Tuesday 24 April 2018

The game at a glance

Diarmuid Connolly (Dublin)

The night that Connolly really came of age. There have been fleeting glances of his potential but nothing as sustained as this. The quality of the seven points he kicked, especially off his less favoured left foot, was sublime. Hauled off in his last two games, the message clearly seeped in. No wonder he couldn't stop smiling!

Turning point

Dublin overpowered Tyrone almost from the off and early on the signs were ominous when Owen Mulligan and Martin Penrose faced an impenetrable wall of defence. When Denis Bastick kicked the second point of the second half, Dublin knew they couldn't blow this one.

Talking point

The most complete performance of a Dublin football team in this decade. Never mind anything they achieved in Leinster, this was it, everything Pat Gilroy and his management team had set out to do. For Tyrone, there is a period of much swifter change ahead. Even Mickey Harte's management can't be beyond reproach.

Ref watch

Joe McQuillan awarded 35 frees to Tyrone yet only two Dublin players picked up yellow cards. Somehow that doesn't stack up and such leniency allowed certain Dublin individuals to continue fouling without the threat of dismissal hanging over them. Having said that, some of the frees awarded to Tyrone were quite soft, two in particular in the first half stand out.

What they said

Pat Gilroy (Dublin manager):

"I am not surprised we gave that performance. The things that were going on in our training sessions over the last four weeks, I have never seen anything like it. The 'A' team versus the 'B' team ... those 19 guys probably deserve more credit for that game than those who actually played."

Mickey Harte (Tyrone manager):

"You can put in a sweeper or cover, but the way they were kicking points today it wouldn't have mattered because they kicked some wonderful scores that two sweepers wouldn't have stopped. When you get a day like that you just have to accept what's coming your way."

Match statistics

Wides: Dublin 8 (5); Tyrone 5 (3)

Frees: Dublin 12 (5); Tyrone 35 (16)

Yellow cards: Dublin 2 (MD Macauley 34, K Nolan 46), Tyrone 2 (K Hughes 38, Sean O'Neill 53)

Attendance: 52,661

What next

Dublin play Donegal in the second All-Ireland semi-final on August 28, Tyrone must look to rebuild in 2012.

Irish Independent

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