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No 'call' made on parade to Hill occupied by Mayo fans

JIM GAVIN has stated that Dublin did not deliberately curtail their pre-match parade before last year's All-Ireland SFC final due to the presence of a large congregation of Mayo supporters on Hill 16.

The Connacht champions retained and sold their full allocation of Hill 16 tickets for the final and a hefty Mayo presence on the terrace was noticeable more than an hour before throw-in, as Mayo beat Tyrone in the day's minor decider.

Subsequently, and in something of a breach of protocol, Dublin dispersed from the parade prior to the procession reaching the Railway End, leading to speculation that a directive had been issued by management.

"There was no pre-planned call on that one, no," insisted Gavin ahead of Dublin's first meeting with Mayo since that day.

"The way we approach the game, it doesn't matter where we play whether it's Celtic Park or Omagh or Croke Park. Once the game actually starts, those distractions we control and it doesn't really matter what influence the crowd has or any perceived influence on the game."

Unpredictability

During the game itself, Gavin lost Paul Mannion to a hamstring injury and Jonny Cooper to concussion and by the end, Eoghan O'Gara too snapped his hamstring while Rory O'Carroll suffered a blow that transpired also to be concussion, though the latter two finished the match.

"As a management team we try to prepare as best we can to cover all bases but the game was so dynamic and so fluid, there was a lot of unpredictability in it as well," Gavin explained.

"The first half was a really tense and physical contest and both sides were really hard at it. It opened up a bit in the second half, we picked up some injuries on the way and Mayo got some scores and you're just happy to get over the line.

"We couldn't predict the injuries that we picked up, but that's sport and it's a credit to the players that they picked up and saw the game out."

Gavin also insisted that his abiding memory of the day was "a great sense of satisfaction having won and happiness for the players after seeing the work that they put in and the self-sacrifice that they got their rewards for that.

"There are such fine margins," he concluded, "so it was great satisfaction for them."


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