Jim Gavin's Invincibles: Dublin’s 33-match unbeaten run

With history in the making in Tralee on Saturday night, Philip Reid looks back..

 

1.March 7th, 2015
Dublin 1-9 Tyrone 0-12

Allianz Football League, Croke Park

Who truly saw the journey ahead? Dublin’s unbeaten sequence got off to a stuttering start, with a late fisted goal from Dean Rock getting them level before Niall Morgan - with his fourth miss from frees - spurned a chance to win the game for Tyrone. Only a draw, but the run had started.

Dublin: S Cluxton; E Culligan, R O’Carroll, J Cooper; N Devereux, P McMahon, J McCaffrey; D Bastick, E Ó Conghaile (0-1); T Brady, D Rock (1-6, four frees), C Kilkenny; K McManamon, P Andrews, B Brogan (0-1). Subs: C O’Sullivan for D Bastick (28 min), E O’Gara for P Andrews, P Flynn (0-1) for C Kilkenny (both half-time), J McCarthy for P McMahon (58 min), S Carthy for E Ó Conghaile (64 min), C Costello for T Brady (67 min).

2. March 14th, 2015
Mayo 0-10 Dublin 2-18

Allianz Football League, MacHale Park

From the start, it was a blue tide: just seven minutes into the game, Bernard Brogan thundered a shot off the crossbar and Denis Bastick punched the rebound into the net. It set Dublin on course for a runaway win.

Dublin: S Cluxton: E Culligan, R O’Carroll, J Cooper (0-1); P McMahon, C O’Sullivan, J McCaffrey (0-1); D Bastick (1-0), T Brady (0-2), P Flynn (0-1), D Connolly (0-1), C Kilkenny (0-5); B Brogan (1-1), D Rock (0-5 frees), K McManamon. Subs: M Fitzsimons for R O’Carroll (half-time), J Small, for E Culligan (50 mins), B Fenton for D Bastick (59 mins), E O’Gara for B Brogan (59 mins), J McMcCarthy for T Brady (61 mins), P Ryan (0-1) for K McManamon (64 mins).

3. March 28th, 2015
Dublin 0-8 Derry 0-4

Allianz Football League, Croke Park

A dour encounter, with Derry - fighting for their Division One survival - opting to use a blanket defence which nearly worked. The sides were tied at 0-4 apiece after an hour until Dublin clicked into gear to fire over four unanswered points in the final ten minutes.

Dublin: S Cluxton; P McMahon, R O’Carroll, E Culligan; J Cooper, JSmall, J McCaffrey; MD Macauley (0-1), T Brady; P Flynn, D Connolly (0-2), C Kilkenny; K McManamon, D Rock (0-3, 0-2 frees), B Brogan. Subs: Cormac Costello (0-1) for McManamon, half-time; James McCarthy for Brady, 41 mins; David Byrne for Culligan, 41 mins; Paddy Andrews (0-1) for Kilkenny, 51 mins; Brian Fenton for Macauley; Davey Byrne for Brogan, 70 mins.

4. April 4th, 2015
Monaghan 1-11 Dublin 1-22

Allianz Football League, St Tiernach’s Park, Clones

One way traffic in Clones as Dublin bedazzled their hosts. Two quick fire points from Kevin McManamon and Bernard Brogan and an astutely taken goal from Brian Fenton inside the opening five minutes meant the match was over almost as soon as it had started.

Dublin: S Cluxton; J Cooper (0-1), R O’Carroll, E Culligan; J McCarthy, J Small, J McCaffrey; MD MacAuley, D Bastick; P Flynn (0-2, one free), D Connolly (0-2), B Fenton (1-1); K McManamon (0-2), D Rock (0-6, 5 frees), B Brogan (0-2, one free). Subs: P McMahon (0-2) for Culligan (18 mins), E O Conghaile (0-1) for MD McAuley (42 mins), C Kilkenny for K McManamon (48 mins), T Brady (0-2) for D Bastick (51 mins), N Devereux for J Cooper (57 mins), D Byrne (0-1) for J Small ( 57 mins black card).

