Saturday 10 December 2016

'Philly McMahon showed the other side of his game' - Five things we learned from Dublin-Mayo

Published 05/09/2015 | 20:22

5 September 2015; Bernard Brogan, Dublin, celebrates after scoring his side's first goal. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final Replay, Dublin v Mayo. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
5 September 2015; Bernard Brogan, Dublin, celebrates after scoring his side's first goal. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final Replay, Dublin v Mayo. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Diarmuid Connolly, Dublin, celebrates after the game. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final Replay, Dublin v Mayo. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
Dublin's Paddy Andrews salutes supporters on Hill 16 after the final whistle. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final Replay, Dublin v Mayo. Croke Park, Dublin.
5 September 2015; Mayo's Aidan O'Shea dejected after the game. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final Replay, Dublin v Mayo. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Piaras ? M?dheach / SPORTSFILE
Philip McMahon, Dublin, celebrates after scoring his side's second goal. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final Replay, Dublin v Mayo. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
5 September 2015; Dublin's Philip McMahon scores his side's second goal past Mayo goalkeeper Rob Hennelly. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final Replay, Dublin v Mayo. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
5 September 2015; Andy Moran, Mayo, is tackled by Michael Fitzsimons and Rory O'Carroll, Dublin. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final Replay, Dublin v Mayo. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
5 September 2015; Ciaran Kilkenny, Dublin, in action against Andy Moran, Mayo. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final Replay, Dublin v Mayo. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
5 September 2015; Philip McMahon, Dublin, celebrates after scoring his side's second goal. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final Replay, Dublin v Mayo. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
5 September 2015; Philip McMahon, Dublin, celebrates after scoring his side's second goal. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final Replay, Dublin v Mayo. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
5 September 2015; Bernard Brogan, Dublin, celebrates after scoring his side's first goal. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final Replay, Dublin v Mayo. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
5 September 2015; Dublin supporters celebrate after Bernard Brogan scored his side's first goal. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final Replay, Dublin v Mayo. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
5 September 2015; Bernard Brogan, Dublin, centre, shoots to score his side's first goal, in the 55th minute. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final Replay, Dublin v Mayo. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
5 September 2015; Mayo supporters celebrate after Cillian O'Connor scored his side's first goal. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final Replay, Dublin v Mayo. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
5 September 2015; Cillian O'Connor, Mayo, celebrates after scoring his side's first goal past Dublin goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final Replay, Dublin v Mayo. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
5 September 2015; Cillian O'Connor, Mayo, after scoring his side's first goal past Dublin goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton and Rory O'Carroll, left. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final Replay, Dublin v Mayo. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
5 September 2015; Mayo supporters celebrate after Cillian O'Connor scored his side's first goal. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final Replay, Dublin v Mayo. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Paul Mohan / SPORTSFILE
5 September 2015; Cillian O'Connor, Mayo, scores his side's first goal past Dublin goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton and Rory O'Carroll, left. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final Replay, Dublin v Mayo. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
5 September 2015; Diarmuid O'Connor, Mayo, in action against James McCarthy, Dublin. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final Replay, Dublin v Mayo. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
5 September 2015; Cillian O'Connor, Mayo, scores his side's first goal past Dublin goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton and Rory O'Carroll, left. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final Replay, Dublin v Mayo. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
5 September 2015; Cillian O'Connor, Mayo, celebrates after scoring his side's first goal past Dublin goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final Replay, Dublin v Mayo. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Stephen McCarthy / SPORTSFILE
5 September 2015; Mayo's Cillian O'Connor shoots past Dublin goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton and Rory O'Carroll to score his side's first goal in the forty third minute. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final Replay, Dublin v Mayo. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE
5 September 2015; Mayo's Cillian O'Connor shoots past Dublin goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton and Rory O'Carroll to score his side's first goal in the forty third minute. GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final Replay, Dublin v Mayo. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture credit: Ray McManus / SPORTSFILE

There was a lot to glean from last week's encounter and Dublin certainly learned their lessons. What did we learn from the Sky Blues 3-15 to 1-14 win over Mayo today.

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1) GOALS MAKE GAMES

As notable as the quality and intensity of the first half was the lack of real goal scoring chances for either side.

When Cillian O'Connor slotted his goal, he effectively silenced the Hill and Mayo seemed right there and then to have Dublin at a strong arm's length.

Yet Bernard Brogan's strike, quickly followed by Philly McMahon's sent the Dublin supporters into raptures and provided the sort of lead that allowed Jim Gavin's team to sit and cradle possession, thus drawing Mayo out from their defensive postings.

Their third goal, from Kevin McManamon, was a classic of the genre.

 

2) PHILLY MCMAHON IS ONE OF THE MOST UNDERRATED FOOTBALLERS IN IRELAND

A villain in the eyes of many Mayo followers last week for his robust and invasive marking job on Aidan O'Shea, McMahon showed the other side of his game in Croke Park today.

He scored 1-2, might have had another goal had he not fumbled a pass in the first half and frequently gave Dublin an 'out' when their methodical approach play hit a green and red wall.

While he tested the patience of referee Eddie Kinsella for protesting too much after two first half Mayo frees that were, as a result, moved further inside Cillian O'Connor's comfort zone, McMahon was arguably the most influential component of Dublin's win.

 

3) DUBLIN'S ATTACK ISN'T AS THIN AS IT'S MADE OUT TO BE

Much newsprint this week analysed Dublin's relative paucity of attacking options in reserve, with the absences of both Eoghan O'Gara and Paul Mannion from the squad this season.

In a game when Diarmuid Connolly appeared to look fatigued from his appeal saga, when Paul Flynn was oddly out of sorts and when Bernard Brogan only saw slim and fleeting space or possession, Paddy Andrews had a day of days, kicking five points from play.

Ciarán Kilkenny continued his recent good form and both McManamon and Alan Brogan made notable impacts when they came on.

 

4) IT DOESN’T GET ANY EASIER FOR MAYO

Beaten All-Ireland finalists in 2012 and ‘13, Mayo have now lost two semi-finals in successive years after replays.

On the one hand, it seems inconceivable that footballers of the obvious calibre of Lee Keegan, Cillian O'Connor, Aidan O'Shea and Keith Higgins wont make the summit at some stage in their careers but these losses and the gut-wrenching nature of them have to be taking their toll.

As Dublin accelerated away into an All-Ireland final, so to did Mayo's Sam Maguire famine stretched to 65 years.

 

5) DUBLIN ARE BETTER FOR THEIR WOBBLES

The lift Dublin will get from yesterday is incalculable.

Prior to last week's draw, they barely had to stretch their legs to win in Leinster and against Fermanagh in the All-Ireland quarter-final. And having diced with death in the drawn match, Gavin's team were clearly more tuned in.

The way they closed out the game here, a marked contrast to last weeks' late panic.

Kerry might have two weeks headstart in preparing for the All-Ireland final but you can't buy the sort of momentum Dublin have behind them now.

Ergo, in theory at least, we should have a brilliant All-Ireland final when football's most storied rivalry gets another chapter on September 20th.

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