A defensive night in MacHale Park saw Dublin prevail to record their first League win of the campaign
MacHale Park, Castlebar
In the ground where Dessie Farrell made his League debut in 1992, 15,148 watched his Dublin side secure their first win of the National Football League. Dean Rock added to his goal tally with a fisted ball into the net from a Kevin McManamon pass along the end line. And it seemed to be the turning point after a very evenly matched first half.
Mayo played the majority of the game with 14 men Jordan Flynn was red carded just 14 minutes into the game.
With Mayo winning the first possession Aidan O’Shea got his side on the board early. But Ryan O’Donoghue and James Durcan saw shots drift wide either side of a Ciaran Kilkenny wide attempt. Kilkenny eventually got Dublin’s first score on eight minutes.
James Carr scored a majestic point for Mayo to put them 0-03 to 0-01 up after a free converted by Diarmuid O’Connor for a foul on O’Shea. But Mayo would lose Flynn minutes later. The half forward came in late and high on John Small, leaving Barry Cassidy no option but to show a straight red card.
Still trailing by two at the midway point, Dublin looked to be struggling putting passes together even with the man advantage. But Mayo were managing to maintain the majority of the possession
Colm Boyle was caught fouling Kevin McManamon off the ball gifting Dean Rock an easy free to close the gap to one. Both sides fought for the ball for a seven minute period before James Durcan broke the baron spell. Kevin McManamon replied with a beautiful angled score to keep a score between them.
With a man short Mayo resorted to a blanket defence to control the lead. And for long periods Dublin had to show their patience attempting to break through. Fergal Boland caught an advance mark in the 32nd minute and converted with ease. Unfortunately for Conor McHugh, his mark that immediately followed didn’t hit the target.
Eventually Dublin won a free from a foul on John Small and Dean Rock nailed the kick to put a score between the sides again. And in the third minute of added time a quick move saw James McCarthy split the posts to level the game at the break.
Dublin showed resilience again to put in solid second half shift
On the restart, Dublin hit the front early with Dan O’Brien capitalising on a pass from Ciaran Kilkenny to clip it over. And they continued to press, slowly forcing their way at a Mayo side who were already looking tired. And nine minutes in Kevin McManamon shook off Aidan O’Shea on the end line to send a ball towards the goal. Dean Rock somehow got his fist to it and it ran past Rob Hennelly into the net to give Dublin the advantage. Niall Scully and John Small stretched the lead to six with a couple of wonderful scores as Dublin shifted gears and the wave began to sweep further down the field.
A free converted by James Durcan in 56th minute was their first since the first half with 21 minutes gone in the second. And when Michael Fitzsimons was given a black card for a foul on Diarmuid O’Connor, Mayo failed to capitalize on the resulting free. But they’d have 10 minutes to make the most of the parity in the sides.
Niall Scully and Diarmuid O’Connor both saw yellows as Barry Cassidy had to have his whits about him for the final 10 minutes. James McCarthy tagged another score on for Dublin with Tommy Conroy responding at the other end of the field.
Dean Rock converted his third free after Ciaran Kilkenny was brought down in an untidy end to a tough game that saw Mayo pick up six yellow and one red card. Dublin’s resilience once again came to the fore. Substitute Aaron Byrne again showed his talent scoring Dublin’s last score.
Mayo did register the last score with Fergal Boland sending over a huge score, but the spoils go to Dublin who dusted themselves off after a slow start to finish six points clear,
15. James Durcan 0-02 (1f)
10. Fergal Boland 0-02 (1f)
22. Aidan O’Shea 0-01
9. Diarmuid O’Connor 0-01
14. James Carr 0-01
27. Tommy Conroy 0-01
15. Dean Rock 1-03 (2f, 1 ‘45)
5. James mcCarthy 0-02
12. Ciaran Kilkenny 0-01
13. Kevin McManamon 0-01
23. Dan O’Brien 0-01
10. Niall Sculy 0-01
6. John Small 0-01
18. Aaron Byrne 0-01
1. Robert Hennelly
2. Padraig O’Hora
3. Oisin Mullin
4. Brendan Harrison
5. Michael Plunkett
6. Colm Boyle
7. Patrick Durcan
8. Stephen Coen
9. Diarmuid O’Connor
10. Fergal Boland
11. Ryan O’Donoghue
12. Jordan Flynn
22. Aidan O’Shea
14. James Carr
15. James Durcan
28. Lee Keegan for Colm Boyle (HT)
27. Tommy Conroy for James Carr (HT)
13. Kevin McLoughlin for Ryan O’Donoghue (47)
18. James McCormack for Aidan O’Shea (54)
1. Evan Comerford
19. Michael Fitzsimons
3. David Byrne
4. Rory O’Carroll
5. James McCarthy
6. John Small
7. Eoin Murchan
8. Brian Fenton
9. Brian Howard
10. Niall Scully
21. Conor McHugh
12. Ciarán Kilkenny
13. Kevin McManamon
23. Dan O’Brien
15. Dean Rock
11. Paul Mannion for Conor McHugh (HT)
20. Liam Flatman for Rory O’Carroll (HT)
26. Paddy Small for Kevin McManamon (54)
25. Cillian O’Shea for Eoin Murchan (73)