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Dubs rock as Mayo roll over in despair


Ciaran Kilkenny, Dublin, in action against Patrick Durcan, Mayo

Ciaran Kilkenny, Dublin, in action against Patrick Durcan, Mayo

Stephen Cluxton, Dublin, supported by team-mate Michael Fitzsimons, in action against Danny Kirby, Mayo.

Stephen Cluxton, Dublin, supported by team-mate Michael Fitzsimons, in action against Danny Kirby, Mayo.

Cian O'Sullivan, Dublin, in action against Aidan O'Shea, left, and Diarmuid O'Connor, Mayo

Cian O'Sullivan, Dublin, in action against Aidan O'Shea, left, and Diarmuid O'Connor, Mayo

Tomas Brady, Dublin, in action against Barry Moran, Mayo

Tomas Brady, Dublin, in action against Barry Moran, Mayo


Ciaran Kilkenny, Dublin, in action against Patrick Durcan, Mayo

Cancel St Patrick and put a call in to St Valentine, for this was a massacre at MacHale Park on Saturday night.

Jim Gavin's gang of city slickers gunned down the Mayo mob before the latter got a chance to draw their weapons and fire a volley in retaliation.

And when the gun smoke cleared, there was a deathly silence - a silence of shock and awe at the wipeout of the local boys who had bounced on to the pitch before the game started fully sure they were primed to go gangsta on the Dubs.

A crowd of 13,548, mostly Mayo folk, came along with justifiable confidence they would witness, at the very least, a battle royale, with genuine hope three wins from four outings would become four wins out of five.

A few things happened to burst that balloon, and pretty darned quickly.

One was called McManamon, another Bastick. There was Brady, Flynn, they had a say. McCaffrey, Rock, and Brogan... in fact, come to think of it, you'd struggle to find a Dublin player who had an off night.

When these guys are on song, and when they hit the high notes, as they did in almost perfect harmony throughout a devastating first half, the opposition is facing the proverbial Eurovision 'null points' in terms of adding to their league tally.

Mayo joint manager Pat Holmes was at a loss to explain the collapse that resulted in his team being 2-10 to 0-6 down at half-time and carrying on to an eventual 14 points deficit at the finish.


"I am disappointed, very disappointed," said Holmes. "When you get beaten by 14 points, that is a concern. When you concede 2-18, that is something we have to look at.

"We came here with the intention of competing hard for two National League points and we failed to do that.

"It is hard to analyse exactly what went wrong, but we were beaten by a superior team tonight who came with a big hunger and looked like they had serious intent.

"We came into this in what we believed was the right frame of mind to put in a big performance, but that failed to materialise and we have to look at where that went wrong."

Dublin boss Jim Gavin was his usual cool, calm, and collected self after the game.

He would agree with his Mayo counterpart Holmes, saying "you don't become bad footballers in two weeks", and equally, Gavin knows his side, while very impressive on Saturday night, dare not get carried away thinking they are instantly world beaters after a stuttering start to the campaign.

"During practice during the week we focussed on the good things we've been doing in all of our games," said Gavin.

"That's the way we approach things - just trying to build on that and get some momentum from the good things we did in games. From that, came the performance that you saw tonight.

"Mayo started well - they got two points on the board - but our guys focussed in well and, overall in the game, to get 2-12 from play was a good return offensively.

"And defensively I thought we had a good structure. To limit a class side like Mayo to six points from play any day is a good return against them," said Gavin.

The work rate by his players was at a premium level.

Defensively their tackling and blocking made finding space difficult for the Mayo forwards who all too often were pressured into turnovers at key moments.

They also made too many self-inflicted errors and never got to a level where they had the Dubs under long periods of pressure. Diarmuid Connolly's return to the half-forward line brought an added element of class to Dublin, but Kevin McManamon was on fire.

Mayo came to play an open game and that suited speedy players such as McManamon and Jack McCaffrey, who can blast on the afterburners and cause mayhem with their pace.

Denis Bastick, an older hand, linked well with Tomas Brady and the two midfielders had a productive evening, both turning in a good shift.

Brady got three points and contributed handsomely to the Dublin team effort, while Bastick covered the hard yards at both ends of the pitch.

The industrious Templeogue/Synge Street clubman scored Dublin's first goal in the seventh minute when he got to a ball which rebounded off the crossbar from an initial attempt by Bernard Brogan, and clipped it to the net. In the 44th minute, with Mayo desperately seeking a goal to inspire them, Bastick made a diving save that would do justice to any top class keeper to deny Mark Ronaldson a moment of glory.

Bastick's display drew praise from his manager. "It just shows the mental resolve of the man.

"He was taken off quite early in the game last week. He worked hard at his game.

"He's got a new baby boy at home as well - that's a challenge in his life.

"But he was very focussed for this game, he practised very well during the week, and that performance by Denis was just a reflection of his determination and attitude today," said Gavin.

McManamon burst through the Mayo cover in the 22nd minute to give Bernard Brogan the space to palm home the Dubs' second goal. D

id he bounce the ball twice on the way through? It looked that way and later TV replays showed he did, but the ref didn't catch it and the goal stood.

Man of the Match: Kevin McManamon

SCORERS - Dublin: D Rock 0-6 (6f); B Brogan 1-1; D Bastick 1-0; T Brady 0-3; C Kilkenny 0-2; J McCaffrey 0-2; J Cooper, P Flynn, D Connolly, P Ryan 0-1 each. Mayo: J Doherty 0-4 (3f); K McLoughlin 0-3 (1f); M Ronaldson, D Kirby, A Dillon 0-1 each.

Dublin ­- S Cluxton 7; E Culligan 7, R O'Carroll 7, J Cooper 7; P McMahon 7, C O'Sullivan 8, J McCaffrey 8; D Bastick 8, T Brady 8; P Flynn 7, D Connolly 7, C Kilkenny7; K McManamon 9, D Rock 8, B Brogan 7. Subs: M Fitzsimons 7 for O'Carroll (h-t); J Small 7 for Culligan (50); B Fenton 6 for Bastick (59); E O'Gara 6 for Brogan (59); J McCarthy 6 for Brady (61); P Ryan for McManamon (63).

Mayo - R Hennelly 6; T Cunniffe 5, K Keane 5, K Higgins 5; L Keegan 5, C Boyle 5, P Durcan 5; S O'Shea 5, D Vaughan 5; K McLoughlin 6, A O'Shea 6, D O'Connor 5; M Ronaldson 5, A Freeman 5 J Doherty 6. Subs: D Kirby 6 for A Freeman (46); S Coen for P Durcan (46); A Dillon 5 for T Cunniffe (50); M Sweeney 5 for M Ronaldson (52); B Moran 5 for S O'Shea (53); G Cafferkey for D Vaughan (63).

REF - P O'Sullivan (Kerry).

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