5. April 12th, 2015
Dublin 0-17 Monaghan 0-16

Allianz Football League semi-final, Croke Park

A week on from their 11 point demolition job over the same opposition, this semi-final was a totally different affair. Conor McManus put on a masterclass which tormented the Dublin defence and it took four unanswered late points from Dean Rock (0-2), Emmet O Conghaile and Jack McCaffrey to rescue the game.

Dublin: S Cluxton; J Cooper, D Byrne, P McMahon (0-2); J McCarthy, J Small, J McCaffrey (0-1); D Bastick (0-1), C O’Sullivan; P Flynn (0-1), D Connolly, B Fenton (0-2); C Kilkenny, D Rock (0-7, 0-6 frees, 0-1 45), K McManamon (0-2). Subs: MD Macauley for O’Sullivan (45 mins), P Andrews for McManamon (51 mins), D Daly for Byrne, E Ó Conghaile (0-1) for Bastick (both 53 mins), C Costello for Fenton (61 mins), T Brady for Flynn (69 mins).

6. April 26th, 2015
Dublin 1-21 Cork 2-7

Allianz Football League final, Croke Park

No scares this time, as Dublin - from start to finish - tore a very poor Cork team apart. The Dubs kept their opponents scoreless from play for 48 minutes by which time they’d well and truly wrapped up a third successive league title.

Dublin: S Cluxton; P McMahon (0-1), R O’Carroll, J Cooper; J McCarthy, C O’Sullivan, J McCaffrey (0-1); D Bastick, B Fenton; T Brady (0-1), C Kilkenny (0-3), D Connolly (1-0, pen); D Rock (0-10, seven frees), K McManamon (0-1), B Brogan (0-2). Subs: M Fitzsimons for O’Carroll (26 mins), P Andrews (0-2) for Brady (46 mins), E Ó Conghaile for Bastick (55 mins), C Costello for Connolly (58 mins), J Small for McMahon (62 mins), D Daly for Fenton (64 mins).

7. May 31st, 2015
Dublin 4-25 Longford 0-10

Leinster SFC quarter-final, Croke Park

As one-sided a game as championship football has witnessed, the game was notable for the fact that it saw Brian Fenton - along with David Byrne and John Small - make his championship debut. Dublin scored at will and could have had more. It was that kind of game.

Dublin: S Cluxton; J Cooper, D Byrne; P McMahon (0-1); D Daly, J Small, J McCaffrey; B Fenton (0-1), D Bastick; P Flynn (1-3), C Kilkenny (0-3), D Connolly (1-0); D Rock (1-6, two frees, two 45s), K McManamon (0-2), Brogan (1-6). Subs: M Fitzsimons for McMahon, T Brady (0-1) for Connolly (both half-time); MD Macauley for Bastick (46 mins); P Andrews (0-1) for Flynn (52 mins); E Lowndes (0-1) for Cooper (56 mins); A Brogan for B Brogan (61 mins).

8. Jun 28th, 2015
Dublin 5-18 Kildare 0-14

Leinster SFC semi-final, Croke Park

Renewed murmurings of why Dublin should play all their championship games at HQ. This game could have been played on a village field and it wouldn’t have had any different outcome as Dublin outclassed and outscored a disappointing Kildare side almost at will.

Dublin: S Cluxton ; P McMahon (0-1); R O’Carroll, J Cooper, C O’Sullivan, J Small, J McCaffrey; B Fenton, MD Macauley; P Flynn; K McManamon, C Kilkenny (0-4); D Rock (1-4, 4 frees), D Connolly (2-3, one goal penalty), B Brogan (2-3). Subs: A Brogan (0-3) for McManamon (43 mins), J McCarthy for Small (43 mins), P Andrews for Flynn (58 mins), M Fitzsimons for O’Carroll , E Ó Conghaile for Fenton (63 mins), D Daly for O’Sullivan (64 mins).

