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Dublin win epic replay

Stephen Cluxton raises the Sam Maguire Cup.

Stephen Cluxton raises the Sam Maguire Cup.

All Ireland SFC Final replay

Dublin 1-15 Mayo 1-14

By Paul Keane at Croke Park

Cormac Costello emerged as Dublin's unlikely hero with three late points at Croke Park to finally see off Mayo securing back to back All-Ireland Senior Football titles.

The 22-year old Whitehall Colmcille man has been used sparingly this year, but burst into life as a second-half substitute and his late scores ultimately sealed a 26th crown for Dublin. It's their first successful All-Ireland defence since 1977.

Bernard Brogan also came off the bench in the replay tie and scored an important late point though Diarmuid Connolly's 42nd minute penalty conversion was the score that turned the game decisively in Dublin's favour.

But it was heartache for Mayo who were also beaten by a point by Dublin in 2013 and came so close to pushing the game to extra-time.

Free-taker Cillian O'Connor, who scored nine points on the evening, had an opportunity to level the game deep into injury-time, but pulled his kick just wide.

Connolly finished with 1-1 for Dublin, while freetaker Dean Rock tallied 0-9 and was much improved from the drawn game 13 days ago.

Dublin have now claimed four All-Irelands in six seasons and will go down as one of the all time great teams.

There was drama before the game even began with Dublin making three changes to their lineup having initially announced an unchanged team.

Paddy Andrews, Paul Mannion, and Michael Fitzsimons all retained their places after coming on during the drawn game.

That meant heartbreak for David Byrne, who was replaced at corner back by Fitzsimons, though he at least came on early for the black carded Jonny Cooper.

Diarmuid Connolly scores a second half penalty for Dublin.

Diarmuid Connolly scores a second half penalty for Dublin.

Michael Darragh Macauley and Brogan, two former Player of the Year winners, were also benched.

Mayo sprung their own surprise by including Rob Hennelly in goals instead of David Clarke.

It was rip roaring stuff from the off with far more craft and invention on display than in the 2-9 to 0-15 stalemate.

That was partly down to the better conditions and Dublin steamed four points clear thanks mainly to three Rock points.

But Mayo were back level at 0-4 apiece after 13 minutes, setting the tempo for a high octane tit-for-tat scoring encounter.

Dublin moved two clear again before being rocked back on their heels by a Lee Keegan goal.

It was a terrific strike from the defender who raced upfield and latched onto an Aidan O'Shea pass before blasting low and hard beyond Stephen Cluxton's despairing right hand.

The day would end in frustration for Keegan, however, with a black card for hauling down Connolly late in the first-half.

By that stage Dublin had fought back to take a 0-10 to 1-6 lead into the interval with Rock accounting for all, but two of their scores.

The Ballymun man kicked six frees but also scored twice from play and put in two great first-half interceptions that summed up his immense desire.

Kevin McManamon and Aidan O Shea in action at Croke Park.

Kevin McManamon and Aidan O Shea in action at Croke Park.

One of those interceptions led to Connolly gaining possession and Keegan's black card.

Connolly kicked a great score himself earlier when he escaped Keegan to launch a left footed shot over from the right wing.

A scuffle deep into first-half injury-time led bookings for Connolly, Donal Vaughan and John Small.

Diarmuid O'Connor was directly involved in three Mayo points after the restart, scoring one and winning two frees that sibling Cillian converted.

But Connolly's goal for Dublin in the 42nd minute turned the game again and put them 1-11 to 1-8 up. Mayo goalkeeper Hennelly fumbled his catch and then pulled down Andrews, leading to the penalty.

Dublin stayed in front from then on though there was often just a point between them and they were thankful for Costello's sensational interventions with 57th, 60th and 71st minute points that will go down in the history books.

Scorers for Dublin: D Rock 0-9 (7fs), D Connolly 1-1, C Costello 0-3, K McManamon 0-1, B Brogan 0-1.

Scorers for Mayo: C O'Connor 0-9 (9fs), L Keegan 1-0, P Durcan 0-2, A Moran 0-1, D O'Connor 0-1, K McLoughlin 0-1.

Dublin: S Cluxton; M Fitzsimons, P McMahon, J Cooper; J McCarthy, C O'Sullivan, J Small; B Fenton, P Flynn; C Kilkenny, K McManamon, D Connolly; P Mannion, D Rock, P Andrews.

Subs: D Byrne for Cooper (21, black card), B Brogan for Andrews (47), MD Macauley for Mannion (52), C Costello for McManamon (56), E Lowndes for Small (60), D Daly for O'Sullivan (72).

Mayo: R Hennelly, P Durcan (0-2), K Higgins, B Harrison; L Keegan, C Boyle, D Vaughan; S O'Shea, T Parsons; D O'Connor, K McLoughlin, J Doherty; A Moran, A O'Shea, C O'Connor.

Subs: S Coen for Keegan (35+1, black card), B Moran for Parsons (35+8 - h/t), C O'Shea for Vaughan (h/t), D Clarke for Hennelly (41, black card), B Moran for A Moran (55), A Dillon for Doherty (60), C Barrett for Boyle (71).

Referee: M Deegan (Laois).