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Dublin's second-half class powers them past Mayo and into All-Ireland final

Con O’Callaghan hit the net twice for the Dubs and Brian Fenton struck the third.

Con O'Callaghan hit two goals for Dublin this evening.
Con O'Callaghan hit two goals for Dublin this evening.
Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

Dublin 3-14
Mayo 1-10

AS THEY RETREATED at half-time Mayo were entitled to feel good about themselves.

They had thundered into Dublin from the off of this All-Ireland semi-final. Their input had contributed to a pulsating affair. Their manic energy had unsettled the champions. James Horan’s side were two points to the good.

This contest seemed destined to go to the wire.

And then Dublin emerged from the Hogan Stand tunnel for the second half. Their response to that early Mayo offering was stunning. They simply blitzed their opponents, every facet of their game clicking into gear as they ruled the kickouts, controlled the aerial exchanges and swept forward in a relentless attacking wave.

That 0-8 to 0-6 deficit in the 35th minute had morphed into a 2-12 to 0-8 advantage by the 47th minute. Con O’Callaghan set the tone as he drilled home a couple of brilliant goals. Paul Mannion weighed in with a trio of lovely points. Dean Rock nailed a pair of frees. Niall Scully prodded another shot over the bar.

Ten points up at the close of the third quarter and Dublin had stormed out of sight. 

It was a devastating spell of play that Mayo had to endure. O’Callaghan ignited matters when firing to the net in the 37th minute as he stole into a clear path inside the Mayo cover. Nine minutes later he gathered a perfectly weighted delivery from a free by Ciaran Kilkenny, swivelled and planted another shot past Robert Hennelly.

Mayo were left reeling, their minds scrambled from such a forceful phase of powerplay. They battled incessantly as is their nature. Lee Keegan got through a gap in the 52nd minute after Aidan O’Shea made a charge down the centre of the Dublin rearguard and the Westport man slotted his shot deftly past Stephen Cluxton.

Lee Keegan scores his side's first goal Lee Keegan grabbed Mayo's first goal of the match. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

The goal failed to stem the tide. Stephen Coen floated over a 62nd minute point and Fergal Boland tapped over another deep into injury-time. They were the only other hits Mayo could muster as the scores dried up.

Dublin kept rampaging forward. Brian Fenton rolled in their third goal with nine minutes of normal time remaining and only the fingertips of Hennelly prevented another for the Raheny man as his shot was diverted over the bar.

There was ten points between them at the final whistle, Mayo’s woes compounded by a red card brandished in the direction of Cillian O’Connor as he saw yellow for the second time.

Dublin could wheel the likes of Philly McMahon and Diarmuid Connolly off the bench, Mayo’s introduction of Tom Parsons 15 months after his horrific leg injury did provoke a huge cheer from their faithful.

The Connacht support had been in full voice regularly during the first half. They knocked over the opening two points of the game and strung together another three on the bounce between the 15th and 20th minutes. Patrick Durcan lofted over a superb brace of points, James Carr and Colm Boyle registered splendid scores as well.

Dublin only managed three scores from play in that time frame, Brian Howard kicking the last of those moments before the half-time whistle blew. They may upped the ante considerably after the midway mark and the class of Jim Gavin’s charges told once again.

Scorers for Dublin: Dean Rock 0-6 (0-6f), Con O’Callaghan 2-0, Paul Mannion 0-5, Brian Fenton 1-1, Niall Scully, Brian Howard 0-1 each.

Scorers for Mayo: Lee Keegan 1-0, Cillian O’Connor 0-3 (0-2f) Patrick Durcan 0-2, Colm Boyle, Séamus O’Shea, Fergal Boland, Stephen Coen, James Carr 0-1 each.

Dublin

1. Stephen Cluxton (Parnells – captain)

20. Jonny Cooper (Na Fianna)
4. Michael Fitzsimons (Cuala)
2. David Byrne (Naomh Olaf)

5. Jack McCaffrey (Clontarf)
6. James McCarthy (Ballymun Kickhams)
7. John Small (Ballymun Kickhams)

8. Brian Fenton (Raheny)
9. Michael Darragh MacAuley (Ballyboden St. Enda’s)

12. Brian Howard (Raheny)
15. Ciarán Kilkenny (Castleknock)
10. Niall Scully (Templeogue Synge Street)

13. Paul Mannion (Kilmacud Crokes)
11. Con Callaghan (Cuala)
14. Dean Rock (Ballymun Kickhams)

Subs

3. Cian O’Sullivan (Kilmacud Crokes) for MacAuley (50)
25. Eoin Murchan (Na Fianna) for Small (62)
21. Cormac Costello (Whitehall Colmcille) for Mannion (66)
23. Philip McMahon (Ballymun Kickhams) for Cooper (69)
19. Diarmuid Connolly (St Vincent’s) for Scully (71)
17. Paddy Andrews (St Brigid’s) for O’Callaghan (71)

Mayo

1. Robert Hennelly (Breaffy)

5. Lee Keegan (Westport)
2. Chris Barrett (Belmullet)
3. Brendan Harrison (Aghamore)

4. Stephen Coen (Hollymount- Carramore)
6. Colm Boyle (Davitts)
21. Donal Vaughan (Castlebar Mitchels)

22. Matthew Ruane (Breaffy)
9. Seamus O’Shea (Breaffy)

10. Fionn McDonagh (Westport)
8. Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy)
7. Patrick Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels)

15. James Carr (Ardagh)
25. Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber)
13. Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber)

Subs

18. Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis) for Vaughan (29)
11. Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore) for McDonagh (50)
24. Andy Moran (Ballaghaderreen) for Carr (53)
17. Eoin O’Donoghue (Belmullet) for Boyle (59)
20. Tom Parsons (Charlestown) for O’Shea (61)
12. Fergal Boland (Aghamore) for Diarmuid O’Connor (69)

Referee: Conor Lane (Cork)

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About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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