9. July 12th, 2015
Dublin 2-13 Westmeath 0-6

Leinster SFC final, Croke Park

What was said at half-time? A first-half of tight marking and dogged defence gave way to a second-half in which Dublin ran riot, scoring two goals and two points within minutes of the restart to take control and claim a fifth provincial title in a row.

Dublin: S Cluxton; J Cooper, R O’Carroll, P McMahon (0-1); J McCarthy (0-1), C O’Sullivan, J McCaffrey (1-0); B Fenton, MD Macauley (0-1); PFlynn, C Kilkenny (0-3), D Connolly (0-3); D Rock (0-2, frees), K McManamon, B Brogan (1-1). Subs: Fitzsimons for Cooper (half-time); P Andrews for McManamon (48 mins); D Bastick for Macauley (51 mins); A Brogan (0-1) for Rock (55 mins); J Small for McMahon (62 mins); T Brady for Connolly (65 mins).

10. August 2nd, 2015
Dublin 2-23 Fermanagh 2-15

All-Ireland quarter-final, Croke Park

The Dublin machine rolled on with all the slickness of a Rolls Royce. Dublin had scored 1-13 - all from play, the goal from Bernard Brogan - in a first-half masterclass although Fermanagh left Croke Park with their heads held high after their intent to play football rather than crowd defence was rewarded with two late goals.

Dublin: S Cluxton (capt); J Cooper, R O’Carroll, P McMahon; J McCarthy, C O’Sullivan, J McCaffrey ; B Fenton (0-1), D Bastick; P Flynn (1-1), P Andrews (0-3), C Kilkenny (0-3); D Rock (0-7, three frees),D Connolly (0-2), B Brogan (1-6). Subs: K McManamon for C Kilkenny, MD Macauley for D Bastick (both half-time), A Brogan for D Connolly (47 mins), M Fitzsimons for J Cooper (50 mins), J Small for J McCarthy (55 mins), C Costello for P Andrews (65 mins).

11. August 30th, 2015
Dublin 2-12 Mayo 1-15

All-Ireland semi-final, Croke Park

An enthralling, and fractious drawn semi-final saw Dublin lose Diarmuid Connolly to a red card following an off-the-ball scuffle with Lee Keegan. Mayo produced a superb last 10 minutes of play against the 14 men to peg back Dublin and force a replay.

Dublin: S Cluxton; J Cooper, R O’Carroll, P McMahon; J McCarthy, C O’Sullivan, J McCaffrey (0-1); B Fenton, MD Macauley; P Flynn, C Kilkenny (0-3), D Connolly (1-2, 0-1 free 1-0 pen); D Rock, P Andrews (0-2), B Brogan (0-2). Subs: M Fitzsimon for O’Carroll (blood, 4 mins to end), K McManamon (1-1) for Rock (half-time), J Small for Cooper (43 mins) D Bastick for Macauley (black card 51 mins), A Brogan (0-1) for Andrews (55 mins), T Brady for Fenton (58 mins), E Lowndes for Bastick (black card, 67 mins).

12. September 5th, 2015
Dublin 3-15 Mayo 1-14

All-Ireland semi-final replay, Croke Park

All eyes were on Diarmuid Connolly after the DRA ruled he could play, despite his red card in the drawn game. As it turned out, it was others in blue jerseys - three goals inside the final 15 minutes from Bernard Brogan, Philly McMahon and Kevin McManamon - who stole the show as Dublin produced a late charge to win.

Dublin: S Cluxton; J Cooper, R O’Carroll, P McMahon (1-2); J McCarthy (0-1), C O’Sullivan, J McCaffrey; B Fenton (0-1), D Bastick; P Flynn, D Connolly, C Kilkenny (0-2); D Rock (0-2 frees), P Andrews (0-5), B Brogan (1-1). Subs: M Fitzsimons for J Cooper (44 mins), MD MacAuley for D Bastick (46 mins), A Brogan for P Flynn (52 mins), K McManamon (1-1) for D Rock (54 mins), E Lowndes for D Connolly (58 mins), J Small for B Brogan (71 mins).

