DUBLIN put an end to Mayo’s winning streak in the fourth round of the National Football League with a workmanlike performance to suggest Jim Gavin’s side are not ready to give up their league title just yet.
It finished Dublin 1-12, Mayo 0-7 under lights in Croke Park before 35,000 supporters but Mayo can thank their goalkeeper, Robbie Hennelly, who kept Mayo in this game for longer than perhaps they should have been.
There was nothing the Breaffy man could do to stop a cracker from man of the match Cormac Costello on a night when many of the new Mayo young hopefuls learned some valuable lessons against a vastly more experienced Dublin side who were full of running right to the end as Mayo seemed to lose their way in the final quarter when they made a lot of basic errors.
Dublin led by 1-6 to 0-3 at half-time but things could have been much worse for Mayo but for some brilliant reflex saves from Robbie Hennelly, who denied Dublin at least three further goals.
Another damming statistic from a Mayo point of view in that first half is that two of their three scores came from the boot of Hennelly, one from a free and the other from a ’45, while their only score from play - and a good point it was too - came from the left boot of Fionn McDonagh after 14 minutes.
But Dublin controlled the tempo of the game in the first half as they built from the back and ran at Mayo’s defence, which creaked at times, Ger Caffekrey forced off with an injury after 19 minutes, with Chris Barrett taking over.
It was still only 0-2 apiece at that stage but that soon changed when an unfortunate slip by Keith Higgins let Cormack Costello in for a cracking goal on 19 minutes, and that was the momentum Dublin needed as Mayo also lost Lee Keegan to the sin bin for an off the ball challenge.
James Horan’s men did have a great chance just before half-time to get a badly needed goal when Jason Doherty was taken down in the square but the Burrishoole’s man penalty was saved by Evan Comerford at the expense of a ’45, which Hennelly nailed.
The impressive Matthew Ruane opened the scoring with a Mayo point in the second half but that was really as good as it got for James Horan’s men who now face Galway next Saturday night at MacHale Park.
Final score: Dublin 1-12, Mayo 0-7.
Mayo: R. Hennelly (0-2, 1f, 1 '45), B. Harrison, G. Cafferkey, K. Higgins, L. Keegan, C. Boyle, P. Durcan, M. Ruane (0-1), D. Vaughan, F. McDonagh (0-1), A. O’Shea, C. Treacy, A. Moran, B. Reape, J. Doherty (0-2, 2f).
Subs used: C. Barrett for Cafferkey (19), K. McLoughlin (0-1) for Treacy (34), S. O’Shea for P. Durcan (45), F. Boland for A. Moran (58), S. Coen for Reape (68).
Dublin: E. Comerford, D. Byrne, M. Fitzsimons, E. Murchan, C. O’Sullivan, J. Cooper, J. McCaffrey (0-1), B. Fenton (0-1), D. Gavin, B. Howard, C. Costello (1-2), N. Scully, P. Mannion (0-3, 2f), C. Kilkenny (0-1), C. O’Callaghan (0-2).
Subs used: D. Rock (0-2, 2f) for Kilkenny (45), P. Andrews for Mannion (57), D. Daly for Cooper (64), MD MacCauley for D Gavin (67).
Referee: B. Cassidy (Derry).