“Mayo, who never make it easy for themselves, responded in style.”
Dublin v Mayo is a rivalry that has captured the public’s imagination in recent years. The teams haven clashed nine times since the turn of the century, six in the last five years (including replays).
Ahead of the All-Ireland final on Saturday, we’ve picked out our top five Dublin-Mayo clashes in recent memory.
1. 2017 All-Ireland final: Dublin 1-17 Mayo 1-16.
The 2017 All-Ireland Final is widely regarded as one of the best games of Gaelic Football. It was the climax to the great Dublin-Mayo rivalry of 2015-2017, where the teams contested five games over a three-year period.
Con O’Callaghan scored a goal after just 83 seconds to send Hill 16 into raptures. This was another bad start from Mayo against the Dubs. However, they did respond and led 0-9 to 1-5 at the break. Dublin got on top in the second half but both sides missed goal chances. First Jason Doherty for Mayo, then Paul Mannion for Dublin as the game was in the melting pot. With Mayo two points down in the 54th minute, Lee Keegan scored a sublime goal, silencing the Hill.
Diarmuid Connolly came on and scored an inspirational point as both sides traded blows. Cillian O’Connor equalised with three minutes to go, with an incredible score from just inside the 45. But, with the game level going into injury-time, Diarmuid Connolly won a free. Not even Keegan’s GPS could distract Dean Rock as he stepped up and calmly stroked the ball over the bar, bringing an end to a pulsating game.
2. 2016 All-Ireland final Replay: Dublin 1-15 Mayo 1-14.
The 2016 All-Ireland final followed the drawn game where Mayo scored two own goals, meaning Dublin secured a replay despite only scoring nine points of their own. The replay was played on a Saturday evening with Dublin racing into a 0-4 to 0-0 lead after just six minutes.
Mayo, who never make it easy for themselves, responded in style to get the next four scores and level the game up. A cracking Lee Keegan goal at the Davin end put Mayo in the ascending but Dublin did go in one point ahead at the break, 0-10 to 1-06.
The game turned in the 40th minute when Rob Hennelly, a late change in goal made by Stephen Rochford, dropped a relatively easy high ball straight to Bernard Brogan. Instinct meant Hennelly tripped Brogan as he was about to shoot and he was subsequently black-carded. Diarmuid Connolly made no mistake from the spot and Dublin led by three.
Dublin seemed to keep Mayo at arm’s length for the rest of the game. However, Mayo kept pushing and Cillian O’Connor had the chance to equalise late from a free. He missed and Hill 16 celebrated a second All-Ireland in a row.
3. 2006 All-Ireland semi-final: Mayo 1-16 Dublin 2-12.
What a sensational game of football. Mayo raced into 0-5 to 0-2 lead, with Alan Dillon firing. However, Conal Keaney levelled the game up with a tap in goal, following in Alan Brogan’s shot which was saved by David Clarke. Both teams traded some lovely scores but Mayo went in 0-9 to 1-5 up at the break.
An early second-half Jason Sherlock goal straight after the restart began a blistering 10 minute spell for Dublin. They managed to lead 2-11 0-10 after 46 minutes. However, Mayo responded and an Andy Moran goal got Mayo back to within two.
Mayo managed to get level again and with three minutes of normal time to go, Ciarán McDonald stepped up and scored a memorable winning point in front of the Dublin fans. Mayo hung on and reached a second All-Ireland final in three years as Dublin missed out on a final appearance once again.
4. 2015 All-Ireland semi-final Replay: Dublin 3-15 Mayo 1-14.
While the drawn game had the more dramatic finish, for the best part of 60 minutes this was an absolute classic. The atmosphere in Croke Park for this replay was electric as Dublin and Mayo went back and forth in a first half shootout. Paddy Andrews scored 0-4 from play in that first half as the teams went into the break, 0-10 apiece.
A sublime 43rd minute Cillian O’Connor goal in front of the Hill, as he tiptoed around Stephen Cluxton, gave Mayo a four-point lead. Dublin were left with seemingly a mountain to climb. A couple of crucial moments, including a Lee Keegan attempted point kicked straight into Cluxton’s arms, kept Dublin in the game before three goals in quick succession sealed Mayo’s fate.
An Alan Brogan handpass opened up the Mayo defence as he sent in Brian Fenton. Fenton’s shot across goal was tapped home soccer-style by Bernard Brogan. A clumsy second goal put Dublin in charge before a cracking 66th minute Kevin McManamon strike sealed the Dublin comeback.
5. 2012 All-Ireland semi-final: Mayo 0-19 Dublin 0-16.
Dublin were coming into the game off the back of a first All-Ireland title since 1995 the previous year. There was an expectation of a second final in as many years. With the winners playing the in-form Donegal, the stakes were high.
However, Dublin couldn’t get going and Mayo, without the injured Andy Moran, had nine different scorers as they led 0-17 to 0-7 in the 51st minute. The champions began the comeback. They got the lead back to three before the game’s final turning point.
Bernard Brogan latched onto a long high Ciaran Kilkenny free and was sent through on goal. With just David Clarke to beat, it looked like Brogan would level it but Clarke stood tall, making a brilliant save. Subsequently, Paul Flynn followed up with a point to reduce the lead to just two but the momentum was stalled and Mayo held on.
Let us know your favourite Dublin v Mayo game in recent memory.