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Dublin clinch a 4th All-Ireland title in 6 years as it's heartbreak again for Mayo

Cillian O’Connor’s late free drifted wide and Dublin held on for victory.

Mayo's Kevin McLoughlin and Dublin's Ciaran Kilkenny.
Mayo's Kevin McLoughlin and Dublin's Ciaran Kilkenny.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

Dublin 1-15
Mayo 1-14

Fintan O’Toole reports from Croke Park

A PULSATING ALL-Ireland final replay eventually swung Dublin’s way this evening in Croke Park as Mayo suffered another heartbreaking defeat.

Dublin were clinging to a one-point advantage deep in injury-time when Cillian O’Connor – flawless all afternoon from placed balls – sized up a free on the left wing into Hill 16.

However O’Connor’s kick tailed to the left and that proved Mayo’s last scoring chance to force extra-time.

It’s a sweet victory for Dublin and further hardens the greatness credentials of this team. For the fourth time in six years, they have lifted Sam Maguire and became the first team since Kerry in 2007 to retain the All-Ireland senior football crown.

Diarmuid Connolly and Lee Keegan – the two players who had dominated the pre-match chat – both found the net in this All-Ireland final replay.

Keegan’s was a terrific finish in the 18th minute but he was shown a black card before half-time. Dublin’s inspirational defender Jonny Cooper had saw his involvement ended early due to a first-half black card.

Connolly’s goal was a critical score in the 39th minute from a penalty spot after Mayo netminder Robbie Hennelly was shown a black card when he fouled Paddy Andrews after spilling a Paul Flynn delivery.

Diarmuid O’Connor, Colm Boyle, Tom Parsons with John Small and Cian O’Sullivan Dublin and Mayo players battle for possession. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Both freetakers were on form with Dean Rock shooting over seven placed balls along with two early efforts from play and O’Connor hitting 0-9 from frees before that crucial late miss.

Dublin, who were in front 0-10 to 1-6 at the break, were grateful for the input of their substitutes. Bernard Brogan swung over a point, Michael Darragh MacAuley brought superb energy to their midfield play while Cormac Costello was their most valuable addition from the bench with a priceless 0-3 haul.

Ultimately Dublin deserved this success with players like Michael Fitzsimons and Ciaran Kilkenny outstanding. They improved significantly on the drawn match as evidence by their four points without reply from the throw-in.

Their composure and ability to emerge successfully from a battle surfaced again. Even after the blow of shipping that goal to Keegan, Dublin outscored Mayo 0-4 to 0-2 for the remainder of a fractious first-half.

Mayo were typically resilient and combative but after Connolly’s goal, they could never draw level or forged ahead in the second-half on the scoreboard. Diarmuid O’Connor, Patrick Durcan and Kevin McLoughlin all nailed excellent points but the scores did not flow freely enough for the Connacht side.

Three times they cut the deficit to a single point, the last of those occurring when O’Connor struck over a 74th minute free. But they was a shattered bunch by the final whistle after not managing to force extra-time and feeling the pain of defeat once more.

Scorers for Dublin: Dean Rock 0-9 (0-7f), Diarmuid Connolly 1-1 (1-0 pen), Cormac Costello 0-3, Kevin McManamon, Bernard Brogan 0-1 each.

Scorers for Mayo: Cillian O’Connor 0-9 (0-9f), Lee Keegan 1-0, Patrick Durcan 0-2, Kevin McLoughlin, Andy Moran, Diarmuid O’Connor 0-1 each.

Dublin

1. Stephen Cluxton (Parnells – captain)

22. Michael Fitzsimons (Cuala)
3. Jonny Cooper (Na Fianna)
3. Philly McMahon (Ballymun Kickhams)

5. James McCarthy (Ballymun Kickhams)
6. Cian O’Sullivan (Kilmacud Crokes)
7. John Small (Ballymun Kickhams)

8. Brian Fenton (Raheny)
10. Paul Flynn (Fingallians)

14. Diarmuid Connolly (St Vincent’s)
11. Kevin McManamon (St Jude’s)
12. Ciaran Kilkenny (Castleknock)

24. Paul Mannion (KIlmacud Crokes)
13. Dean Rock (Ballymun Kickhams)
17. Paddy Andrews (St Brigid’s)

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Subs

4. David Byrne (Naomh Olaf) for Cooper (black card) (21)
15. Bernard Brogan (St Olvier Plunkett’s-Eoghan Ruadh) for Andrews (46)
9. Michael Darragh MacAuley (Ballyboden St-Enda’s) for Mannion (52)
20. Cormac Costello (Whitehall Colmcille) for McManamon (56)
23. Eric Lowndes (St Peregrine) for Small (60)
21. Darren Daly (Fingal Ravens) for O’Sullivan (71)

Mayo

1. Robert Hennelly (Breaffy)

7. Patrick Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels)
4. Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis)
2. Brendan Harrison (Aghamore)

5. Lee Keegan (Westport)
6. Colm Boyle (Davitts)
3. Donal Vaughan (Ballinrobe)

8. Seamus O’Shea (Breaffy)
9. Tom Parsons (Charlestown)

10. Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore)
11. Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy)
12. Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber)

13. Jason Doherty (Burrishoole)
14. Andy Moran (Ballaghaderreen)
15. Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber, captain)

Subs

19. Stephen Coen (Hollymount-Carramore) for Keegan (black card) (36)
23. Conor O’Shea (Breaffy) for Vaughan (half-time)
1. David Clarke (Ballina) for Hennelly (black card) (41)
24. Barry Moran (Castlebar Mitchels) for Andy Moran (54)
22. Alan Dillon (Ballintubber) for Doherty (60)
17. Chris Barrett (Belmullet) for Boyle (71)

Referee: Maurice Deegan (Laois)

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Brilliant Lee Keegan goal ignites Mayo in Croke Park

About the author:

Fintan O'Toole

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