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Dublin: 9°C Friday 23 October 2020


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Last week Mayo and Dublin served up one of the most tough-fought and exciting games of the summer. And then the real drama began.

Late last night, Diarmuid Connolly was cleared to play after last weekend’s red card in the drawn game and he’ll no doubt feature this evening at HQ.

There’s a place in the championship decider against last year’s winners Kerry up for grabs. Who’ll be celebrating come tonight?

So let’s have those predictions!  How do you see this one going?

The draw’s at a handy price.

“The concept of fairness and justice must not be left to the mob,” says Joe Brolly when discussing the Connolly appeal and the role of the ‘more refined DRA.

“He’s good to go.” Jim Gavin says Connolly will play before lapsing into talk of ‘focusing on the Mayo challenge’.

Connolly starts!

The Vincents man, wearing number 18, is on instead of Alan Brogan.

On the Mayo side. Barry Moran is in for Mayo in the place of David Drake. Who knows where he’ll actually play.

Liam Duffy, John Fahy, Shane Healy and Liam Kearney Liam Duffy, John Fahy, Shane Healy and Liam Kearney from Ballyhaunis. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Throw-in has been put back by five minutes because of hassle at the turnstiles.

Our GAA editor, Fintan O’Toole, is all set at Croker: “Pre match parade under way and we’re ready for Saturday evening football. Croke Park is a cauldron of noise and colour, perfect weather and we’re close to throw in. This should get spicy.”

Dublin are going to play into the Hill for the first half.

And we’re off. And there’s a free inside a couple of seconds, going Dublin’s way.

Bernard Brogan opens the scoring with a lovely effort after good work from Cian McCarthy.

Dublin 0-1 Mayo 0-1 Kevin McLaughlin levels it up for Mayo. He had the freedom of D9 there.

Dublin 0-2 Mayo 0-2 Barry Moran was given the ball in front of the posts and he made no mistake with his left foot. This has been a frantic first few minutes. As I type, Paddy Andrews settles himself down with a good finish.

Dublin 0-3 Mayo 0-2 Paddy Andrews looks sharp today. He’s scored another point after seven minutes.

Dublin 0-3 Mayo 0-3 Cillian O’Connor is in the form of his life says Dessie Dolan as he kicks a class point.


Cillian O’Connor picks up an early yellow card for jumping into Stephen Cluxton.


Dublin 0-3 Mayo 0-4 Diarmuid O’Connor follows Cillian’s lead by kicking a great score. Mayo are flying.


Dublin 0-3 Mayo 0-5 Cillian takes advantage of a free being moved forward to nail a free. Aidan O’Shea was initially fouled.

Three without reply from Mayo, Darragh Maloney says, and it’s 10 mins since the Dubs scored.


Philly McMahon was clean through and wasted it! Bernard Brogan picked him out but McMahon didn’t catch it cleanly. He then could have played in a man to his right but instead blazed it over the bar.

Diarmuid O’Connor scored another point down the other end moments later and then Ciaran Kilkenny opened his account.


Dublin 0-6 Mayo 0-7 More backchat to the red sees a second free moved forward. The Dubs didn’t learn that lesson six days ago, it seems. Cillian O’Connor predictably points.

Paddy Andrew hits his third point of the day.


Denis Bastick picks up a yellow card for a tackle in midfield. Aidan O’Shea is back in around the square.


Dublin 0-7 Mayo 0-7 Dean Rock scores his first point form a Bernard Brogan-earned free in front of the posts. The teams are level for the fourth time and it’s great stuff altogether so far.

Last week didn’t have this level of skill, for all the drama and belting.


Dublin 0-8 Mayo 0-7 Paddy Andrews is in the mood. He’s kicked another (his fourth?) form a difficult angle. And the Hill finds its voice. 28 minutes or so on the clock.


Dublin 0-8 Mayo 0-8 Aidan O’Shea brings the sides level again. A lovely basketball coast-to-coast type bounce beats his man and he taps it over.


