Dublin beat Mayo by one point in a pulsating final at Croke Park to win the All-Ireland Football Championship for a third year in a row. Dubs forward Dean Rock’s free deep into stoppage-time saw Jim Gavin’s men become the first to win three straight Sam Maguires for 31 years. Con O’Callaghan netted an early goal but Mayo led 0-9 to 1-8 at half-time.
Dublin’s John Small and Mayo defender Donie Vaughan were sent-off before Lee Keegan fired in Mayo’s goal. Last year Dublin beat Mayo by a single point when the All-Ireland final went to a replay. This latest heartbreaking defeat means Mayo have lost 11 finals since they last won the Championship in 1951.
The two red cards in the 47th minute will be debated for days, with Mayo supporters perhaps believing Vaughan’s needless sending-off could have cost them a historic victory. Small was already on a yellow when he clearly checked Colm Doyle and the second card was inevitable.
But Vaughan got a straight red for charging into Small in the aftermath so, instead of being a man up with a kickable free, both were down to 14 men and the free was reversed. Still, Mayo did come back to regain the lead through Keegan’s 54th-minute goal and they edged two points in front (1-15 to 1-13) with Cillian O’Connor particularly accurate. The sides were level at 1-16 apiece when six minutes of added time were signaled. It was a typical Dublin and Mayo clash. A fiercely contested affair saw both sides trading scores throughout the game. Dublin just about had the greater strength in depth and that was proved when the benches where unilized.
It all came down to that high-pressure free, after a foul on substitute Dairmuid Connolly, and Rock converted to give the Dubs their first three-in-a-row since the 1920s.
|Dublin scorers: Rock 0-7; O’Callghan 1-0; Mannion 0-3; McCarthy 0-2; Small, Fenton, O’Gara, McManamon, Connolly 0-1.|
|Mayo scorers: C O’Connor 0-7; Keegan 1-0; A Moran 0-3; McLoughlin, Doherty 0-2; Vaughan, Boyle 0-1.|
Dublin: S Cluxton; P McMahon, C O’Sullivan, M Fitzsimons; J Cooper, J Small, J McCaffrey; B Fenton, J McCarthy; C Kilkenny, C O’Callaghan, N Scully; P Mannion, P Andrews, D Rock.
Mayo: D Clarke; B Harrison, D Vaughan, K Higgins; L Keegan, C Barrett, C Boyle; S O’Shea, T Parsons; K McLoughlin, A O’Shea, D O’Connor; J Doherty, C O’Connor, A Moran.