Monday 26 August 2019

Con O'Callaghan pick of the bunch in Croke Park: Here's how Dublin and Mayo players rated in semi final

Colm Boyle of Mayo in action against John Small, left, and Jonny Cooper of Dublin during the All-Ireland SFC semi-final at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Colm Boyle of Mayo in action against John Small, left, and Jonny Cooper of Dublin during the All-Ireland SFC semi-final at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile
Con O'Callaghan of Dublin celebrates after scoring his side's second goal during the All-Ireland SFC semi-final win over Mayo at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo: Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile

John Brennan

DUBLIN

Stephen Cluxton: One good save to make in the first half. and no chance with the Mayo goal.  Otherwise it was about finding his men with kick-outs. 7

David Byrne: Sticky at the back for Dublin as the corner-back sought to cope with the ball coming in at him. Had a good game. 8

Jonny Cooper: A late introduction to the Dublin team, he worked hard all through and managed to get forward to help the attack. 7

Michael Fitzsimons: Stayed tight to his man for the whole match. Fitzsimons gave no ground, even when the going was hardest for the Dubs. 7

Jack McCaffrey: Mayo tried their best to curb his searing runs, but the Dublin wing-back still managed to make a few on a frustrating night. 7

James McCarthy: Curiously out of sorts at times, McCarthy kept working and running all evening even when the ball wasn't running for him. 6

John Small: Got stuck in, typically, but the Ballymun Kickhams defender had to walk carefully after getting a first-half yellow card. 7

Diarmuid O'Connor of Mayo in action against David Byrne of Dublin during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final match between Dublin and Mayo at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile
Diarmuid O'Connor of Mayo in action against David Byrne of Dublin during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final match between Dublin and Mayo at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Sam Barnes/Sportsfile

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Brian Fenton:  When Dublin were in trouble, he stepped up - or rather jumped up. A couple of soaring catches set the tone for the stunning second half. 9

Michael Darragh Macauley:  Always at the heart of the physical battle, at times a little too much so. But he worked so hard for so long. 7

Niall Scully: Got on plenty of ball and tried to put a bit of life into the Dublin team. One of the better players in the horror first half for the champions. 7

Con O'Callaghan: All the Cuala man needed was one chance in front of goal. He got two and buried them. Simply oustanding 9

Brian Howard: Another of the better Dublin players in that difficult first-half, he never stopped showing for the ball all evening. 8

Paul Mannion: Dangerous whenever he got the ball, as five wonderful points flowed from that trusty left boot of his. 9

Dean Rock: Kept the scoreboard ticking over with frees and 'Deano' showed as a target man all through the match. 7

Ciaran Kilkenny: Was quickly brought out from corner-forward to try and orchestrate a game that was not going Dublin's way for a long time. 7

Subs:

Eoin Murchan: Tackled away in the backs as Dublin gave nothing away in the finale

Philly McMahon: Another introduced to make sure Dublin sealed the deal.

Cormac Costello:  Came on but saw little  of the ball as Dublin played out time

Diarmuid Connolly: Got on long enough to send a ball out over the sideline. But his arrival into the match provoked one of the biggest cheers of the night.

 

MAYO

Rob Hennelly: A couple of dodgy kick-outs led to Dublin scores, but Hennelly held it together well under a lot of Dublin pressure. 6

Chris Barrett: Struggled in that manic second half, but then so did so many other Mayo players. Simplky blown away by Dublin's movement. 5

Brendan Harrison: Couldn't turn the tide as Dublin ripped open the Mayo backs almost at will in the second period. He was not alone! 5

Stephen Coen: Spent most of the first half in the Dublin half as an extra attacker, winning ball and laying it off. Had a good night. 7

Lee Keegan: Tried his best, and got a trademark goal. But Con O'Callaghan skinned him a few times - a great player Mayo ought to use out the pitch. 6

Colm Boyle: The Westport man had a smashing game, defending well and raiding forward. Surely an All-Star awaits, he must have been injured to be taken off. 8

Paddy Durcan: Two early points from Durcan set the tone for his day. One of Mayo's better players on a dreadful day of disappointment for his county. 8

Aidan O'Shea: Got through an ocean of work, linking between his backs and forwards. But was swamped in midfield in the second half. 6

Seamus O'Shea: Never got on the ball enough to influence the contest. He hadn't the mobility to play with the Dubs' men in the middle. 6

Fionn McDonagh: Played well in the first half but, like most of the Mayo team, faded out of it in the second half. 5

Donal Vaughan: A surprise starter whose evening ended very earlier when hauled off after 25 minutes. A tactic that went wrong. 5

Matthew Ruane: Mayo gambled on him and for a while it paid off as the team bossed the game. But, understandably, he was another player to fade out in Green and Red. 5

Cillian O'Connor: Led the inside line of the Mayo attack very well, showed for plenty of ball through the game. But lost concentration as the game went on and not a factor in the second half. 5

Diarmuid O'Connor: A surprise starter, but three months out with a broken collarbone was no preparation for a game of this intensity. 5

James Carr: Did well for a while and got a nice point. But when Dublin lifted things in the second half, he was not able to get going at all. 5

Subs:

Keith Higgins: On towards the end of the first half,. but the match largely passed him by.

Andy Moran: Was this the end for a great player? Got a couple of balls but did little with them.

Fergal Boland: Got a point and worked hard in the time on the pitch.

Tom Parsons: It was wonderful to see him in Croke Park again after a horrific knee injury 15 months ago. 

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