D1: Dublin grind out victory in Mayo
Allianz Football League Division I: Mayo 0-7 Dublin 0-9
By Declan Rooney
Dublin picked up their second win of their Division 1 campaign and Mayo slipped to a second defeat as four Dean Rock points edged the Sky Blues past the home side at Elverys MacHale Park.
Both teams had a man sent off in the final action as Colm Boyle and John Small were shown their second yellow cards as a couple of rows broke out, but Dublin were rarely troubled by an industrious Mayo.
For the most part there was little to separate the two sides in the wind and rain of Castlebar, but three points in three second-half minutes proved crucial in this Dublin win.
After 43 minutes the game was on a knife-edge after Diarmuid O'Connor landed his second point of the game, but two frees from Rock and a third from the outstanding James McCarthy gave the reigning league and championship winners the two points.
Playing into the gale in the first-half Mayo got off to a great start when O'Connor fisted a point in the fourth minute. A minute earlier Dublin had centre-back Philly McMahon black carded for a trip on Aidan O'Shea, but that didn’t halt their progress as they led by 0-4 to 0-3 at the break thanks to a couple of good points from play from Diarmuid Connolly and Denis Bastick.
The loss of the in-form Donal Vaughan to a hamstring injury just as O'Connor levelled matters in the 43rd minute was crucial and Dublin's best period of play in the game came hot on its heels.
That trio of points gave Dublin a 0-7 to 0-4 lead and with 15 minute to go Evan Regan landed his second point to cut the lead again.
But Dublin worked their bench well and Cormac Costello found the target shortly after his arrival to make it a three-point lead once more.
Hennelly and Regan pointed from frees late on, but Emmett Ó Conghaile kicked the insurance point for Jim Gavin's men, just before Johnny Cooper's black card and the double sending off. It wasn’t a convincing victory, but Dublin looked like the only winners throughout.
Scorers for Dublin: D Rock 0-4 (3f, 1'45), D Connolly 0-1, D Bastick 0-1, J McCarthy 0-1, C Costello 0-1, E O Conghaile 0-1.
Scorers for Mayo: E Regan 0-3 (2f), D O'Connor 0-2, R Hennelly 0-2 (2'45).
Mayo: *R Hennelly; G Cafferkey, C Crowe, B Harrison; C Boyle, M Hall, S Nally; T Parsons, A O’Shea; D O’Connor, D Vaughan, C O’Shea; E Regan, J Doherty, M Sweeney. Subs: J Gibbons for Parsons (h-t), D Drake for Vaughan (43), K Higgins for Hall (45), C Carolan for Sweeney (58), D McHale for C O'Shea (66), S McHale for Nally (71).
*Dublin: S Cluxton; M Fitzsimons, J Cooper, David Byrne; J McCarthy, P McMahon, J Small; D Bastick, E O Conghaile; T Brady, C Kilkenny, D Connolly; D Rock, P Mannion, P Andrews. Subs: J McCaffrey for McMahon (3 BC), S Carthy for Bastick (h-t), C Reddin for Brady (47), C Costello for Mannion (45), P Ryan for Andrews (66), D Daly for Cooper (71 BC).
Referee: P Hughes (Armagh).