Dublin 1-15 Mayo 1-14: The five critical moments
Ian O’Riordan looks at the main talking points as Dublin retain Sam Maguire for the first time since the 1970s
Referee Maurice Deegan black cards Lee Keegan of Mayo. Photo: James Crombi/Inpho
1: Robert Hennelly is straightaway walking on thin ice: Come throw-in, the dogs on Jones’ Road knew Mayo were swapping goalkeepers, Hennelly starting instead of David Clarke, and Dublin quickly test that bold and somewhat bizarre decision. Dean Rock scores two from play, then a Hennelly kick-out is won by Kevin McManamon and sent straight back between the posts, helping Dublin go four points clear before Mayo have had a single attack. Mayo soon manage to claw those four points back, to level up after 13 minutes, yet Hennelly’s confidence has clearly been chipped at. How badly though?
2: Mayo then ask the first big question of Dublin: After 18 minutes, Aidan O’Shea collects a ball on the 45m line, spins away from Cian O’Sullivan, and out of nowhere comes Lee Keegan to fetch the ball and with that score a stunning goal, shooting low and just perfectly left past the helpless Stephen Cluxton. Minutes later, Jonny Cooper is black-carded for blatantly dragging down Donie Vaughan, and so Dublin lose their best defender from the drawn game. Now trailling Mayo 1-7 t 0-6, the All-Ireland champions need to call on all their nerve and experience. Can they?
3: Key play-maker Lee Keegan is black-carded for Mayo: Referee Maurice Deegan is letting nothing go, although his inconsistency with the black card is most glaring. Dublin’s John Small is one man lucky to be still on the field, but after another confusing kick-out from Hennelly, Keegan is seen to pull down on Diarmuid Connolly, not to the ground it seems, but enough to earn a black card nonetheless. Another massive psychological blow to Mayo, another fillip in Dublin’s game, then not long into the second half, Hennelly’s confidence cracks completely, when he fumbles a short ball from Paul Flynn, and with that pulls down Paddy Andrews, earning himself a black-card. Diarmuid Connolly buries the penalty, and now Mayo have another small mountain to climb, trailing 1-11 to 1-8. Can they rise to it?
4: On and up steps Cormac Costello. Mayo have that mountain climbed it seems, back to a one-point game, Dublin up 1-12 to 1-11, thanks to a massive points from Patrick Durcan, and apparently Mayo have the momentum too. Only on 58 minutes, Mick Fitzsimons makes another brilliant intervention in the Dublin defence, and with that sets up Costello for his first of three majestic left-footers over the bar, having come on for McManamon. His second point comes less than a minute later, and Dublin are three up, leaving Mayo with their backs to wall once again. Can they stick them there?
5: The last-chance equalising free for Mayo goes wide. So, six minutes of added time announced, Dublin up by two, and Mayo knowing they need something special. Cillian O’Connor has been playing a captain’s role all evening, and when Barry Moran is fouled, makes no mistake with the free, his now ninth in all. What next? Dublin have a chance to go two clear, only for Bernard Brogan’s shot to be blocked down, which leaves time for one last chance for Mayo. It comes with another free, about 35m out, but noticeably left of the posts. Time is effectively up, 76 minutes on the clock, and up steps O’Connor, a little hastily perhaps, yet moments after the ball leaves his boot it’s clearly drifting left and wide. Deegan actually plays on for another minute but Dublin hold up possession before their back-to-back All-Ireland winning whistle is blown.