Dublin edge past Mayo in physical battle to top League table
Dublin 0-9 Mayo 0-7
Dublin proved that they are a team for all seasons with a well-organised second half display, which steered them to a second Allianz League win in dreadful conditions in Castlebar.
Strong wind and heavy intermittent rain made life very difficult for the players but Dublin coped very well in a tight second half, holding possession intelligently before striking for vital scores.
A scoring burst in the third quarter gave them a three-point lead and while Mayo battled back they lacked the firepower to draw level. They pared the margin to two points late on but Dublin held solid in a hectic finish.
Still, it was a much-improved performance by Mayo, who were well beaten by Cork in the first round. They worked extremely hard all through but couldn’t quite figure out a way of breaking down a solid Dublin defence while playing with the wind in the second half.
Dublin led by 0-4 to 0-3 at half-time, having spent much of the opening 35 minutes frustrated by a well-organised Mayo resistance.
Back by the wind, Dublin enjoyed plenty possession but found it very difficult to unpick Mayo’s defensive system. Indeed, there were times when Dublin appeared to run out of ideas as they tried to find a way into the shooting zone.
Their accuracy wasn’t up its usual standard either as they kicked seven wides in the opening half.
Three of those came from frees in the first six minutes when Dean Rock, Diarmuid Connolly and Paul Mannion all missed the target.
Dublin lost Philly McMahon on a black card after just three minutes when he needlessly chopped down Aidan O’Shea off the ball.
Mayo led by 0-3 to 0-2 after 27 minutes - their third point coming from a brilliantly-struck ‘45’ by goalkeeper, Robert Hennelly.
Dublin finished the half well, with points by Denis Bastick and Rock giving them a slender advantage at the break.
The attendance was 10,520.
Dublin: S Cluxton; J Cooper, M Fitzsimons, D Byrne (Naomh Olaf); J McCarthy (0-1), P McMahon, J Small; E Conghaile (0-1), D Bastick (0-1) ; T Brady, D Connolly (0-1), C Kilkenny; P Mannion, D Rock (0-4, 3f, 1’45’), P Andrews.
Subs: J McCaffrey for McMahon (black card 3), S Carthy for Bastick (ht), C Reddin for Brady (46), C Costello (0-1), for Mannion (53), P Ryan for Andrews (64), D Daly for Cooper (black card 70).
Mayo: R Hennelly (0-2, 2 ‘45s’); B Harrison, G Cafferkey, C Crowe; D Vaughan, C Boyle, S Nally; T Parsons, A O’Shea; D O’Connor (0-2), M Hall, J Doherty; E Regan (0-3, 2f), C O’Shea, M Sweeney.
Subs: J Gibbons for Parsons (ht), D Drake for Vaughan (42), K Higgins for Hall (53), C Carolan for Sweeney (57), D McHale for C O’Shea (67), S McHale for Nally (70).
Referee: P Hughes (Armagh)