Sunday 25 February 2018

All-Ireland player ratings - Mayo had more top performers but Dublin have the trophy

Dublin manager Jim Gavin shakes hands with Lee Keegan of Mayo following the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Dublin and Mayo at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Dublin manager Jim Gavin shakes hands with Lee Keegan of Mayo following the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Final match between Dublin and Mayo at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

Dermot Crowe

There were more standout displays on the losing side but Dublin showed the poise of champions to edge out Mayo by 1-17 to 1-16.

Dublin Ratings

Stephen Cluxton: Mayo pressurised his kickout in the first half which reduced his influence. Good stop from Doherty goal attempt, but unable to deny Keegan his goal. 7

Philly McMahon: On Cillian O’Connor, and will be reasonably satisfied, although didn’t get forward as much as he might have liked. 7

Jonny Cooper: Had difficulty at times with Doherty and could have conceded more.  7

Michael Fitzsimons: Last year’s man of the match (in the replayed final) struggled badly. Left on Moran and was off colour throughout. 6

John Small: Scored a much needed first half point with Mayo on top and was one of the few to emerge with credit before the interval. But two yellow cards ended his involvement. Fortunate that Vaughan went as well. 6

Cian O’Sullivan: Got on more ball in the second half and went up the field more frequently as Dublin improved, but an unremarkable match. 7

Jack McCaffrey: Went off injured after eight minutes and in that short space of time looked set to have a big influence. Badly missed. Involvement too brief to be rated.

Brian Fenton: Came more into the game after half time and got on the scoreboard when firing Dublin two points in front in the 45th minute, 7

James McCarthy: Frustrating first half, having to move to wing back when McCaffrey went off injured, but one of Dublin’s best after half time, winning the throw-in, which led to a score, and kicking two more himself. 8

Ciaran Kilkenny: One off his quieter days with Keegan minimising his influence. Kilkenny failed to register a score. 6

Con O’Callaghan: Dream start, with an early goal, although he exceeded the amount of steps permitted. Wasn’t able to sustain that kind of impact and Boyle and later Barrett got to grips with him. 7

Eoghan O’Gara: A surprise late inclusion. Impressed off the bench in the semi final but could not get into the match. Harrison keep him under close watch and he was replaced at half-time. 6

Paul Mannion: A slow start, and booked for a tackle on Boyle in first half. Much improved in second half, scoring three points. 8

Paddy Andrews: Didn’t get into the match and called ashore at the interval. 6

Dean Rock: Shaky start, missing his first free, scuffing a ’45’  and dropping a score attempt from play short. More influential as the game progressed. Scored levelling point near the hour mark and had goal chance near the end but took point instead. Nailed the free from 40m that won the final, with the match deep in injury-time. 8

Substitutes

Paul Flynn: Replaced McCaffrey but after a bright performance in the semi final his form ebbed and he was taken off later on. 6

Diarmuid Connolly: Came on for the second half, scored the equaliser after the Mayo goal and put a lovely pass through to Rock which might have brought a late goal. Screwed point attempt wide deep into injury time but won free from which Rock scored the winner. 7

Kevin McManamon: Often Dublin’s inspiration from the bench. Introduced for the second half and made a difference, scoring once and adding more verve to the Dublin attack. 7

Bernad Brogan: Replaced Flynn with six minutes of normal time remaining, Point attempt blocked but looked lively and added some late energy to Dublin forward play. 7

Niall Scully: Replaced O’Callaghan two minutes from the end or normal time. His time on the field too limited to be rated.

Cormac Costello: Last year’s match-winner went in with 74 minutes played, a last throw of the dice by Jim Gavin with the teams level. Not enough time to be rated.

Mayo Ratings

David Clarke: Important save from Paul Mannion in second half, blocking the ball with his leg. Untested until then. Badly miscued kick out with time almost up when they desperately needed possession to chase an equaliser.  7

Brendan Harrison: Took up Eoghan O’Gara and forced his substitution at half time. Less successful on Paul Mannion in second half but still a good performance. 8

Donal Vaughan: Lost his discipline in a needless challenge which led to his red card after 47 mins. 6

Keith Higgins:  Vital block on Bernard Brogan in injury-time to keep Mayo level. Good match before going off exhausted with time almost up. 8

Lee Keegan: Excellent marking job on Ciaran Kilkenny and scored a brilliant goal in the second half which gave Mayo the lead. 9

Chris Barrett: Very good marking job on Paddy Andrews in the first half. Took up Con O’Callaghan from there and suffocated him too. 9

Colm Boyle: Lost Con O’Callaghan, though impeded, for the goal but settled well, scoring an inspirational point, before being hauled off with 15 minutes left. 8

Seamus O’Shea: Faded after a good first half, replaced by Diarmuid O’Connor for the last 20 minutes. 7

Tom Parsons: Outstanding first half, highlighted by his dispossession of James McCarthy in full flight; less dominant thereafter but a strong performance overall. 8

Kevin McLoughlin: Scored couple of points, including one with outside of the boot to give Mayo the lead 13 minutes from the end. Contributed handsomely.  8

Aidan O’Shea: Explosive first half  completely dominating James McCarthy. Kept trying but tired. 8

Patrick Durcan: Top policing job on Mannion in first half, picked up Kevin McManamon after half time, and conceded just one point. Missed a point attempt in first half. 8

Jason Doherty: Some good, some bad, and wheeled off late in the game when Mayo needed a finisher.  Landed two points and won a free for another score from Cillian O’Connor, but a costly goal miss when put clean through ten minutes into second half. 8

Cillian O’Connor: Another chequered showing, but finished strongly and kicked an inspiring point to level the match with two minutes of normal time left. Free attempt from tight angle in injury-time came off the post. 7

Andy Moran:  Fantastic match after a superb season, scoring three points, setting up the goal for Keegan and what should have been another for Doherty. Tormented Michael Fitzsimons. 9

Substitutes

Diarmuid O’Connor: Won a free from his first possession after coming on, which his brother nailed, and got through a lot of work. Late withdrawal from the team due to injury but made a difference when introduced. 7

Stephen Coen: Replaced a tiring Boyle, who was on a yellow card, after 55 minutes with Mayo leading by a point. Didn’t have a telling impact. 7

Conor Loftus: Replaced Moran with seven minutes left but had insufficient time to make a profound impression. 7

David Drake: On for Doherty at the end of normal time.  Too late to rate.

Danny Kirby: Entered play with minutes of injury-time left, not long enough to be rated.

Ger Cafferkey: Also too late an inclusion to be rated, entering play for a couple of minutes with time almost up.

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