Fáilte chuig gaa.ie - suíomh oifigiúil CLG
Con O'Callaghan struck a fifth minute goal for Dublin against Tyrone at Croke Park.
Con O'Callaghan struck a fifth minute goal for Dublin against Tyrone at Croke Park.

Championship talking points


By Cian O'Connell

Dublin's depth and desire

That Michael Darragh MacAuley and Bernard Brogan weren't even summoned from the bench simply confirms the depth of the Dublin panel.

Those fortunate enough to have been given some game time delivered in style.

Kevin McManamon was all dash in attack; Paul Flynn mined three fine points; Eoghan O'Gara registered 1-1; Diarmuid Connolly got a few seconds at the end ahead of next month's decider.

For a team that has gathered so much silverware and glory on the national stage since 2011 there was still a commendable honesty to this Dublin performance.

Late on as Tyrone searched for consolation scores, Dublin continued to battle to protect Stephen Cluxton's goal.

When Cluxton saved Peter Harte's penalty, Dublin were satisfied that a goal hadn't been leaked.

Always striving for perfection, Dublin will also reflect on the chances they didn't convert at the opposite end themselves.

A combination of Niall Morgan, the woodwork, and sliced finishes ensured Dublin only registered two goals.

It is scary prospect, but Dublin will want to be more clinical when they face the Green and Red of Mayo at Croke Park next month.

David Clarke, Tom Parsons, Andy Moran, and Jason Doherty celebrate at Croke Park on Saturday.
David Clarke, Tom Parsons, Andy Moran, and Jason Doherty celebrate at Croke Park on Saturday.

Mayo's thrilling adventure

Mayo have already played nine Championship matches in 2017. There hasn't been any shortage of suspense or drama, but on Saturday Stephen Rochford's charges produced a masterful display.

Kerry weren't able to cope with Mayo, who had the pace and power to earn a merited win because there was so much to admire in the manner Rochford's players carried out their duties.

David Clarke was safe and sound when pressed into service; Chris Barrett and Brendan Harrison were earnest; Keith Higgins and Colm Boyle burst forward throughout; Jason Doherty, Cillian O'Connor, and Andy Moran were threatening inside.

When O'Connor was black carded, Doherty had the coolness and class to rifle over an important free and '45 just as Kerry were beginning to stir.

Gritty Mayo have the athleticism and raw power to match Dublin so the decider in three weeks time could go the distance again. 

Mayo are a proven summer outfit, they will now feature in a fourth All Ireland Final in six years. Consistent and rugged Mayo are very much on the march.

Raising Sam Maguire remains Mayo's burning ambition.

Sean Cavanagh has retired from inter-county football.
Sean Cavanagh has retired from inter-county football.

Sean Cavanagh retires

A true and talented warrior has left the inter-county arena.

Sean Cavanagh won't be forgotten because he was a footballer of substance and style.

Throughout his career Cavanagh performed in a plethora of different roles for Tyrone. Since making his senior debut in 2022 Cavanagh was always relevant.

During the salad years between 2003 and 2008 when Tyrone collected three All Ireland titles Cavanagh was a classy and central figure.

In the intervening decade, even when Tyrone didn't reach September fare, Cavanagh remained an influential contributor to the Red Hands cause.

Winning back to back Ulster Championships in 2016 and 2017 hinted at Tyrone's potential.

Sunday's All Ireland SFC Semi-Final defeat to Dublin was a reminder of the distance Tyrone still have to travel, but they will regroup by tyring to respond like they have always done.

The pity is that Cavanagh won't be part of that journey because he was a driving force, leader, and inspiration for so long.

Derry minors celebrate following a fine win over Dublin.
Derry minors celebrate following a fine win over Dublin.

Dynamic Derry minors

An open and attractive encounter was decided by a late Derry flourish against Dublin.

Derry kicked seven of the last nine points at Croke Park on Sunday to set up an Electric Ireland minor decider against Kerry next month.

It promises to be an equally exciting clash because Derry showed a real willingness to move the ball quickly inside.

A nice brand of football was rewarded on the grand GAA headquarters stage.

Patrick Quigg landed the cute points early on, while in the closing stages Lorcan McWilliams was the sharp Derry finisher.

In between there was a commendable work ethic about Derry, who also demonstrated a flash of style.

Callum Brown made an impact as a substitute and Derry will hope to cause a surprise against the four in a row chasing Kingdom next month. Kerry will have monitored the considerable threat Derry carry.

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