Donall Farmer/INPHO

Supersub O'Gara strikes twice as Dublin snatch dramatic draw against Mayo

Dublin rally from five points down in the last five minutes to deny Mayo in Croke Park.

Dublin 3-14 Mayo 2-17

TWO LATE EOGHAN O’Gara goals kept Dublin’s National Football League defence alive as they came back from the dead to snatch a draw against Mayo.

The Dubs — who were reduced to 14 men when captain Stephen Cluxton was shown a straight red in the first half — trailed by five points with five minutes to play before supersub O’Gara scored twice in a grandstand finish.

They could have even snatched a win had Jack McCaffrey shown a bit more composure when he shot wide with the final kick of the game.

Defeat would have put Dublin in real danger of missing out on the semi-finals but both sides are still in the hunt, level on seven points ahead of next week’s final round of games in Division 1.

Mayo lost Colm Boyle to a black card on 21 minutes for a trip on Alan Brogan but they hit the front three minutes later when Kevin McLaughlin pounced on a loose ball and slotted it past Stephen Cluxton.

The same men were involved again just before the half-hour mark when Cluxton was shown a straight red for what can only be described as a moment of madness. McLaughlin prevented him from taking a quick kick out and Cluxton retaliated by kicking him in the back of the legs in full view of the umpires.

Stephen Cluxton Donall Farmer / INPHO Donall Farmer / INPHO / INPHO

Mayo took advantage and kicked the final four points of the half to go into the break 1-9 to 0-8 ahead.

Cillian O’Connor — who finished with eight points — helped to keep the scoreboard ticking over despite Dublin’s best efforts to make this a contest.

And the Dubs’ lifeline finally came on 57 minutes when Kevin McManamon lofted the ball over Rob Hennelly, almost a carbon copy of his goal against Kerry in last year’s All-Ireland semi-final.

Jason Gibbons Donall Farmer / INPHO Donall Farmer / INPHO / INPHO

A score apiece from Jason Whelan and the returning Diarmuid Connolly cut the gap to two as the game entered the last 10 minutes.

But Mayo looked to have killed off the revival when McLaughlin nipped in to steal a short kick-out by Dublin’s sub keeper Sean Currie and squared for Mickey Sweeney to score.

Enter O’Gara, who had come off the bench for the final 13 minutes. He blasted home his first goal on 65 minutes after McCaffrey and Whelan cut the Mayo defence open, and then kept his cool to equalise right at the death after Alan Brogan picked him out with a pinpoint pass.

Scorers for Dublin: O’Gara 2-0; McManamon 1-2; Costello 0-4 (1f); Brogan, Connolly (1f) 0-2 each, Cluxton (1 45), Flynn, Andrews, Whelan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Mayo: O’Connor 0-8 (5f); McLoughlin 1-3; Sweeney 1-1; Vaughan 0-2; Moran, Higgins, Gibbons 0-1 each.

DUBLIN: Stephen Cluxton; Jonny Cooper, Rory O’Carroll, Darren Daly; James McCarthy, Tomas Brady, Kevin Nolan; Michael Darragh Macauley, Cian O’Sullivan; Paul Flynn, Alan Brogan, Diarmuid Connolly; Kevin McManamon, Cormac Costello, Paddy Andrews.
Substitutions: Jason Whelan for Flynn (27), Sean Currie for Brady (30), Nicky  Devereux for Andrews (HT), Jack McCaffrey for O’Sullivan (HT), Dara Nelson for Daly (51), Eoghan O’Gara for Costello (57).
MAYO: Rob Hennelly; Tom Cunniffe, Ger Cafferkey, Brendan Harrison; Lee Keegan, Donal Vaughan, Colm Boyle; Aidan O’Shea, Jason Gibbons; Kevin McLoughlin, Keith Higgins, Jason Doherty; Andy Moran, Alan Freeman, Cillian O’Connor.
Substitutions: Shane McHale for Boyle (black card, 21), David Drake for Harrison (HT), Mickey Sweeney for Freeman (48), Tom Parsons for Aidan O’Shea (57), Enda Varley for Cafferkey (57), Seamus O’Shea for Doherty (68).

Referee: Cormac Reilly (Meath).

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