Sunday 30 April 2017

Dominant Dublin destroy Mayo in Croke Park masterclass

Dublin...............1-16 Mayo.................0-7

Dean Rock of Dublin breaks away from Colm Boyle of Mayo
Dean Rock of Dublin breaks away from Colm Boyle of Mayo
Colm Keys

Colm Keys

Dublin stretched their unbeaten streak in league and championship to 33 games as a dispiriting night unfolded for Mayo in Croke Park.

But for the heroics of goalkeeper David Clarke it might have been even more embarrassing, though Clarke's radar from kick-outs once again came under scrutiny here.

The manner of the defeat is a real concern for Mayo given the quality and experience that Dublin were missing.

This was an opportunity to bring a 11-match failure to beat Dublin in league and championship, dating back to the 2012 All-Ireland semi-final, to an end but from early on that opportunity appeared remote.

Dublin were sublime at times in front of 34,758, powered on by their dominant midfield partnership. Brian Fenton and Michael Darragh Macauley claimed the remote controls early and were in no mood to release them. Incredibly, Fenton has yet to lose a league or championship match for Dublin that he has started.

With Ciaran Kilkenny buzzing around them and Philly McMahon and Eric Lowndes, enjoying his best game yet for Dublin, joining the attack regularly Mayo were too often over ran.

Andy Moran of Mayo in action against Dublin players, from left, Darren Daly, Brian Fenton and Michael Fitzsimons
Andy Moran of Mayo in action against Dublin players, from left, Darren Daly, Brian Fenton and Michael Fitzsimons

Dublin moved quickly into gear with Rock (free) and Conor McHugh pointing before Eoghan O'Gara was wide from an opportunity that threatened a goal.

But from David Clarke's short kick-out, Shane B Carthy intercepted and gaps in a Mayo defence caught off guard quickly appeared as Kilkenny drove through and popped a pass to Conor McHugh who batted into an empty net.

Mayo were eventually steadied by a Cillian O'Connor free but Dublin's movement looked ominous for them and when Rock, Fenton and Scully knifed through at breakneck speed O'Gara found himself face-to-face with Clarke.

But the Mayo goalkeeper wasn't even tested as O'Gara screwed his kick so badly it went over the sideline on the Cusack Stand side in the 17th minute.

Dublin went without a score for 16 minutes but Mayo could make little headway against a superb defence with Mick Fitzsimons picking up from where he left off in last year's All-Ireland final replay and Darren Daly and John Small at their ease at half-back.

Dublin did need an alert Stephen Cluxton to deny Evan Regan first and then Kevin McLoughlin on 20 minutes after god approach work.

O'Connor managed another 45 and Mayo did get to grips with Dublin's attacking movement but not enough to prevent further scores from McMahon, Rock (free) and Lowndes.

And Macauley had the ball in the net after another superb move on 34 minutes when he got a touch on a rebound after his shot had been saved by Clarke, the culmination of another great build up.

But referee David Coldrick consulted with his umpires and ruled it out for an apparent touch on the ground.

By the break it was 1-5 to 0-2 and Dublin quickly built on that to lead by 1-12 to 0-7 when Donie Vaughan pulled down Rock after another incisive build up involving Macauley on 48 minutes.

Paddy Andrews, just into the action after replacing O'Gara, stepped up but had his effort saved by Clarke who then denied Andrews from the rebound and follow up.

Mayo got little momentum from Clarke's trio of saves and Rock eased Dublin away with three more frees.

So many of their leaders just didn't show for Mayo who have been down this road before against Dublin, losing by 14 points in Castlebar two years ago. But this looks even more disheartening for them.

Meanwhile Dublin head for Tralee in two weeks time, looking to equal the unbeaten record set by Kerry in the early 1930s.

Scorers - Dublin: D Rock 0-8 (6fs), C McHugh 1-3, P McMahon, E Lowndes 0-2 each, P Flynn 0-1.

Mayo: E Regan (2fs), C O'Connor, (1f 1 45) 0-2 each, T Parsons, S Coen, C Boyle 0-1 each. 

Dublin: S Cluxton; M Fitzsimons, P McMahon, D Byrne; D Daly, J Small, E Lowndes; B Fenton, MD Macauley; N Scully, C Kilkenny, SB Carthy; C Kilkenny, E O'Gara, C McHugh. Subs: P Andrews for O'Gara (45), P Flynn for Carthy (50), K McManamon for McHugh (55), C Reddin for Byrne (66), E O Conghaile for Fenton (70), C Mulally for Small (71)

Mayo: D Clarke; P Durcan, L Keegan, K Higgins; S Coen, C Boyle, D Vaughan; T Parsons, J Gibbons; F Boland, K McLoughlin, D O'Connor; E Regan, C O'Connor, A Moran. Subs: B Harrison for Gibbons (h-t), S Nally for Vaughan BC (50), C O'Shea for Moran (54), C Loftus for D O'Connor (63), D Kirby for Boland (66).

Referee: D Coldrick

Online Editors

Promoted articles

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport