The 2016 All Ireland Football Final – Ready For Round 2
September 18, 2016 (No Comments) by Geoff Dorrity

Dublin V Mayo Draw

Well here we are again, the third Sunday in September, GAA football’s glory day after the annual Club Final every St. Patrick’s Day. On this Sunday, many believed the stage was set for Mayo to overcome Dublin and take their first All Ireland Senior Football Championship since 1951, having lost 3 finals over the last 10 years. The game started slowly, with only 4 scores after the opening 15 minutes, it looked to be a potential repeat of the 2015 final between Dublin and Kerry which left a sour taste in many fans mouths, expecting far more.

David Clark, Mayo’s man between the posts had previously been in top class form prior to this meeting, conceding only 2 goals in 5 games from Fermanagh and Westmeath back in July. However, today was a day of misfortune for the experienced Ballina Stephenites goalkeeper who was on the receiving end of two own goals from his own teammates Kevin McLoughlin and Colm Boyle respectively. Dean Rock, one of Dublin’s key scorers shot 38 out of 42 points in this years championship but started the day poorly and looked a shadow of his normal self hitting wides on both sides.

Bizarre Opening Scorelines

With Mayo having scored all of Dublin’s points within the first 30 minutes this was one of the most bizarre games which Sam Maguire was contested in during the modern era. Fans in blue looked confused around the stadium as all wondered when the reigning champions would take their first score. That question was answered through a Dean Rock free on 31 minutes which was gifted from Mayo.

An earlier black card for James McCarthy, deliberately taking a man out of the game, meant that Paddy Andrews entered the fray and hit 2 quick-fire points within one minute spiking a Dublin comeback despite always holding the lead. Mayo’s Jason Doherty returned the favour and brought the men in red and green to 5 points.

Not having Jack McCafrees pace down the left channel was a serious loss for Dublin but the long balls continuously being played into the Dublin goal line was defended well in numbers. The Hill came alive just on the touch of half time, with lungs heard loud around the stadium as Cluxton made a key clearance enabling Dean Rock to take a free which put Dublin into double figures. Overall the first half seen Mayo playing the better football, most definitely in terms of possession and controlling the pace. Lots of kicking and handling errors meant the breaking balls were tough to overcome for the Mayo defense however they delivered a controlled fury which Dublin were not ready for.

The Second Half

Andy Moran started the scoring in the second half, shortly after another point looked to be on its way over the bar but Brian Fenton delivered a masterful block. Davy Byrne, the youngest Dublin player on the field at 22 moved forward well trying to find assistance but all of Dublin’s usual sharp shooters including Kevin McManamon, Paul Flynn, Bernard Brogan and Diarmuid Connolly were all yet to score after 40 minutes of play.

Mayo enjoyed a sparkling start to the second half with 3 points un-answered by Dublin which meant that the score was evening. Aidan O’Shea imposed his presence after Johnny Cooper missed an easy point and had his name entered in the book, receiving a much deserved yellow card to the delight of the Dublin fans. Next into the book was Michael Darragh McCauley after a dangerously high neck challenge, posing the question was a black more warranted.

There was very even play in the middle of the field from both sides with precision passing despite the terrible playing conditions. It took Dublin 15 minutes for the 2015 All Ireland man of the match Brian Fenton to calmly slot over the bar from a central position. Ciaran Kilkenny carried the ball well out of his own half and then allowed Dean Rock to score his third point of the day bringing the gap back up to three.

The Fight Back

Chances were coming in thick and fast now and Andy Moran came speeding down the left wing to slice a pint over the bar, many fans thinking that a shot on goal could have been a better option given his close range. Mayo looked to their bench for experience and brought in Alan Dillon from Ballintubber, the 32 year old having scored a goal and 105 points during his time with The Westerners, a credit to the mans tenure in the game lining out today.

More chances came for Dublin next, Paddy Andrews missed from an acute angle due to being forced on to his weaker left foot by Paddy Durkan who was excellent for the duration of the match. Composed defending from the boys in blue meant that a low goal scoring chance for Mayo was evaded by Dublin. Bernard Brogan kicked Dublin’s 10th wide of the game in a very un-signature performance after almost one hour of play.

Closing Stages

Brogan then made way for Eoghan O’Gara as Dublin fans hoped for a push forward increase to their small winning margin of just one point. Alan Dillon levelled the scoreline with a measured shot that sailed over the bar and Mayo fans let out a long roar in appreciation for the skilled veteran.

Dublin fought back gallantly, trying to do damage to the Mayo back line. Dean Rock stepped up with just under 3 minutes to go and converted from a free with Connolly hitting one of his well known long shots next to make it a two point advantage for the Dubs. Seven minutes extra time was announced and Mayo’s men began a resurgence through the middle. Denis Bastick came on in place of Paul Flynn with three short minutes to go, the next score being absolutely crucial.

Mayo found a final wind and after Cillian O’Connor’s free was converted, Donie Vaughan hit a super point reducing the lead to one in favour of the Dubs. The blues parried the ball around the middle time and time again, refusing to shoot but still carrying around the Mayo back line. A failed wide attempt from Connolly meant that Mayo were allowed to counter with captain Cillian O’Connor kicking from distance to level things up for the fourth and last time in the game. Today’s real winner, the GAA, for getting another massive day out with both sets of fans in a much awaited replay.

Geoff Dorrity
Runs long distances and enjoys a good Digital chinwag. Loves well proportioned burritos and pretty much any sport (aside from cricket). Pub quiz speciality topic would be 90’s professional wrestling.

