Dubs crush Mayo with powerful second-half performance
Dublin’s drive for five remains on course. It took a bit of wobble at Croke Park this afternoon as they were outplayed by Mayo in the first half of the All-Ireland semi-final, but they turned on the style in the second half to run out 3-14 to 1-10 winners.
Mayo were ahead by two – 0-8 to 0-6 – at the break and left the pitch with the biggest roar of the day from their loyal supporters.
However, Dublin flicked a switch in the second half, scoring 2-6 without reply in the opening 10 minutes, Con O’Callaghan bagging two goals, with Brian Fenton adding a third later in the half.
The Dubs just suffocated Mayo in that second half and tore their defence - so solid in that first half - to shreds.
The worst news for Mayo was the announcement of six minutes of additional time as they struggled to score in that second half, Lee Keegan’s goal ending a 17-minutes spell without a score, the only two remaining scores for the half coming from Stephen Coen and substitute Fergal Boland.
Mayo also finished with 14 men as frustration kicked in during injury-time, with Cillian O’Connor sent off on a second yellow, but the arrival of Tom Parsons for his first game since that horrific injury last year brought a massive cheer to Mayo supporters.
But this was a day when Dublin showed why they are the kingpins of football, and they look like they will remain the rulers of the GAA world for some time to come
It was a disappointing result given the powerful performance Mayo had produced in the first half but this was without doubt Dublin's best display of the year.
Mayo had made their intentions known in this game from the very start, nailing the two opening points in as many minutes, Cillian O’Connor with a free and Seamus O’Shea with a rear auld point for his side as they left Dublin floundering in the opening 10 minutes.
The defence was superb as they smothered Dublin’s much-vaunted attack as the platform for an interval lead of 0-8 to 0-6, Mayo leading at one stage by three, 0-8 to 0-5.
Two points for Paddy Durcan, a gem from Colm Boyle and a superb effort from James Carr were just some of the highlights of that first half as Dean Rock, with three frees, kept Dublin hanging in, Paul Mannion also finding the target twice.
The roar behind Mayo as they departed at half-time suggested something big was going down. It proved to be a false dawn, however, and Dublin’s drive for five remains on course.
Dublin: S. Cluxton, D. Byrne, J. Cooper, M. Fitzsimons, J. McCaffrey, J. McCarthy, J. Small, B. Fenton (1-1), M.D. MacAuley, N. Scully (0-1), C. O’Callaghan (2-0), B. Howard (0-1), P. Mannion (0-5), D. Rock (0-6, 5f), C. Kilkenny.
Subs used: C. O’Sullivan for MacAuley (49), C. Costello for Mannion (65, inj), P. McMahon for Cooper (69), D. Connolly for Scully (70), P. Andrews for O'Callaghan.
Mayo: R. Hennelly, C. Barrett, B. Harrison, S. Coen (0-1), L. Keegan (1-0), C. Boyle (0-1), P. Durcan (0-2), A. O’Shea, S. O’Shea (0-1), F. McDonagh, D. Vaughan, M. Ruane, C. O’Connor (0-3, 2f), D. O’Connor, J. Carr (0-1).
Subs used: K. Higgins for Vaughan (30), K. McLoughlin for McDonagh (45), A. Moran for Carr (54), E. O’Donoghue for Boyle (58), T. Parsons for S. O'Shea (61), F. Boland (0-1) for D. O’Connor (68).
Referee: C. Lane (Cork).