13. September 20th, 2015
Dublin 0-12 Kerry 0-9

All-Ireland final, Croke Park

A special result for the Dubs, marking their 25th All-Ireland football title success: in a tense final, with Dublin claiming the Sam Maguire for a third time in five years, and Alan Brogan putting the icing on the cake with a superb point on the break to seal the deal.

Dublin: S Cluxton (0-1, free); J Cooper, R O’Carroll, P McMahon (0-1); J McCarthy, C O’Sullivan, J McCaffrey (0-1); B Fenton (0-1), D Bastick; P Flynn (0-2), D Connolly, C Kilkenny; B Brogan (0-2, one free), D Rock (0-2, both frees), P Andrews (0-1). Subs: K McManamon for Rock (half-time), MD Macauley for Bastick (40 mins), M Fitzsimons for Cooper (49 mins), J Small for McCaffrey (53 mins), D Daly for O’Sullivan (61 mins), A Brogan (0-1) for Fenton (67 mins).

***

14. January 30th, 2016
Dublin 2-14 Kerry 0-14

Allianz Football League, Croke Park

A rematch of the previous year’s All-Ireland final got the Allianz League under way. Paddy Andrews - who scored 1-4 - turned in a magnificent performance as 30,107 witnessed Dublin maintain their dominance over the Kingdom.

Dublin: S Cluxton; J Cooper, M Fitzsimons, David Byrne; Davy Byrne, C O’Sullivan, J Small; J McCarthy, D Bastick; T Brady (0-1), D Connolly (1-0, pen), C Kilkenny (0-1); P Mannion, D Rock (0-7, four frees), P Andrews (1-4). Subs: J McCaffrey for Davy Byrne (41 mins), E Ó Conghaile for Bastick (50 mins), C Costello (0-1) for Brady (53 mins), C Reddin for Kilkenny (57 mins), D Daly for O’Sullivan (61 mins). C O’Callaghan for Mannion (67 mins).

15. February 6th, 2016
Mayo 0-7 Dublin 0-9

Allianz Football League, MacHale Park

Dublin travelled to meet regular foes Mayo in their own backyard and produced a resolute performance to emerge with the win. Dublin were more efficient in converting chances, with Dean Rock’s free-taking important in determining the final outcome.

Dublin: S Cluxton; M Fitzsimons, J Cooper, D Byrne; E Ó Conghaile (0-1), P McMahon, J Small; J McCarthy (0-1), D Bastick (0-1); T Brady, D Connolly (0-1), C Kilkenny; P Andrews, D Rock (0-4, 3 frees 50), P Mannion. Subs: J McCaffrey for P McMahon (2 mins black card), S Carthy for B Bastick (half time), C Reddin for T Brady (45 mins), C Costello (0-1) for P Mannion, (53 mins), P Ryan for P Andrews (64 mins), D Daly for J Cooper (70 mins black card).

16. February 27th, 2016
Dublin 1-14 Monaghan 0-16

Allianz Football League, Croke Park

A Jekyll and Hyde performance from Dublin, who led by five points in the second-half only to fall behind. With defeat staring them in the face, Dublin needed two late points from Cormac Costello and Bernard Brogan to rescue matters and get them over the line.

Dublin: S Cluxton: P McMahon (0-2), M Fitzsimons, D Byrne; J McCarthy, C O’Sullivan, J Small; D Bastick, E Ó Conghaile (0-1); P Flynn (0-1), D Connolly (1-0, 1-0 pen), T Brady; D Rock (0-7, six frees), P Andrews, C Costello (0-2). Subs: S Carthy for Bastick (half-time); B Brogan (0-1) for Flynn (temp 41-53 mins); J Cooper for Fitzsimons (53 mins); Brogan for Brady (55 mins); P Ryan for Rock (58 mins); B Fenton for Ó Conghaile (62 min)s; SB Carthy for Connolly (66 mins); D Byrne for Costello (temp, 73-74 mins).

17. March 5th, 2016
Dublin 2-14 Cork 2-10

Allianz Football League, Croke Park

Another escape, and another chance to show their resolve: trailing by eight points at one stage of the first half, Dublin - with Cormac Costello producing nine points, eight frees, in the second half - effectively got out of jail.

