Dublin manager Jim Gavin made some big calls yesterday to his starting team. There were a few gasps of surprise from the Dublin supporters in Croke Park when the team was announced just before throw-in.
Most of the attention went to the fact that Bernard Brogan and Michael Darragh MacAuley were omitted from the starting 15.
The third player to drop to the bench was David Byrne, it seemed a little harsh on the Naomh Olaf man who had an excellent season. In his place came Michael Fitzsimons, the 26 year old Cuala clubman although a reknowned tight marker with plenty of experience, had gotten very little game time this season and it looked at least before the game started that Gavin was possibly taking a gamble.
Dublin fans though didnt need to worry as Fitzsimons was just absolutely brilliant in a man of the match display. He kept Andy Moran out of the game seeing the Mayo talisman called ashore in the 55th minute.
Fitzsimons was just everywhere in the defence yesterday, hassling and harrying, breaking up attacks, putting his body on the line blocking the ball and breaking forward when the opportunity arose.
For a player who spent most of the 2016 season on the bench it was just a phenomenal display. Take a bow Michael Fitzsimons you were just magnificent.
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