Dublin win the All-Ireland

By Paul Hyland

Dublin completed an unprecedented All-Ireland three-in-a-row, in after beating Mayo, by the narrowest of margins, in last Sunday’s final.

Stephen Cluxton lifts the trophy. Photo Credit:








The Dubs can consider themselves a bit lucky with the win, as they played well below their capabilities for most of the contest. The Dublin players and managers would reject this hypothesis, however, pointing instead to their planning, experience and team ethic as the key contributors to their victory.

The game started at a frantic pace when Con O’Callaghan received the ball on the 40, drove through the heart of the Dublin defence before producing the deftest of finishes past Mayo goalkeeper David Clarke.

Mayo didn’t panic. They sured-up their defence, began dominating in midfield and their forwards began working incredibly hard. These efforts saw the westerns storm back into the contest with points from Moran, Vaughan and McLoughlin; Dublin failed to score for 13minutes in this period.

Despite limited opportunities, Dublin’s forwards still threaten. They could have had a second goal, on the 14th minute, but Eoin O’Gara scuffed his pass to Paddy Andrews and Dublin had to settle for a point.  

Mayo finished the half strongest with excellent points from Jason Doherty and Colm Boyle. Dublin’s early goal was proving invaluable.

Dublin started the second half as they should have started the first, with Diarmuid Connolly coming on to replace Eoin O’Gara, while Kevin McManamon came in for the unusually quiet Paddy Andrews. On the 40th minute, the two Dublin substitutes linked-up well, with McManamon kicking a superb point from the left-hand side.

In a half that ebbed and flowed, a three-minute period had a huge bearing on the game. On the 42nd-minute Jason missed a gilt-edged goal chance for Mayo, one-minute later Dublin’s Paul Mannion missed an equally crucial goal chance and on the 45th-minute both teams had a man sent-off when John Smalls (Dublin) and Donal Vaughan (Mayo) lost their heads and were sent to the stands.

It widely assumed that if Mayo had the extra man for the final 30-minutes, that it could have been their year.

Both teams pressed-hard for the victory. On the 52nd-minute Dublin midfielder, James McCarthy kicked an excellent score, only to have it cancelled out by a bullet goal from Mayo’s Lee Keegan one minute later.

The teams continued to trade points up to the finish with the pick of the lot coming from Dublin’s Diarmuid Connolly, who sided stepped around four Mayo defenders before landing a high-arching shot over the bar.

A pulsating game got the gripping finish it deserved. On 71-minutes, Cillian O’Connor hit the post from a difficult free and five minutes later Dean Rock converted his free to crown Dublin champions.

That was all that was in it. Literally, a kick of a ball and it was Dublin’s winning experience that won it for them.


Scorers for Dublin: Dean Rock 0-7 (0-3f), Paul Mannion 0-3, Con O’Callaghan 1-0, James McCarthy 0-2, John Small, Brian Fenton, Diarmuid Connolly, Kevin McManamon, Eoghan O’Gara 0-1 each.

Scorers for Mayo: Cillian O’Connor 0-7 (0-4f), Lee Keegan 1-0, Andy Moran 0-3, Jason Doherty, Kevin McLoughlin 0-2 each, Donal Vaughan, Colm Boyle 0-1 each.


  1. Stephen Cluxton (Parnells)
  2. Michael Fitzsimons (Cuala)
    2. Philly McMahon (Ballymun Kickhams)
    5. Jonny Cooper (Na Fianna)
  3. John Small (Ballymun Kickhams)
    3. Cian O’Sullivan (Kilmacud Crokes)
    7. Jack McCaffrey (Clontarf)
  4. Brian Fenton (Raheny)
    9. James McCarthy (Ballymun Kickhams)
  5. Dean Rock (Ballymun Kickhams)
    11. Con O’Callaghan (Cuala)
    10. Ciarán Kilkenny (Castleknock)
  6. Paul Mannion (Kilmacud Crokes)
    26. Eoghan O’Gara (Templeogue Synge Street)
    14. Paddy Andrews (St Brigid’s)


  1. Paul Flynn (Fingallians) for McCaffrey (inj) (8)
    19. Diarmuid Connolly (St Vincent’s) for Andrews (half-time)
    25. Kevin McManamon (St Judes) for O’Gara (half-time)
    17. Bernard Brogan (St Oliver Plunkett’s Eoghan Ruadh) for Flynn (65)
    12. Niall Scully (Templeogue Synge Street) for O’Callaghan (68)
    20. Cormac Costello (Whitehall Colmcille) for Mannion (74)


  1. David Clarke (Ballina Stephenites)
  2. Chris Barrett (Belmullet)
    2. Brendan Harrison (Aghamore)
    18. Patrick Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels)
  3. Lee Keegan (Westport)
    7. Colm Boyle (Davitts)
    4. Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis)
  4. Seamus O’Shea (Breaffy)
    9. Tom Parsons (Charlestown)
  5. Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore)
    11. Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy)
    3. Donal Vaughan (Ballinrobe)
  6. Jason Doherty (Burrishoole)
    14. Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber – captain)
    15. Andy Moran (Ballaghaderreen)


  1. Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber) for Seamus O’Shea (51)
    19. Stephen Coen (Hollymount-Carramore) for Durcan (55)
    23. Conor Loftus (Crossmolina) for Moran (63)
    20. David Drake (Ballaghaderreen) for Doherty (70)
    22. Danny Kirby (Castlebar Mitchels) for McLoughlin (75)
    17. Ger Cafferkey (Ballina Stephenites) for Higgins (75)

Referee: Joe McQuillan (Cavan)

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