Dublin: M Savage; J Cooper, P McMahon, D Byrne; J McCarthy (1-0), C O’Sullivan, E Lowndes; B Fenton, E Ó Conghaile; P Flynn, D Connolly (1-3), C Kilkenny; C Costello (0-9, eight frees), P Andrews (0-2), B Brogan. Subs: J Small for E Lowndes, M Fitzsimons for B Fenton (both half-time), S Carthy for E Ó Conghaile (47 mins), D Rock for B Brogan (48 mins), K McManamon for P Andrew (65 mins).

18. March 12th, 2016
Down 1-7 Dublin 1-15

Allianz Football League, Páirc Esler

After the dogfight with Cork, a rather easier assignment in Newry as Dublin overwhelmed Down and consigned the northerners to relegation. Cormac Costello continued his impressive league form, scoring 1-4.

Dublin: S Cluxton; D Byrne, M Fitzsimons, J Small; J McCarthy, P McMahon, J Cooper (0-1); B Fenton, S Carthy; P Flynn (0-2), D Connolly, C Kilkenny (0-2); C Costello (1-4, four frees), D Rock (0-3, one free, one 45), K McManamon (0-2). Subs: S B Carthy for Flynn (44 mins, black card), E Lowndes for Carthy, P Andrews (0-1) for McManamon (both 46 mins), D Bastic for Fenton (50 mins), T Brady for Costello (55 mins), D Daly for Cooper (65 mins).

19. March 26th, 2016
Dublin 1-10 Donegal 0-7

Allianz Football League, Croke Park

Rest day for some, with Diarmuid Connolly, Cian O’Sullivan and captain Stephen Cluxton all rested from league duty. It only served to underscore the depth of Dublin’s squad with Michael Savage keeping a clean sheet and Philly McMahon getting forward to break through Donegal’s blanket defence and score his side’s only goal.

Dublin: M Savage; P McMahon (1-0), J Cooper, D Byrne; J McCarthy, E Lowndes, J Small; B Fenton (0-1), D Bastick; P Flynn, P Andrews (0-1), C Kilkenny (0-1); C Costello (0-3, two frees), K McManamon (0-3), B Brogan. Subs: D Rock (0-1) for Brogan (41 mins), E Ó Conghaile for Bastick (45 mins), SB Carthy for Lowndes (53 mins), M Fitzsimons for Small (53 mins), T Brady for Costello (59 mins), D Daly for McManamon (70 mins).

20. April 3rd, 2016
Roscommon 1-12 Dublin 1-13

Allianz Football League, Carrick-on-Shannon

A late switch of venue to Carrick-on-Shannon left some Dublin supporters who’d travelled by train stranded in Roscommon. Dublin had a close call of their own but weren’t derailed and, in a tempestuous outing, Dean Rock’s 56th minute goal - in a personal haul of 1-8 - was decisive.

Dublin: M Savage; M Fitzsimons, K O’Brien; D Byrne, D Daly, C O’Sullivan; E Lowndes; B Fenton, E Ó Conghaile; S Carthy (0-2), T Brady, P Mannion; C McHugh (0-1), K McManamon (0-1), D Rock (1-8, seven frees), J McDermott for C Shine (52 mins). Subs: R McDaid for C O’Sullivan (half-time), P Flynn for T Brady (45 mins), E O’Gara for K McManamon (50 mins), J Small (0-1) for D Daly (51 mins).

21. April 10th, 2016
Dublin 1-20 Donegal 0-13

Allianz Football League semi-final, Croke Park

A minute into the second-half, and the match was already won: Philly McMahon played a lovely ball into Bernard Brogan and he fired beyond the reaches of Mark Anthony McGinley as Dublin reached a fourth successive league final.

