Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Dublin's strike power proves too much for Mayo

Allianz Football League Division 1 Semi-Final, Croke Park 14/4/2013 Dublin vs Mayo Mayo's Lee Keegan and Diarmuid Connolly of Dublin clash off the ball Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

Dublin will get the chance to end their Allianz League title famine when they confront Tyrone in the decider and Paul Mannion, man of the match in yesterday's semi-final win over Mayo, is in no doubt as to just what keeps Jim Gavin's side ticking over so smoothly.

"Competition for places is very strong and this is what keeps us performing at a high level," insists Mannion, "But we will have to be at our very best to beat Tyrone who themselves will be very keen to win the title."

Not for the first time when their credibility was under close scrutiny in an important game, Mayo offered a false dawn, romping into a three-point lead in the opening 10 minutes from Cillian O'Connor (2) and Cathal Carolan.

But in a subsequent devastating two-minute spell the Dubs effectively strangled Mayo's title hopes.

Mannion slalomed in from the right to thunder home their opening goal, Diarmuid Connolly steered over an elegant point and when Jason Whelan rifled in a second goal almost immediately Mayo were on the ropes.

A bountiful supply of quality ball from the middle third was turned to good account by the lively Dublin front line with Bernard Brogan (2) and Connolly (2) hurting Mayo.

By half-time Dublin were threatening to streak over the horizon at 2-9 to 0-8.

But Mayo had no intention of folding. Instead, they showed resilience as they kept the Dubs in check, Aidan O'Shea, Donal Vaughan and ace marksman O'Connor in the vanguard of their defiant stand. However, for all Mayo's resolve, the combined accuracy of Mannion and Brogan underpinned the Dubs victory.

Dublin: S Cluxton (0-1f); K O'Brien, P McMahon, J Cooper; J McCaffrey (0-1), G Brennan, D Daly (0-1); M D Macauley, C O'Sullivan; P Flynn, J Whelan (1-1), D Connolly (0-3); B Brogan (0-5, 0-1f), P Mannion (1-4), P Andrews. Subs: N Devereaux for Daly (46 mins), D Bastick for O'Sullivan (49), B Cullen for Flynn (53), K McManamon for Connolly (55), M Fitzsimmons for Cooper (65).

Mayo: D Clarke; K Keane, G Cafferkey, C Barrett; L Keegan, D Vaughan, C Boyle; J Gibbons, S O'Shea (0-1); K McLoughlin (0-1f), A O 'Shea (0-2), C Carolan (0-1); C O'Connor (0-8, 0-7 f), J Doherty, M Conroy (0-3). Subs: R Feeney for Doherty (h/t), B Gallagher for Gibbons (43 mins), M Walsh for Keane (45), A Murphy for Carolan (56).

Referee: Joe McQuillan (Cavan).

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