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The 2016 All Ireland Football Final – Ready For Round 2
September 18, 2016 (No Comments) by Geoff Dorrity

Dublin V Mayo Draw

Well here we are again, the third Sunday in September, GAA football’s glory day after the annual Club Final every St. Patrick’s Day. On this Sunday, many believed the stage was set for Mayo to overcome Dublin and take their first All Ireland Senior Football Championship since 1951, having lost 3 finals over the last 10 years. The game started slowly, with only 4 scores after the opening 15 minutes, it looked to be a potential repeat of the 2015 final between Dublin and Kerry which left a sour taste in many fans mouths, expecting far more.

David Clark, Mayo’s man between the posts had previously been in top class form prior to this meeting, conceding only 2 goals in 5 games from Fermanagh and Westmeath back in July. However, today was a day of misfortune for the experienced Ballina Stephenites goalkeeper who was on the receiving end of two own goals from his own teammates Kevin McLoughlin and Colm Boyle respectively. Dean Rock, one of Dublin’s key scorers shot 38 out of 42 points in this years championship but started the day poorly and looked a shadow of his normal self hitting wides on both sides.

Bizarre Opening Scorelines

With Mayo having scored all of Dublin’s points within the first 30 minutes this was one of the most bizarre games which Sam Maguire was contested in during the modern era. Fans in blue looked confused around the stadium as all wondered when the reigning champions would take their first score. That question was answered through a Dean Rock free on 31 minutes which was gifted from Mayo.

An earlier black card for James McCarthy, deliberately taking a man out of the game, meant that Paddy Andrews entered the fray and hit 2 quick-fire points within one minute spiking a Dublin comeback despite always holding the lead. Mayo’s Jason Doherty returned the favour and brought the men in red and green to 5 points.

Not having Jack McCafrees pace down the left channel was a serious loss for Dublin but the long balls continuously being played into the Dublin goal line was defended well in numbers. The Hill came alive just on the touch of half time, with lungs heard loud around the stadium as Cluxton made a key clearance enabling Dean Rock to take a free which put Dublin into double figures. Overall the first half seen Mayo playing the better football, most definitely in terms of possession and controlling the pace. Lots of kicking and handling errors meant the breaking balls were tough to overcome for the Mayo defense however they delivered a controlled fury which Dublin were not ready for.

The Second Half

Andy Moran started the scoring in the second half, shortly after another point looked to be on its way over the bar but Brian Fenton delivered a masterful block. Davy Byrne, the youngest Dublin player on the field at 22 moved forward well trying to find assistance but all of Dublin’s usual sharp shooters including Kevin McManamon, Paul Flynn, Bernard Brogan and Diarmuid Connolly were all yet to score after 40 minutes of play.

Mayo enjoyed a sparkling start to the second half with 3 points un-answered by Dublin which meant that the score was evening. Aidan O’Shea imposed his presence after Johnny Cooper missed an easy point and had his name entered in the book, receiving a much deserved yellow card to the delight of the Dublin fans. Next into the book was Michael Darragh McCauley after a dangerously high neck challenge, posing the question was a black more warranted.

There was very even play in the middle of the field from both sides with precision passing despite the terrible playing conditions. It took Dublin 15 minutes for the 2015 All Ireland man of the match Brian Fenton to calmly slot over the bar from a central position. Ciaran Kilkenny carried the ball well out of his own half and then allowed Dean Rock to score his third point of the day bringing the gap back up to three.

The Fight Back

Chances were coming in thick and fast now and Andy Moran came speeding down the left wing to slice a pint over the bar, many fans thinking that a shot on goal could have been a better option given his close range. Mayo looked to their bench for experience and brought in Alan Dillon from Ballintubber, the 32 year old having scored a goal and 105 points during his time with The Westerners, a credit to the mans tenure in the game lining out today.

More chances came for Dublin next, Paddy Andrews missed from an acute angle due to being forced on to his weaker left foot by Paddy Durkan who was excellent for the duration of the match. Composed defending from the boys in blue meant that a low goal scoring chance for Mayo was evaded by Dublin. Bernard Brogan kicked Dublin’s 10th wide of the game in a very un-signature performance after almost one hour of play.

Closing Stages

Brogan then made way for Eoghan O’Gara as Dublin fans hoped for a push forward increase to their small winning margin of just one point. Alan Dillon levelled the scoreline with a measured shot that sailed over the bar and Mayo fans let out a long roar in appreciation for the skilled veteran.

Dublin fought back gallantly, trying to do damage to the Mayo back line. Dean Rock stepped up with just under 3 minutes to go and converted from a free with Connolly hitting one of his well known long shots next to make it a two point advantage for the Dubs. Seven minutes extra time was announced and Mayo’s men began a resurgence through the middle. Denis Bastick came on in place of Paul Flynn with three short minutes to go, the next score being absolutely crucial.

Mayo found a final wind and after Cillian O’Connor’s free was converted, Donie Vaughan hit a super point reducing the lead to one in favour of the Dubs. The blues parried the ball around the middle time and time again, refusing to shoot but still carrying around the Mayo back line. A failed wide attempt from Connolly meant that Mayo were allowed to counter with captain Cillian O’Connor kicking from distance to level things up for the fourth and last time in the game. Today’s real winner, the GAA, for getting another massive day out with both sets of fans in a much awaited replay.

Geoff Dorrity
Runs long distances and enjoys a good Digital chinwag. Loves well proportioned burritos and pretty much any sport (aside from cricket). Pub quiz speciality topic would be 90’s professional wrestling.

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