Dublin and Mayo draw in full-tilt semi-final

Dublin and Mayo draw in full-tilt semi-final

By John Fogarty

Dublin 2-12 Mayo 1-15

Pandemonium reigned supreme in this All-Ireland semi-final, a draw perhaps a fair result after all the drama that preceded the final whistle.

Dublin and Mayo draw in full-tilt semi-final

Dublin lost Diarmuid Connolly to a red card late into injury-time. Barring a successful appeal, he will miss the replay likely to take place in Croke Park again next Saturday.

Lee Keegan was shown a yellow card for his involvement in the same incident and to add to Dublin's pain Stephen Cluxton missed a long-range free to win it for them. It was one of three wides he had from placed balls in the second half.

Dublin had been cruising seven points up with nine minutes of normal time remaining when Mayo reeled off 1-4 without reply. Their goal came in the 69th minute when Cillian O'Connor despatched the ball past Cluxton after Philly McMahon upended Colm Boyle.

Dublin can count themselves fortunate not to have lost Stephen Cluxton and Philly McMahon to red cards. They were just as lucky in being awarded a first-half penalty.

But then Mayo were blessed too to get a second bite of the cherry after their forward line had largely malfunctioned for the majority of the game.

Controversy was never going to be too far away from this semi-final and it raised its head in the fifth minute when Jason Doherty brought down Paul Flynn after the Dublin wing forward caught a high ball in and sprinted towards goal.

Only Joe McQuillan deemed the foul had taken place inside the small rectangle when it appeared to have been committed outside of it. Connolly needed no invitation and slotted away the penalty.

In a game that didn't truly open until the latter stages of the first half, there was no high fielding as both goalkeepers chose to restart with short lateral kick-outs. The intensity levels were peaking, though, Rory O'Carroll having to leave with a facial injury before Donal Vaughan was forced to retire with a shoulder injury.

Dublin and Mayo draw in full-tilt semi-final

Dublin looked slicker going forward and Flynn was at ease in his deep-seated role, pulling the strings with precise foot-passes while adding another body when Mayo were in possession.

Dublin's biggest margin was five points in the 14th minute when Bernard Brogan pointed.

However, a series of Cillian O'Connor frees, the majority of fouls being committed in the central areas, kept Mayo in the frame and by the end of the half the deficit was cut to three, 1-7 to 0-7.

Scorers for Dublin: D Connolly (1-2, 1-0 pen, 0-1 free); K McManamon (1-1); C Kilkenny (0-3); P Andrews, B Brogan (0-2 each); A Brogan, J McCaffrey (0-1 each).

Scorers for Mayo: C O'Connor (1-9, 1-0 pen, 8 frees, 1 45); A Moran (0-2); L Keegan, D O'Connor, K Higgins, A Freeman (0-1 each).

Subs for Dublin: M Fitzsimons for R O'Carroll (blood permanent, 4); K McManamon for D Rock (h-t); J Small for J Cooper (inj, 44); D Bastick for MD Macauley (black, 51); A Brogan for P Andrews (55); T Brady for B Fenton (58); E Lowndes for Bastick (black, 68).

Red card: D Connolly (70+4).

Subs for Mayo: P Durcan for D Vaughan (inj, 10); A Moran for D Drake (45); A Freeman for J Doherty (62); B Moran for S O'Shea (66); M Sweeney for D O'Connor (70).

DUBLIN: S Cluxton; J Cooper, R O'Carroll, P McMahon; J McCarthy, C O'Sullivan, J McCaffrey; B Fenton, MD Macauley; P Flynn, P Andrews, C Kilkenny; D Rock, D Connolly, B Brogan.

MAYO: R Hennelly; C Barrett, G Cafferkey, K Higgins; D Vaughan, L Keegan, C Boyle; S O'Shea, T Parsons; D O'Connor, D Drake, J Doherty; A O'Shea, K McLoughlin, C O'Connor.

Referee: J McQuillan (Cavan)

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