Mayo caught between a Rock and a hard place

Mayo’s losing streak against Dublin, which goes back as far as 2012 when they last defeated the All-Ireland champions in the league, continued at MacHale Park, Castlebar, tonight where Dessie Farrell’s side were good value for their six-point win.

It finished Dublin 1-11, Mayo 0-8 before a crowd of just over 15,000 in what was at times a feisty encounter, not helped by poor refereeing from Derry official Barry Cassidy, who was booed off the pitch by angry Mayo supporters after the game.

Mayo were hanging in and just a point behind when they were dealt a killer blow eight minutes into the second half when Kevin McMenamon’s stinging cross was deflected to the net by Dean Rock.

It gave Dublin a 1-6 to 0-5 lead. Mayo might have been able to live with that had they 15 players on the pitch but 14 minutes into the game Jordan Flynn was given a straight red card after a clash with John Small.

Dublin used the extra space created by an extra-man judiciously and left Mayo chasing shadows at times.

Having expended a lot of energy to stick with Dublin in the first half Mayo just ran out of gas with Aiden O’Shea called ashore having emptied the tank, Lee Keegan arriving on the scene to a huge cheer but clearly with work to do in the fitness department.

Mayo managed just three points into the second half, the third coming deep into four minutes of injury-time but it was Dublin who ran the show for most of the second half and continued their winning run over Mayo who now have just one point on the board after two games, the league champions needing to return with something from Meath in their next outing tomorrow week..

The sides were insperable at the break, 0-5 apiece, but it was Mayo who did most of the pressing in that first half, seven wides proving very expensive on an evening when scores were hard come by and Mayo's freetaking was iffy at best.

Mayo led by 0-3 to 0-1 after 12 minutes, Aiden O’Shea getting them off the mark inside a minute of the throw-in while James Carr fired over a massive point from all of 60 yards, much to the delight of the crowd, Diarmuid O’Connor nailing Mayo's second point from  a free.

But disaster struck for Mayo when Jordan Flynn was given a straight red for a high and late challenge on John Small after the Dublin player had released the ball.

It seemed harsh in the extreme and the crowd were not slow to voice their disapproval but referee Barry Cassidy had his mind made up having witnessed the impact from close range.

Two frees from Dean Rock, and points from Kevin McMenamon, Ciaran Kilkenny and the levelling point from James McCarthy in first half injury time brought Dublin on level terms, James Durcan and Fergal Boland also on target for Mayo.

Mayo: R. Hennelly, P O’Hora, O. Mullin, B. Harrison, M. Plunkett, C. Boyle, P. Durcan, S. Coen, A. O’Shea (0-1), D. O’Connor (0-1, 1f), F. Boland (0-2, adv mark), R. O’Donoghue, J. Flynn, J. Carr (0-1), J. Durcan (0-2, 1f).

Subs used: L Keegan for Boyle (HT),T. Conroy (0-1) for Carr (HT), K. McLoughlin for O’Donoghue (45), J McCormack for A.O’Shea, C. Loftus for J Durcan (64).

Dublin: E. Comerford, M. Fitzsimmons, D. Byrne, R. O’Carroll, J. McCarthy (0-2), J. Small (0-1), E. Murchan, B. Fenton, B. Howard, N. Scully (0-1), C. McHugh, C. Kilkenny (0-1), K. McMenamon (0-1), D. O’Brien (0-1), D. Rock (1-4, 3f).

Subs used: L. Flatman for O’ Carroll (45), P. Small for McMenamon (50), A Byrne (0-1) for O’Brien (57) , C O’Shea for Murhcin (70).

Referee: B. Cassidy (Derry).