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Dublin: 5 °C Friday 18 January, 2019


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Good afternoon and welcome to live coverage of this afternoon’s EirGrid All-Ireland U21 football semi-final double-header.

Later this afternoon Cork and Monaghan go head-to-head, but first up in Tullamore, it’s a mouthwatering clash between old rivals Dublin and Mayo.

Throw-in is at 2.45pm.

TEAM NEWS: Here’s the Dublin team as named on Friday. We’ll keep our ear to the ground for any late changes.

1. Lorcan Molloy (St Anne’s)

2. Eoin Murchan (Na Fianna)
3. Shane Clayton (Ballyboden St Enda’s)
4. Martin Cahalin (Cuala)

5. Cillian O’Shea (Kilmacud Crokes)
6. Seán McMahon (Raheny)
7. Eoin Smith (Skerries Harps)

8. Andy Foley (Clontarf)
9. Donal McIlgorm (Skerries Harps)

10. Colm Basquel (Ballyboden St Enda’s)
11. Brian Howard (Raheny)
12. Killian Deeley (Na Fianna)

13. Chris Sallier (Thomas Davis)
14. Con O’Callaghan (Cuala)
15. Darragh Spillane (Cuala)

TEAM NEWS: Here’s how Mayo are set to line out.

1. Mattie Flanagan (Balla)

2. Eddie Doran (Achill)
3. Séamus Cunniffe (Ballaghaderreen)
4. Eoin O’Donoghue (Belmullett)

5. David Kenny (Aghamore)
6. Michael Hall (Breaffy)
7. Shairoze Akram (Ballaghaderreen)

8. Matthew Ruane (Breaffy)
9. Stephen Coen (capt, Hollymount/Carramore)

10. Fergal Boland (Aghamore)
11. Michael Plunkett (Ballintubber)
12. Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber)

13. Liam Irwin (Breaffy)
14. Brian Reape (Moy Davitts)
15. Fionán Duffy (Crossmolina)


Get the pen and paper out. Dublin make four changes to that named line up.

  • Glenn O’Reilly (Na Fianna) for Eoin Murchan
  • Tom Lahiff (St Jude’s) for Donal McIlghorm
  • Paddy Small (Ballymun Kickhams) for Chris Sallier
  • Michael Deegan (Donaghmore/Ashmore) for Darragh Spillane

And there’s one change for Mayo — Conor Loftus (Crossmolina) starts in place of Eddie Doran.

THROW IN: We’re underway in Tullamore

1 min – First chance for the Dubs after just 15 seconds but Colm Basquel rushes his shot and skews it wide.

2 mins — Mayo 0-1 Dublin 0-0: Shairoze Akram cuts in off the left and pops the pass to Fergal Boland who opens Mayo’s account for the afternoon.

Dublin have a chance to respond through Michael Deegan but his effort flies wide.

5 mins — Mayo 0-2 Dublin 0-0: Brilliant fielding by Fionán Duffy who gets out in front of Eoin Smith and then holds off the Dubs defender before curling over Mayo’s second point.

8 mins – Oooh, that was close. Con O’Callaghan bears down on goal but Mayo keeper Mattie Flanagan does enough to slow the attack and force him wide. O’Callaghan tries to pull it back across goal for a team-mate but Diarmuid O’Connor is there, cool as a cucumber, to intercept and clean up.


10 mins — GOAL FOR MAYO! Mayo 1-2 Dublin 0-0 Classy finish by Diarmuid O’Connor — but what else would you expect?

Shane Clayton gets up first to a high ball but he can only touch it down to Conor Loftus who ships it off quickly to Liam Irwin. Irwin pops the ball over the top and rather than try to gather it on the bounce, O’Connor tips it past a stranded Lorcan Molloy.

11 mins — Mayo 1-3 Dublin 0-0: Mayo are pressing home their advantage now and captain Stephen Coen pops over another immediately.

11 mins — Mayo 1-4 Dublin 0-0: The Dubs are on the ropes in a big way here! Shairoze Akram gets in on the act, and that’s 1-2 for Mayo in the space of 60 seconds or thereabouts!

16 mins — Mayo 1-4 Dublin 0-0: It has taken 16 minutes but the Dubs are up and running as Con O’Callaghan knocks over a free.

18 mins — Mayo 1-4 Dublin 0-2: Con O’Callaghan shoots wide under pressure but fortunately for him, play is brought back for a free. Paddy Small steps up and points.

22 mins — Mayo 1-5 Dublin 0-2: It’s news to nobody but Diarmuid O’Connor is a magnificent footballer. He burns off Andy Foley and, on the run, knocks over a point that clips the upright before dropping over Lorcan Molloy’s crossbar.

24 mins — Mayo 1-6 Dublin 0-2: Conor Loftus points a free and Mayo now lead by seven.

Change for Dublin with Eoin Murchan on for Martin Cahalin in the full-back line.

27 mins — Mayo 1-6 Dublin 0-2: Chance for Liam Irwin to push Mayo further in front but he pulls his free across the face of goal and wide.

28 mins – The Dubs are lurking with intent but Michael Plunkett reads their intentions perfectly and arrives with perfect timing to intercept the pass.

30 mins — Mayo 1-6 Dublin 0-3: Con O’Callaghan kicks Dublin’s first point from play. Can they close the gap a bit more before the break?

