Flashback: National Football League Final 2018

National Football League 2018 - Dublin v Galway

It was on this day two years ago that Dublin captured their 13th National Football League title beating Galway

National Football League 2018 - Dublin v Galway

Dublin 0-18
Galway 0-14

As we look back through some of Dublin’s greatest moments of the last decade we can’t forget the National Football League. And on April 1st 2018, Jim Gavin would secure his last League title as manager.

And it was a late surge from 14 man Dublin finally got them past tough opposition to lift their fifth league title in six years.

Galway made the Dubs work hard for the victory and with twelve minutes left on the clock and Dublin light a player after the dismissal of Niall Scully on a second yellow the sides were tied at 0-13 each.

But it was Dublin who dominated till the final whistle showing all their experience, guile, quality, game management and unquenchable appetite for success to claim the honours.

Certainly an intriguing contest throughout. It may have lacked a sense of excitement but tactically it was fascinating.

As tactical as a game of chess

Tactically, Dublin mirrored their opponents defensive style to avoid being outnumbered. The men in maroon would break forward and both sides flooded players into their own half when they didn’t have the ball, leaving a lone attacker up front.

Dublin almost got off to the perfect start inside the opening 15 seconds but a superb save from Galway keeper Ruairi Lavelle denied Paul Mannion a certain goal.

Lavelle would spare Galway’s blushes on two more occasions during the game. A second Mannion power shot was evaded in the first half. And when Dean Rock attempted a strike in the second the Galway keeper again pulled off a stop.

Damien Comer caused Dublin plenty of trouble in a tight opening half. But Philly McMahon eventually got his number, forcing him to track the Dublin defender as he drove forward.

At the other end Mannion, Rock and Ciaran Kilkenny caused Galway plenty of headaches. The sides were level five times during the opening session. And there was never more than two scores between the sides as they played cat and mouse. A tied game at 0-08 each at the break was no more than a fair assessment.

Dubs down to 14 but drive home for the result

The introduction of Colm Basquel after the break saw him make an immediate impact But Galway would hang in and compete. And their cause was helped by the dismissal of Niall Scully to a second yellow. But the 14 man disadvantage seemed to only spur Dublin on more and they outscored Galway by 0-06 to 0-02 at the close of the game.

As the final whistle blew Galway couldn’t argue the outcome as Dublin were more than deserving winners, weathering the maroon storm and rising to the top just at the perfect time.

Dublin Scorers:

Dean Rock 0-07 (6f)
Paul Mannion 0-03
Ciaran Kilkenny 0-02
Colm Basquel 0-02
Philly McMahon 0-01
John Small 0-01
Niall Scully 0-01
Eric Lowndes 0-01

Galway Scorers:

Barry McHugh 0-05 (4f)
Damien Comer 0-04 (1f)
Johnny Heaney 0-02
Shane Walsh 0-02 (1f)
Paul Conroy 0-01


Stephen Cluxton
Philly McMahon
Michael Fitzsimons
David Byrne
James McCarthy
Jonny Cooper
John Small
Brian Fenton
Michael Darragh Macauley
Brian Howard
Kevin McManamon
Niall Scully
Dean Rock
Ciaran Kilkenny
Paul Mannion

Dublin Substitutes:

Eric Lowndes for McCarthy (35)
Colm Basquel for McManamon (HT)
Eoin Murchan for Small (40)
Con O’Callaghan for Macauley (54)
Shane Carthy for Mannion (67)
Small for McMahon (73)


Ruairi Lavelle
Declan Kyne
Sean Andy O Ceallaigh
Eoghan Kerin
Gareth Bradshaw
Cathal Sweeney
Johnny Heaney
Peter Cooke
Ciaran Duggan
Eamonn Brannigan
Paul Conroy
Sean Kelly
Barry McHugh
Damien Comer
Shane Walsh

Galway Substitutes:

Gary O’Donnell for Heaney (61)
Tom Flynn for Cooke (67)
Patrick Sweeney for Conroy (67)
Adrian Varley for Walsh (69)