Dublin: S Cluxton; P McMahon (0-1), J Cooper (0-1), D Byrne; J McCarthy (0-1), C O’Sullivan, J Small (0-1); B Fenton, D Bastick; P Flynn, P Andrews (0-2), C Kilkenny (0-3); D Rock (0-5, three frees, one 45), P Mannion (0-2), B Brogan (1-2). Subs: C Costello (0-1) for Andrews (46 min); E Lowndes (0-1) for Bastick (49 mins); M Fitzsimons for McMahon (54 mins); SB Carthy for Flynn (61 mins); K O’Brien for Cooper (62 mins); S Carthy for O’Sullivan (67 mins)

22. April 24th, 2016
Dublin 2-18 Kerry 0-13

Allianz Football League final, Croke Park

Aidan O’Mahony danced his way to the line after a 50th minute red card. Dublin led by two points and that stage but steamrolled Kerry from then to the finish, as Gavin’s men registered 2-5 without reply.

Dublin: S Cluxton; P McMahon, J Cooper (0-1), D Byrne; J McCarthy, C O’Sulivan, J Small; D Bastick B Fenton (0-1); P Flynn (1-0), D Rock (0-5, 3 frees), C Kilkenny (0-2); P Mannion (0-1), D Connolly (0-1), B Brogan (0-4). Subs: MD Macauley for Bastic (48 mins); K McManamon (0-2) for Connolly (54 mins); C Costello (0-1) for Rock (60 mins); M Fitzsimons for McMahon (62 mins); E Lowndes for Mannion (68 mins); D Daly for Small (69 mins).

23. June 4th, 2016
Laois 2-10 Dublin 2-21

Leinster SFC quarter-final, Nowlan Park

A rare championship journey on the road for Dublin finished with a familiar theme. A Dean Rock goal inside a minute set them on their way and Laois’s cause wasn’t helped by the dismissal of John O’Loughlin in the first-half.

Dublin: S Cluxton; D Byrne (0-1), J Cooper, P McMahon; J McCarthy, C O’Sullivan, J Small; B Fenton, MD Macauley; C Kilkenny (0-4), K McManamon (0-1), D Connolly (1-4); P Mannion, D Rock (1-10, six frees), B Brogan. Subs: D Bastick for Macauley (28 mins), Macauley for Bastick (45 mins), C Costello for Brogan (51 mins), C O’Callaghan (0-1) for Mannion (57), D Daly for O’Sullivan (59), E Lowndes for Cooper (63), E O’Gara for Rock (63)

24. June 26th, 2016
Dublin 0-21 Meath 0-11

Leinster SFC semi-final, Croke Park

A crowd of 42,259 - the poorest for a Dublin-Meath championship match in 33 years - witnessed a rather familiar outcome as Dublin kept their opponents at arms’ length in the first-half before stepping up the gears after the break to pull away.

Dublin: S Cluxton; P McMahon, J Cooper, D Byrne; J McCarthy, C O’Sullivan, J Small; B Fenton (0-1), D Bastick; P Flynn (0-2), K McManamon, C Kilkenny; D Rock (0-10, nine frees), D Connolly (0-4), B Brogan (0-3). Subs: MD MacAuley for Bastick (half-time); P Mannion (0-1) for Brogan (53 mins), P Andrews for McManamon (59 mins), E Lowndes for Small (60 mins), M Fitzsimons for O’Sullivan (63 mins); C O’Callaghan for Flynn (68 mins).

25. July 17th, 2016
Dublin 2-19 Westmeath 0-10

Leinster SFC final, Croke Park

“We have to be honest, we were hoping to get someone to entice him,” admitted Westmeath manager Tommy Cribbin of his team targeting Diarmuid Connolly. The methodology proved flawed though, as Dublin outclassed the midlanders to cruise to a sixth successive provincial title.

Dublin: S Cluxton; P McMahon, J Cooper, D Byrne; E Lowndes, C O’Sullivan, J Small (0-1); B Fenton, MD MacAuley; P Flynn (0-1), C Kilkenny, D Connolly (0-1); K McManamon (1-2), D Rock (0-8, all frees), B Brogan (1-4). Subs: P Andrews (0-2) for Lowndes (half-time), C O’Callaghan for MacAuley (47 mins), D Bastick for Connolly (52 mins), D Daly for J Small (55 mins), M Fitzsimons for O’Sullivan (59 mins), P Mannion for D Rock (62 mins)

26. August 6th, 2016
Dublin 1-15 Donegal 1-10

All-Ireland quarter-final, Croke Park

Two red cards - one to Diarmuid Connolly, another to Eoghan O’Gara - threatened to derail Dublin until a sublime injury-time goal from Paul Mannion, who ghosted in from the wing past a number of Donegal defenders, ensured the only numbers that counted were on the final scoreboard.

