Jim Gavin’s tenure as Dublin boss got off to the perfect start with his first National League title beating Tyrone
It was a 10th National League title for the Dublin Senior footballers as they shaded a one point victory over Tyrone. The thrilling decider was watched by a crowd of over 33,000 and was as enthralling as a championship encounter.
An additional time point scored by Jack McCaffrey secured the win, but the heroics of Dean Rock, scoring an equaliser three minutes from time kept this game sparking right until the death. Rock put Dublin in front in the final minute, but Sean Kavanagh gave Tyrone a lifeline.
Tyrone goalkeeper Niall Morgan was named player of the match, ending the game as his side’s top scorer with 0-05.
Dublin started the stronger and were 0-04 to 0-01 ahead on eleven minutes. Diarmuid Connolly was instrumental at centre forward, but Tyrone began to make the most of their limited possession with Conor McAliskey, Mattie Donnelly and Morgan finding their range.
But Dublin stormed back and reeled off 0-03 without reply. The only problem was their struggle in midfield, as Tyrone pushed on and drew level leaving the score at 0-10 each at the break.
Morgan got Tyrone up and running after the restart, but Paul Mannion restored the deadlock. And that was how the second half continued. Every time Tyrone pushed their noses in front, Dublin reeled them back in. And with the intensity not dropping until the final whistle it made for an enthralling Football League Final.
S Cluxton (0-01f); K O’Brien, J Cooper, D Daly; J McCarthy, G Brennan, J McCaffrey (0-01); MD McAuley, C O’Sullivan; J Whelan, D Connolly (0-02), B Cullen (0-01); P Mannion (0-04, 0-01f), P Andrews (0-01), B Brogan (0-05f).
S Carthy for Whelan (35 mins), K McMenamon for Cullen (45 mins), D Bastick for O’Sullivan (46 mins), P McMahon (0-01) for McAuley (51 mins), D Rock (0-02) for Brogan (58 mins)
N Morgan (0-05, 0-04f, 0-01 ’45); PJ Quinn, C Clarke, C McCarron; C Gormley (0-01), D Carlin, Justin McMahon; C Cavanagh, S Cavanagh (0-04, 0-01f); Matthew Donnelly (0-01), Mark Donnelly (0-01), Joe McMahon; M Penrose (0-02f), C McAliskey (0-03), P McNeice.
A Cassidy for Carlin (32 mins), P Kane for Justin McMahon (35 mins), K Coney for McNeice (58 mins), R McKenna for Gormley (65 mins), A McCrory for Cassidy (71 mins).