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Senior footballers move up the gears to book All-Ireland final spot

Senior footballers move up the gears to book All-Ireland final spot

Sat, 10th August 2019


DUBLIN 3-14 MAYO 1-10

Dublin found their groove in the second half to outclass Mayo by ten points in Saturday's All-Ireland SFC semi-final at Croke Park.

The Dubs trailed by two points at the break, 0-6 to 0-8, but were rampant on the restart when hitting 2-6 without reply to run out comfortable winners.

Con O'Callaghan led from the front as his two brilliantly taken goals in the 37th and 46th minutes put Dublin totally in the driving seat before Brian Fenton's goal effectively sealed the deal.

O'Callaghan also hand in other scores as he won a lot of long early ball and fed the runners something Dublin had failed to do in the opening half.

Paul Mannion kicked two superb points in the early period of total dominance to the second half before limping off close to the finish.

Dublin's play over the entire park was several steps up on the opening half as they took control of the game at centerfield through Brian Fenton while also improving on the breaking ball.

The off-the-ball running from the likes of James McCarthy, Ciarán Kilkenny and Niall Scully posed problems for Mayo, again something the Connacht men had dealt with in the opening 35-plus minutes.

Mayo did pull back a goal following Dublin's early scoring blitz after the interval through Lee Keegan but Fenton's goal with O'Callaghan as the pivot make sure there was no repeat of the 2006 Mayo semi-final comeback.

Mayo had started the better in the opening half and brought more intensity to the game with early scores from Cillian O'Connor (free) and Seamus O'Shea settling their nerves.

James Horan's men led by three points approaching the break before Brian Howard curled over a fine effort into Hill 16 to reduce the gap but Dublin still had a lot to improve on.

They restarted with total intent and were unrecognisable from the opening period to scored 2-6 inside just 12 minutes.

Mayo's kick out strategy came apart as Dublin won five of Mayo's first re-starts and once the All-Ireland champions are given possession and allowed to play on the front foot they will punish anybody.

Con's first goal began with Stephen Cluxton gathering a Paddy Durcan point-effort and Dublin strung a chain of accurate, quick passes together that in Paul Mannion and Ciarán Kilkenny combing to release their full-forward through on goal, he fired low to the left giving Robbie Hennelly no chance.

Mannion kicked one from either wing before Con struck again when turning Lee Keegan outside-in and burying past Hennelly again.

Ten minutes from time the Cuala forward slipped the ball off the the in-running Brian Fenton and he slide the ball through the legs of the Mayo keeper to the net.

Mayo concluded the game with 14 men after Cillian O'Connor was sent off on a second yellow card while Cormac Costello was black-carded in injury-time.

SCORERS - Dublin: C O Callaghan 2-0, D Rock 0-6 (0-6f), P Mannion 0-5, B Fenton 1-1, N Scully, B Howard 0-1 each. Mayo: C O'Connor 0-3 (0-2f), L Keegan 1-0, P Durcan 0-2, C Boyle, J Carr, S Coen, S O'Shea, F Boland 0-1 each.

DUBLIN: S Cluxton; D Byrne, J Cooper, M Fitzsimons; J McCaffrey, J McCarthy, J Small; B Fenton, MD Macauley; N Scully, C Kilkenny, B Howard; P Mannion, C O'Callaghan, D Rock. Subs: C O'Sullivan for Macauley (50), E Murchan for Small (63), C Costello for Mannion (65), P McMahon for Cooper (69), D Connolly for Scully (71), P Andrews for O'Callaghan (71).

MAYO: R Hennelly; C Barrett, B Harrison, L Keegan; S Coen, C Boyle, D Vaughan; A O'Shea, M Ruane; F McDonagh, S O'Shea, P Durcan, D O'Connor, C O'Connor J Carr. Subs: K Higgins for Vaughan (30), K McLoughlin for McDonagh (50), A Moran for Carr (53), E O'Donoghue for Boyle (58), T Parsons for S O'Shea (60), F Boland for D O'Connor (69).

REF: C Lane (Cork).

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