Dublin: S Cluxton; P McMahon (0-1), J (0-1), D Byrne; C Kilkenny (0-1), C O’Sullivan, J Small; B Fenton, MD Macauley; P Flynn, D Connolly (0-2), K McManamon (0-3); P Andrews (0-1), D Rock (0-5, four frees, one 45), B Brogan. Subs: D Daly for Brogan (48 mins), D Bastick for Macauley (53 mins), P Mannion (1-1) for Andrews (57 mins), E O’Gara for McManamon (64 mins), E Lowndes for Rock (73 mins), MFitzsimons for Fenton (black card, 78 mins)

27. August 28th, 2016
Dublin 0-22 Kerry 2-14

All-Ireland semi-final, Croke Park

Dublin came back from the dead to win this one. Five points down at half-time, with Kerry pouncing for two goals on the back of untypical Cluxton mistakes, one from Darran O’Sullivan and another from Paul Geaney, Dublin showed their resolve to ultimately get over the line with injury-time points from Eoghan O’Gara and Diarmuid Connolly.

Dublin: S Cluxton; P McMahon (0-1), J Cooper, D Byrne; J McCarthy, C O’Sullivan, J Small; B Fenton (0-1), MD MacAuley; P Flynn, K McManamon (0-2), C Kilkenny; D Rock (0-12, eight frees, two 45s), D Connolly (0-3), B Brogan (0-2). Subs: P Andrews for Flynn (46 mins), P Mannion for Small (50 mins), E O’Gara (0-1) for MacAuley (60 mins), M Fitzsimons for Cooper (67 mins), C Costello for Brogan (70 mins).

28. September 18th, 2016
Dublin 2-9 Mayo 0-15

All-Ireland final, Croke Park

Who could have scripted it? Two own goals - the first from Kevin McLoughlin, the second from Colm Boyle - gave Dublin’s malfunctioning attack a lifeline. Dublin led by a point deep into seven minutes of injury time and sought to play keep ball until Cillian O’Connor pointed at the right end for Mayo to force a replay.

Dublin: S Cluxton, P McMahon, J Copper, D Byrne, J McCarthy, C O’Sullivan, J Small (0-1), B Fenton (0-1) MD MacAuley, P Flynn, K McManamon, C Kilkenny, D Rock (0-4, 3 frees), D Connolly (0-1), B Brogan. Subs: P Andrews (0-2) for McCarthy (black card 24 mins), P Mannion for McManamon (46 mins), M Fitzsimons for Macauley, E O’Gara for Brogan (61 mins), D Daly for Byrne (66 mins), D Bastick for Flynn (70 mins).

29. October 1st, 2016
Dublin 1-15 Mayo 1-14

All-Ireland final replay, Croke Park

Cormac Costello, a largely peripheral figure in Dublin’s march to the final, was called in from the shadows late on . . . and proved the difference, as his three points from play - which equalled the total amount scored from play by Mayo’s starting sextet of forwards - ensured Thin Lizzy’s “Boys are back in town” blasted out from the loudspeakers to feed the delirious Dublin fans.

Dublin: S Cluxton; M Fitzsimons, P McMahon, J Cooper; J McCarthy, C O’Sullivan, J Small; B Fenton, P Flynn; C Kilkenny, K McManamon (0-1), D Connolly (1-1); P Mannion, D Rock (0-9, seven frees), P Andrews. Subs: D Byrne for Cooper (21 mins, black card), B Brogan (0-1) for Andrews (47 mins), MD MacAuley for Mannion (52 mins), C Costello (0-3) for McManamon (56 mins), E Lowndes for Small (60 mins), D Daly for O’Sullivan (72 mins)

****

30. February 5th, 2017
Cavan 0-11 Dublin 0-18

Allianz Football League, Breffni Park

Traffic jams and a delayed throw-in were the only speed bumps that Dublin experienced as they kept newly promoted Cavan at arm’s length in this Division One opener. Jack McCaffrey, the 2015 footballer of the year who’d missed the 2016 championship in its entirety, returned to the fold.

