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U21 footballers suffer bitter defeat in All-Ireland semi-final

U21 footballers suffer bitter defeat in All-Ireland semi-final

Sun, 17th April 2016

MAYO 1-15 DUBLIN 1-14

Dublin's under-21 All-Ireland dream is over after losing out to Mayo in a dramatic EirGrid All-Ireland U21FC semi-final at O'Connor Park, Tullamore on Saturday.

At the start of the year Dessie Farrell's side were not considered among the potential front-runners yet after securing the Leinster title they once again recovered from a disastrous start to put themselves in a winning position.

However, Mayo brilliantly fought back to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat in the concluding moments courtesy of two debated Conor Loftus frees in added-time to see the Connacht champions advance to play Cork in the final.

Dublin started poorly and despite a decent amount of possession they failed to trouble the scoreboard and by the interval Mayo had bolted into a 1-7 to 0-4 advantage.

Con O'Callaghan's goal ten minutes into the second half came as the Dubs caught fire to overturn the six-point half-time deficit and eventually surge into a four-point lead with 12 minutes remaining.

During this period Dublin were full of running with Michael Deegan and Colm Basquel kicking some glorious points while at midfield Andy Foley drove his team on at every opportunity.

Down the home straight Mayo hemmed Dublin in off their own kickouts as the Connacht champions came with a winning run through the frees of Liam Irwin, a point from play by Matthew Ruane and Conor Loftus' two late crucial pointed frees.

SCORERS - Mayo: L Irwin (0-3f), C Loftus (0-4f) 0-4, D O'Connor 1-1, F Boland 0-2, M Ruane, S Coen, S Akram, F Duffy 0-1. Dublin: C O'Callaghan 1-5 (0-3f), M Deegan, C Basquel 0-3, P Small (0-1f), E Murchan, G O'Reilly 0-1

MAYO: M Flanagan; E O'Donoghue, S Cunniffe, D Kenny; M Plunkett, M Hall, S Akram; M Ruane, S Coen; F Boland, C Loftus, D O'Connor; L Irwin, F Duffy, B Reape. Subs: E Doran for Cunniffe (h-t), J Carr for Duffy (42), J Kelly for Plunkett (51)

DUBLIN: L Molloy; S McMahon, E Smith, S Clayton; C O'Shea M Cahilan, B Howard; A Foley, K Deeley; T Lahiff, C Basquel, G O'Reilly; P Small, C O'Callaghan, M Deegan. Subs: E Murchan for Cahilan (24), D Spillane for Small (37), K Doherty for Deeley (45), A Elliot for O'Reilly (56), D Monaghan for Smith (61)

REF: N Cullen (Fermanagh).

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