Friday 28 November 2014

Vintage Brogan is too hot to handle for Mayo

Dermot Crowe in Croke Park

Published 03/03/2013 | 05:00

Dublin’s Tomás Brady hits the ground under pressure from Mayo’s Donal Vaughan.

These counties have a pleasing habit of producing dramatic matches and this was no exception. Both had spells of prosperity and worrying troughs where they lost their way but somehow they kept managing to meet in the middle. There was little that it didn't have: a red card; a penalty save; an exhibition from Bernard Brogan. Those in the 21,156 attendance enjoyed a fine evening's entertainment.

Mayo 0-16

These counties have a pleasing habit of producing dramatic matches and this was no exception. Both had spells of prosperity and worrying troughs where they lost their way but somehow they kept managing to meet in the middle. There was little that it didn't have: a red card; a penalty save; an exhibition from Bernard Brogan. Those in the 21,156 attendance enjoyed a fine evening's entertainment.

Dublin came in with impressive wins over Cork and Kerry but this was expected to be a more searching examination. It was and they stood up to it impressively.

Ger Brennan was red-carded in the 42nd minute after kicking a prostate Michael Conroy and from the free Mayo drew level and hit a purple patch.

They led soon, Dublin having been a goal clear at the interval, and when Stephen Cluxton had a penalty saved by Kenneth O'Malley, Mayo appeared to have all the momentum. But Kevin McManamon, who had come on in the first half and missed two goal chances, burst past Keith Higgins in the 49th minute and his goal put the home team back in front and gave them a surge of confidence.

Brogan was irrepressible, tormenting Ger Cafferkey, and scored three of the next four points to give Dublin an advantage they would not relinquish. His final haul stopped at 1-10, including a lineball immaculately directed into the Hill in the second half and 1-3 from play. His was a vintage performance but the character shown will have greatly pleased Jim Gavin.

Mayo began without three first-choice forwards but remain a serious battle-hardened opposition. Jason Doherty was their best forward, registering 0-6, three points from play.

Aidan O'Shea played at centre forward and while Mayo have tended to enjoy surplus primary possession in games, this time they lost a lot of ball around the middle third. They did well on turnovers but their performance was uneven and prone to wandering off line.

Dublin led 1-8 to 0-8 at the interval and looked the more persuasive. They jumped into an early three-point lead, all courtesy of Brogan; then the westerners a enjoyed spell of plenty, scoring six without reply.

Brogan's relieving fourth point ended a 14-minute wait for a home score. He scored their goal three minutes before the interval, opening a five-point lead, and Mayo went 19 minutes without raising a flag, suffering an eight-point swing. Mayo restarted promisingly but in the final quarter they surrendered the match.

Scorers – Dublin: B Brogan 1-10 (0-6 fs; 0-1 lb), K McManamon 1-1, P Andrews 0-2, C O'Sullivan 0-1. Mayo: J Doherty 0-6 (0-3 fs), L Keegan, K McLoughlin (2fs) 0-3, E Varley 0-2, A O'Shea, M Conroy 0-1 each.

Dublin: S Cluxton; K O'Brien, R O'Carroll, J Cooper; J McCaffrey, G Brennan, D Daly; D O'Mahony, C O'Sullivan; P Flynn, T Brady, C Reddin; P Andrews, B Brogan, C Kilkenny. Subs: K McManamon for Brady (20), D Nelson for O'Carroll (half time), B Cullen for Reddin (51), P Quinn for Kilkenny (60), N Deveraux for McCaffrey (65).

Mayo: K O'Malley; C Barrett, G Cafferkey, K Higgins; L Keegan, D Vaughan, C Boyle; J Gibbons, B Moran; K McLoughlin, A O'Shea, R Feeney; E Varley, J Doherty, M Conroy. Subs: C Carolan for Gibbons (44), S O'Shea for Moran (51), T Cunnife for Feeney (60).

Referee: C Reilly (Meath).

Irish Independent

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