Dublin: S Cluxton; M Fitzsimons, P McMahon, J McCaffrey; J McCarthy (0-2), J Small, E Lowndes; B Fenton (0-1), MD MacAuley (0-1); C Kilkenny (0-01), K McManamon (0-1), P Mannion; D Rock (0-8, six frees), N Scully (0-2), J Whelan (0-1). Subs: C Costello (0-1, free) for McManamon (42 mins), C Basquel for Whelan (46 mins), E O’Gara for Mannion (55 mins), C Reddin for MacAuley (63 mins), C McHugh for Rock (69 mins)

31. February 11th, 2017
Dublin 0-10 Tyrone 1-7

Allianz Football League, Croke Park

Dean Rock shrugged off a penalty miss - saved by Niall Morgan - to show his resolve by nailing two late frees, the equaliser from almost 55 metres, to maintain the unbeaten run. Dublin were five points behind at one stage of the second-half.

Dublin: S Cluxton: P McMahon (0-1), M Fitzsimons, J Cooper (0-1); J McCarthy, J Small, J McCaffrey; B Fenton (0-1), MD MacAuley; N Sully, P Mannion, C Kilkenny (0-1); C Basquel, E O’Gara, D Rock. (0-5 frees). Subs: E Lowndes for Basquel (half-time), K McManamon for MD MacAuley (44 mins), D Byrne for J McCaffrey (52 mins), C Reddin for Mannion (53 mins), J Whelan for J Small ( 57 mins), D Daly for J Cooper (59 mins).

32. February 26th, 2017
Donegal 2-5 Dublin 1-8

Allianz Football League, MacCumhail Park

Two goals inside a minute from Donegal just before the half-time break turned this game on its head in Ballybofey, a stronghold for Donegal. Dublin manager Jim Gavin reintroduced some of his big guns - among them Paul Flynn, Michael Darragh Macauley and Kevin McManamon - to add some extra firepower to regain a grip. Ultimately, it took an injury time point from Michael Murphy to earn Donegal a draw.

Dublin: S Cluxton; P McMahon, M Fitzsimons, E Lowndes; D Daly, J McCaffrey, J Small; B Fenton, C Reddin; SB Carthy (0-1), C Kilkenny (0-1), N Scully (1-1); D Rock (0-3f), E O’Gara, C McHugh (0-1).Subs: P Flynn for Carthy (42 mins), MD Macauley for Reddin (42 mins), K McManamon for O’Gara (45 mins), D Byrne (0-1) for McCaffrey (57 mins), J Whelan for McHugh (62 mins), E O Conghaile for Daly (70 mins)

33. March 4th, 2017
Dublin 1-16 Mayo 0-7

Allianz Football League, Croke Park

A world of difference from the fireworks of their two All-Ireland final encounters just five months earlier, as Dublin - who kept Mayo scoreless from play until the 39th minute - produced a masterclass. Conor McHugh, with 1-3 from play, showed the conveyor belt is moving as smoothly as ever in producing fresh talent.

Dublin: S Cluxton; M Fitzsimons, P McMahon (0-2), D Byrne; D Daly, J Small, E Lowndes (0-2); B Fenton, MD Macauley; N Scully, C Kilkenny, SB Carthy; D Rock (0-8, six frees), E O’Gara, C McHugh (1-3). Subs: P Andrews for E O’Gara (46 mins), P Flynn (0-1) for Carthy (51 mins), K McManamon for C McHugh (55 mins), C Reddin for D Byrne (66 mins), E Ó Conghaile for B Fenton (70 mins), C Mullally for J Small (70 mins).

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