GAA | Dublin down Mayo in 12 minutes of ruthless reality

Dublin have beaten Mayo in the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship for the sixth time in five years.

Mayo led by 0-8 to 0-6 at half-time, but Dublin dealt the Championship dreamers a bone-shuddering jolt of ruthless reality in a spell-binding 12-minute spell at the beginning of the second half.

Dublin plundered 1-5 in the first seven minutes of the second period, eventually scoring three goals and winning by a margin of 3-14 to 1-10.

Con O’Callaghan found the net twice and Brian Fenton scored the third for Jim Gavin’s men as they eventually cruised to yet another All-Ireland final, where they will face either Kerry or Tyrone.

Lee Keegan hit back with a goal for Mayo, but there was little they could do to resist Dublin’s dominance after the interval.

In the space of 12 second half minutes, Mayo found themselves eight points down having led by two at the break.

Dublin scored 3-8 in the second half, despite going 11 minutes without a score at one stage.

Cillian O’Connor was sent off late on after picking up a second yellow for a reckless barge on Davy Byrne in the dying minutes.

The rivalry between the two counties has been the story of the Gaelic football decade in many ways, and many felt Mayo could be the one team to stop the Dublin juggernaut on the ‘drive-for-five’.

Championship encounters between the familiar foes have tended to be close-run affairs – with an admittedly consistent outcome – but this was the first time we’ve seen Dublin blow their biggest challengers away.

Mayo were excellent in the first half, defending resolutely and forcing 11 turnovers. Dublin scored just three points from play in a half that was played at a ferocious pace.

However, they had no answer for the Dublin tornado that tore through them in the second half.

Mayo have captured the imaginations of neutrals all around the country for the heart they have shown when their backs have been against the wall. If they are the heart of the football Championship, however, Dublin are the brain; cold, clinical, calculating.

They are ruthless and relentless in equal measure, and this comprehensive victory is further proof of their supreme dominance.

Contributing factors to this dominance will be raised again – as they should be – after another one-sided victory in an All-Ireland semi-final. 

If there were doubts over the Dubs at half time, they answered every question emphatically after the break with as forceful a performance as ever seen in Croke Park.

They are 70 minutes away from an historic five-in-a-row, and they’ll take some stopping.

Relive all the action as it happened here.

Dublin: Stephen Cluxton; David Byrne, Jonny Cooper, Michael Fitzsimons; Jack McCaffrey, James McCarthy, John Small; Brian Fenton (1-01), Michael Darragh Macauley; Niall Scully (0-01), Con O’Callaghan (2-00), Brian Howard (0-01); Paul Mannion (0-05), Dean Rock (0-06, 6f), Ciarán Kilkenny.

Subs: Cian O’Sullivan for MacAuley 49 mins; Eoin Murchan for Small 62 mins; Cormac Costello for Mannion 65 mins; Philly McMahon for Cooper 68 mins; Diarmuid Connolly for for Scully 70 mins;Paddy Andrews for O’Callaghan 70 mins.

Mayo: Rob Hennelly; Chris Barrett, Brendan Harrison, Stephen Coen (0-01); Lee Keegan (1-00), Colm Boyle (0-01), Patrick Durcan (0-02); Aidan O’Shea Séamus O’Shea (0-01); Fionn McDonagh, Donal Vaughan, Matthew Ruane; Cillian O’Connor (0-03, 2f), Diarmuid O’Connor, James Carr (0-01).

Subs: Keith Higgins for Vaughan 28 mins; Kevin McLoughlin for McDonagh 49 mins; Andy Moran for Carr 52 mins; Eoin O’Donoghue for Boyle 57 mins; Tom Parsons for Séamus O’Shea 60 mins; Fergal Boland (0-01, 1f) for Diarmuid O’Connor 68 mins.