30 mins – Two minutes of additional time…

30 mins — Mayo 1-6 Dublin 0-4: That’ll do no harm — Glenn O’Reilly pops over another, although that might have been three points for the Dubs if he’d looked inside to the free man.

30+2 mins — Mayo 1-7 Dublin 0-4: It looks like Mayo will go in six up at the break as Conor Loftus points a free with what should be the penultimate kick of the half.

SECOND HALF: We’re back underway. Can the Dubs mount a comeback or will Mayo book their place in a first U21 decider since their win 10 years ago?

31 mins — Mayo 1-7 Dublin 0-5: Perfect start for the Dubs as Con O’Callaghan gets out in front of Eoin O’Donoghue and points.

34 mins — Mayo 1-8 Dublin 0-6: They’re the fine margins on which this game might ulimately be decided. The Dubs have a chance for a third point in quick succession but Murchan’s pass/shot forces Glenn O’Reilly out wide and Eoin O’Donoghue is strong enough to turn over the ball.

Mayo break and Liam Irwin points at the other end. What might have been a three-point game is back to five.

36 mins — Mayo 1-8 Dublin 0-7: Colm Basquel is fouled by Eoin O’Donoghue whose tackle is high as he tries to stop the Dublin forward. O’Callaghan converts the free as expected.

38 mins — Dublin sub: Darragh Spillane comes on in place of a Paddy Small.

This has been much better by the Dubs to start the second half.

39 mins — Mayo 1-8 Dublin 0-8: There’s another for the Dubs as Colm Basquel buys himself a couple of yards of space and swings over a point to bring them back to within three.

They’ve outscored Mayo 0-4 to 0-1 in the opening minutes of this second half and are very much on the front foot.


40 mins — GOAL FOR DUBLIN! Mayo 1-8 Dublin 1-8 ALL SQUARE! Con O’Callaghan fires through a crowd of bodies past Mayo keeper Mattie Flanagan and the Dubs are level. It all came from some great running by Colm Basquel, who then had the presence of mind to look back inside where O’Callaghan was steaming through late and unmarked. No mistake with the finish and this game just got serious!

40 mins — Dublin 1-9 Mayo 1-8: Dublin lead! Michael Deegan points within seconds of the goal and the Dubs are really swarming Mayo now.

42 mins — Dublin 1-10 Mayo 1-8: O’Callaghan adds another free as James Carr replaces Fionán Duffy for Mayo.

43 mins — Dublin 1-10 Mayo 1-9: Mayo badly needed this one! Fergal Boland skips away from Eoin Murchan and scores. That’s only Mayo’s second point of this second half while Dublin have put up 1-6.

45 mins — Dublin 1-11 Mayo 1-9: Michael Deegan restores Dublin’s two-point advantage.

47 mins — Dublin 1-12 Mayo 1-9: More and more spaces are starting to open up for the Dubs, and Colm Basquel doesn’t need multiple invitations. Without breaking stride, he pings a point.

48 mins — Dublin 1-13 Mayo 1-9: Another from Deegan and the Dubs are four up with just over 10 minutes to play in Tullamore.

52 mins — Dublin 1-13 Mayo 1-10: Mayo aren’t going anywhere just yet. Liam Irwin puts a free on the deck and points with minimum fuss. Only a goal between them now with eight minutes to play.

54 mins – The Mayo fans are absolutely incensed! Matthew Ruane leads the charge with a powerful run up the middle before playing in Diarmuid O’Connor. There are plenty of blue shirts in attendance as O’Connor tries to fight his way towards goal — it looks like he has been fouled, but the referee whistles him for overcarrying!

56 mins — Dublin 1-13 Mayo 1-11: Two points in it! It’s a tricky angle for Liam Irwin but he points the free.

58 mins —  Dublin 1-13 Mayo 1-12: Mayo sub James Carr runs straight at the Dublin defenders and he’s brought down. It gives Irwin another chance from a free directly in front of the posts and he makes no mistake. Just a point in it now…

59 mins – Was that Mayo’s chance?! Liam Irwin wriggles free of his marker and has the time and space to shoot. It’s a brutal angle and he can’t hit the target.

60 mins — Dublin 1-13 Mayo 1-13: ALL SQUARE!

That is an absolutely magnificent point by Matthew Ruane in the circumstances! He storms forward from midfield and barely breaks stride before pointing the equaliser. Take a bow.

60+1 mins — Dublin 1-14 Mayo 1-13: Basquel points — Dublin lead again.

60+2 mins – We’re into the second of four additional minutes and Mayo will have a simple enough free to level it…

60+3 mins — Dublin 1-14 Mayo 1-14: All square again — Loftus makes no mistake with the free.

MAYO WILL HAVE A CHANCE TO WIN THIS! O’Connor is foul and they’ve a very kickable free with seconds on the clock…

Loftus makes it!! Mayo one up!

Incredible entertainment in the first of this afternoon’s semi-finals in O’Connor Park and after an absolute ding-dong, it’s Mayo who prevail by the narrowest of margins! They’re back into the U21 football final where they will play either Cork or Monaghan.

That second semi-final is coming up shortly so make sure you join us for coverage.

About the author:

Niall Kelly