Dublin 0-9 Mayo 0-8 Brian Fenton puts the Dubs in front. Then Aidan O’Shea gets his first sight on goal close in but he’s adjudged to have touched the ball on the ground. Into the 33rd minute.


Dublin 0-10 Mayo 0-9 Lee Keegan levels it up again.

Donal Vaughan is off, sadly. Last week’s shoulder injury is clearly the issue. Patrick Durcan is introduced and immediately sees Ciaran Kilkenny score an excellent effort.


Dublin 0-10 Mayo 0-10 The sides go in level, fittingly, after Cillian O’Connor nails another dead ball.

The ref — or perhaps an umpire — saw Aidan O’Shea being fouled off the ball.

What did you make of that?


“Focus very much on the pitch after that first-half,” says Fintan O’Toole from Croke Park. “The quality of point kicking is top drawer on both sides, it’s been great to watch. Diarmaid Connolly finding it difficult to impact but Paddy Andrews has been superb for Dublin. Mayo’s shot selection has been suspect, Dublin indiscipline surfacing at times as well. All to play for.”


The attendance is 81,897 we’re told.

One England fan has tuned in anyway.


No changes it seems but Tom Parsons is in around full forward with Aidan O’Shea in the middle of the park. We’re back under way.


Seamus O’Shea gas earned a black card for an off-the-ball incident with Johnny Cooper. That seems harsh doesn’t it?


Andy Moran is on to a great reception.


Dublin 0-10 Mayo 0-11 Andy Moran won a free with Johnny Cooper leaving a hand in. Cillian O’Connor ignored the jeers of the Dublin fans to tap over.


What a great goal. Andy Moran did the work and passed it off to O’Connor in front of the goal. The Connacht champions’ marksman switched hands and managed to finish.


Dublin  0-11 Mayo 1-11 Dean Rock brings Dublin back to within a goal. The volume sounds ridiculous.


Dean Rock is off Kevin McMenamin is on while Alan Brogan replaces Paul Flynn.


Dublin 0-12 Mayo 1-12 Paul Durcan and James McCarthy exchange points.

Barry Moran trots off to be replaced by Alan Freeman.


Brian Fenton pulled the ball across the face of the goal and Brogan slid in to finish like a centre forward. We’re level for the eight time with 15 minutes or so to go.


The ball was bundled into the back of the net by Bernard Brogan! Decision to come.


GOAL! Dublin 2-13 Mayo 1-12

It stands – Philly McMahon finished it after Brogan punched/threw the ball square.

Paddy Andrews tacks on a point.


Dublin 2-14 Mayo 1-12 Dublin have scored 3-3 without reply and are well in control with seven minutes to go. They’ll need to repeat their comeback heroics now.

Philly McMahon added to his tally.


Dublin 2-14 Mayo 1-13 Andy Moran scores Mayo’s first point in a long, long time.  Four in it.


Dublin 3-14 Mayo 1-14 He’s done it again… another rasping finish to the net.

Three minutes to go and that looks to be the ball game.


Dessie Dolan has awarded the man-of-the-match award to Paddy Andrews.


The Dubs are making no mistakes this week with the finish. They’re running down the clock like pros.

Dublin 3-15 Mayo 1-14 It’s all over! We’ll have a Dublin-Kerry final once again.

For Mayo, it’s the end of the road in a semi-final replay for the second year on the trot.

What a couple of games they gave us though.

What did you make of that?

‘An epic encounter’ says Colm O’Rourke.

Mayo will wonder how they left this one go. They were cruising — and in a reversal of last week’s finale — were hit with a comeback. 3-3 without reply tells its own story.

‘Even by Mayo standards, this was spectacular ineptitude’ says Brolly, who then adds that he feels sorry for them. That’s some way of showing compassion.

Thanks for your company this evening.

We’ll have plenty of reaction form both camps over the course of the next few hours.

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