Allianz FL D1: Dublin take down 14-man Mayo
Allianz Football League Division 1
DUBLIN 1-11 MAYO 0-8
By Kevin Gallagher at Elverys MacHale Park.
Dessie Farrell landed his first win as Dublin manager with a six-point victory over the 14 men of Mayo at Elverys MacHale Park.
The reigning Allianz NFL Division 1 champions had Jordan Flynn sent off early in the game but they still were well placed at 0-5 to 0-5 at half-time in front of 15,148. However, Dean Rock scored a stunning goal in the 45th minute and there was no way back for the home side.
Farrell made three late changes to his Dublin team, with Michael Fitzsimons, Conor McHugh and Dan O’Brien all coming into the starting line-up. Aidan O’Shea entered the Mayo selection instead of Kevin McLoughlin, and he gave his side the lead after just 24 seconds. Dublin had to wait until the ninth minute before Ciaran Kilkenny scored their first point.
It was Rory O’Carroll’s first league start in five years and the experienced Dublin defender was struggling with the more youthful James Carr. Diarmuid O’Connor scored a Mayo free and then Carr got out in front of O’Carroll to score a huge point in the 13th minute.
Mayo had a great opening and were 0-3 to 0-1 in front but three minutes later Flynn’s high tackle on John Small was punished by a straight red card.
It was a low-scoring game but an underwhelming Dublin moved ominously within a point when Rock pointed a free. After a few bad misses Mayo took a double-scores lead through James Durcan with ten minutes remaining in the first half.
Kevin McManamon replied only for Fergal Boland to claim an advanced mark and swing it over with the outside of his right boot. Rock (free) ate into the lead and Dublin captain James McCarthy drew the sides level at half-time.
Former Footballer of the Year Lee Keegan took the place of the injured Colm Boyle at half-time but it was Dublin who struck first, as O’Brien gave them the lead for the first time two minutes in.
Mayo had not scored since the 32nd minute of the first half, and it got worse when McManamon assisted and Rock applied an audacious flick over the head of Robbie Hennelly for Dublin’s goal.
Dublin’s four-point advantage quickly became five when Niall Scully cut a wonderful angle before scoring his first point of the day. And they began to create havoc with the extra man, and Small added another.
Dublin were 1-8 to 0-5 in front with 20 minutes left to play and James Durcan finally stopped the rot in the 57th minute.
Substitute Fitzsimons was shown a black card for a foul on O’Connor four minutes later, but James Durcan missed the subsequent free and Mayo couldn’t launch another comeback.
Scorers for Dublin: Dean Rock 1-3 (0-3f), James McCarthy 0-2, Ciaran Kilkenny 0-1, Kevin McManamon 0-1, Dan O’Brien 0-1, Niall Scully 0-1, John Small 0-1, Aaron Byrne 0-1.
Scorers for Mayo: James Durcan 0-2 (0-1f), Fergal Boland 0-2 (0-1mark), Aidan O’Shea 0-1, Diarmuid O’Connor 0-1 (0-1f), James Carr 0-1, Tommy Conroy 0-1.
DUBLIN: Evan Comerford; Michael Fitzsimons, David Byrne, Rory O’Carroll; James McCarthy, John Small, Eoin Murchan; Brian Fenton, Brian Howard; Niall Scully, Conor McHugh, Ciaran Kilkenny; Kevin McManamon, Dan O’Brien, Dean Rock. Subs: Paul Mannion for McHugh (46), Liam Flatman for O’Carroll (48), Paddy Small for McManamon (55), Aaron Byrne for O’Brien (57), Cillian O’Shea for Murchan (74).
MAYO: Robbie Hennelly; Pádraig O'Hora, Oisín Mullin, Brendan Harrison; Michael Plunkett, Colm Boyle, Paddy Durcan; Stephen Coen, Diarmuid O’Connor; Fergal Boland, Ryan O’Donoghue, Jordan Flynn; Aidan O’Shea, James Carr, James Durcan. Subs: Lee Keegan for Boyle (half-time, inj), Tommy Conroy for Carr (half-time), Kevin McLoughlin for O’Donoghue (48), James McCormack for O’Shea (55), James Durcan for Loftus (66).
Referee: Barry Cassidy (Derry).