy Conroy 0-1 each.


1. Evan Comerford (Ballymun Kickhams)

19. Mick Fitzsimons (Cuala)
4. Rory O’Carroll (Kilmacud Crokes)
3. David Byrne (Nh Olaf)

6. John Small (Ballymun Kickhams)
5. James McCarthy (Ballymun Kickhams)
7. Eoin Murchan (Na Fianna)

8. Brian Fenton (Raheny)
9. Brian Howard (Raheny)

10. Niall Scully (Templeogue Synge St)
13. Kevin McManamon (St Jude’s)
23. Dan O’Brien (Kilmacud Crokes)

12. Ciarán Kilkenny (Castleknock)
15. Dean Rock (Ballymun Kickhams)
21. Conor McHugh (Na Fianna)


11. Paul Mannion (Kilmacud Crokes) for McHugh (44)
20. Liam Flatman (Kilmacud Crokes) for O”Carroll (47)
26. Paddy Small (Ballymun Kickhams) for McManamon (53)
18. Aaron Byrne (Na Fianna) for Byrne (56)
25. Cillian O’Shea (Kilmacud Crokes) for Murchan (73)


1. Robert Hennelly (Breaffy)

3. Oisin Mullin (Kilmaine)
2. Padraig O’Hora (Ballina Stephenites)
4. Brendan Harrison (Aghamore)

5. Michael Plunkett (Ballintubber)
6. Colm Boyle (Davitts)
7. Patrick Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels)

8. Stephen Coen (Hollymount/Carramore – captain)
9. Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber) 

10. Fergal Boland (Aghamore)
22. Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy)
12. Jordan Flynn (Crossmolina Deel Rovers)

11. Ryan O’Donoghue (Belmullet)
14. James Carr (Ardagh)
15. James Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels)


28. Lee Keegan (Westport) for Boyle (inj, ht)
27. Tommy Conroy ) The Neale) for Carr (ht)
13. Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore) for O’Donoghue (47)
18. James McCormack (Claremorris) for O’Shea (53)

Referee: Barry Cassidy (Derry)

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