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GAA Football

Solid Rock inspires Dublin to another Sam Maguire

Dean Rock produced a man-of-the-match performance for Dublin
Andy Watters

All-Ireland Senior Football Championship final: Dublin 1-17 Mayo 1-16



Stephen Cluxton: Struggled to find a blue shirt with kick-outs in the first half, then opted to go short to the corners. Saved well from Jason Doherty, no chance with Keegan shot. 7

Philly McMahon: Had his hands full with Cillian O’Connor, who scored three points from play, but he gave him nothing easy. Booked in the second half. 6.5

Cian O’Sullivan: Played a familiar sweeper role. Off the ball foul on Aidan O’Shea led to a Cillian O’Connor free in the first half. Composed in possession. 6.5

Michael Fitzsimons: Given a torrid time by Andy Moran in the first half but got to grips with the Mayo talisman in the second period. Vital block on the rebound after Cluxton had saved from Doherty. 7

Jonny Cooper: Lost Jason Doherty twice in the first half and paid for it. Couldn’t fault his energy and commitment. 6.5

John Small: Struggled to keep his head above water in the first half as Mayo runners flooded the Dublin half. Got forward for a point, but reckless foul on Boyle in the second earned him a red card. Luckily for him, Donal Vaughan was also sent off. 6.5

Jack McCaffrey: Off injured after eight minutes. Dublin missed his pace and passing ability. Not on long enough to be rated.

Bryan Fenton: Workmanlike performance. Struggled to impose himself in the first period but still had legs to cover the field in the second half. Scored a fine point, then hauled down Diarmuid O’Connor. 7.5

James McCarthy: Started in the middle, switched to half-back after McCaffrey injury. Booked for sliding tackle in the first half. His energy and elusive running earned him two vital second half points from play that helped turn the game the Dubs’ way. 9

Ciaran Kilkenny: Lee Keegan blotted him out of the game. Improved in the second half when he dropped deep to get on the ball and was the catalyst for a lot of Dublin attacks. Black-carded in the closing stages. 7

Con O’Callaghan: Scythed through the Mayo defence in the first minute and beat Clarke with a deft finish. Chris Barrett had the better of it from then on though. 7

Eoghan O’Gara: Surprise starter. He was aggressive, sometimes overly so, and was booked. Clipped over a point from the right, but couldn’t get on the ball and was called ashore at half-time. 6

Paul Mannion: Didn’t happen for him in the first half, but he began the second with the equalizer and added two more. Should have done better with his goal chance. Clean through on Clarke, but drilled ball straight at Mayo goalkeeper. 8

Paddy Andrews: Tried hard in the first half but Mayo defence was on top. Angled run forced free for Rock. Well marked by Harrison and was withdrawn at half-time. 6

Dean Rock: See star man


Paul Flynn: Replaced the injured Jack McCaffrey after eight minutes. Operated around midfield but he came off second best against Tom Parsons. Sent one shot wide. 6.5

Diarmuid Connolly: Introduced at half-time. Seemed to have all the time in the world on the ball. Scored a point and played the pass of the game deep in the second half which led to a point for Rock. He won the free that led to the winner. 8

Kevin McManamon: Came on for the second half and, once again, his injection of pace turned the game for the Dubs. Scored one point. 7

Bernard Brogan: On for Paul Flynn with six minutes of normal time remaining. Assist for second McCarthy point, one ambitious shot charged down. 6

Niall Scully: On for O’Callaghan after 68 minutes. Not on long enough to be rated.

Cormac Costello: Replaced Paul Mannion at the death. Not on long enough to be rated.

Star Man

Dean Rock (Dublin)

He missed his first two chances – one went wide and one fell short - but overall Rock was the best Dublin forward on show yesterday.

Full of running, he provided the assist for Eoghan O’Gara’s point and scored six himself, three in each half. He scored four points from play and there were also two vital, nerveless frees. The first was a morale booster at the end of the first half, the second came deep in injury-time and won Dublin the Sam Maguire. 9



David Clarke: Saved well with his legs to deny Paul Mannion a 45th minute goal. Generally patient and precise with his kick-outs, but penultimate one caught by James McCarthy and he skewed last one out of play. 7

Brendan Harrison: Marked an array of Dublin attackers – Paddy Andrews, Eoghan O’Gara, Mannion, Bernard Brogan, and Cormac Costello, but only Mannion caused him real problems. 7

Chris Barrett: Played heroically, literally throwing his body in the way at one stage, winning tackles and turnovers. Made vital interceptions, but could not cut out Diarmuid Connolly’s cross-field kick for Dean Rock’s last point from play. 8.5

Keith Higgins: Not as influential as in recent games, but still a steady display, first on Rock, then against Connolly. Strong against Brogan late on and made an even later diving block. 7.5

Lee Keegan: Handed a spoiling role again, this time against Ciaran Kilkenny, and did that very well, really reducing the Castleknock man’s usual influence. Got forward for a goal too. 8

Paddy Durcan: Got his start in defence and did well against Mannion, holding him scoreless. Shot a poor wide himself. Much more troubled by the pace and power of Kevin McManamon. 7

Colm Boyle: Bamboozled by Con O’Callaghan for Dublin’s goal but settled after that and scored a point. Clattered by John Small and subbed seven minutes later. 7

Seamus O’Shea: A typically solid display, keeping a defensive eye on O’Callaghan, tackling Paul Flynn, but had lapses of concentration. Was first Mayo man subbed. 7

Tom Parsons: A powerful performance at centre-field, overshadowing Brian Fenton for some time, but not as effective going forward. 7.5

Kevin McLoughlin: Another all-action display. Scored two points from play and provided four assists. Showed tremendous ball-winning ability and used it well too. 8

Aidan O’Shea: Started superbly, winning possession in the tackles and in the air and using it well. However, his influence on the match waned significantly and he shot a wide. 7

Donal Vaughan: Pushed up into attack and scored his side’s second point before dropping deeper. Stupidly got himself sent off for hitting out at Small. 6

Jason Doherty: Began badly with a first minute wide but then scored two good points. Might have done better with his goal chance and added another wide. 7

Cillian O’Connor: For someone who scores so much, and works so hard, he may unfortunately always be remembered for his misses. Notched 0-7, including a couple of fine efforts from play, but missed a free in first half and struck upright from another late on. 7.5

Andy Moran: Superb in the first half, scoring three points from play, and still effective after the break, laying the ball off for Doherty’s goal chance and Keegan’s goal. Shot two wides. 7.5


Diarmuid O’Connor: Came on for Seamus O’Shea and put himself about, immediately winning a free and full of strong running. 6.5

Stephen Coen: Replaced Boyle and went to pick up Diarmuid Connolly but could not contain him as the game neared its climax. 6

Conor Loftus: In for Moran in the 63rd minute but barely got involved. 5.5

David Drake: Not on long enough to be rated.

Ger Cafferkey: Not on long enough to be rated.

Danny Kirby: Not on long enough to be rated.

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