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Tyrone Wide Count Costly As Dublin Ease To Another All Ireland Title

Dublin 2-17 Tyrone 1-14

Dublin have retained the Sam Maguire Cup following a comprehensive victory over Tyrone in Croke Park today. They were in difficulty for the opening quarter of the game but following two goals in quick succession, they never looked back. 

It was the All Ireland champions who looked uncertain and shaken in the opening period of the game. Just as Niall Morgan’s kick-outs were key to Tyrone’s positive play, a number of poor efforts from Stephen Cluxton added to Dublin’s woes. They were first on the scoresheet, Dean Rock knocking over a standard free but it was to be 17 minutes before they struck again. In the meantime, Tyrone were flying. Mattie Donnelly and Mark Bradley pointed before Connor McAliskey scored two efforts in a row. There were worrying signs for the Ulster men however, as they hit nine wides in the first half.

Ciarán Kilkenny grabbed Dublin’s second point before the game entirely swung in their favour. Morgan’s first poor kick-out of the game found it’s way to Paul Mannion who was deemed to be fouled as he ran through on goal, resulting in a penalty which he himself scored.

The pivotal moment sparked Dublin into life as Rock, who had missed two relavitely easy frees, kicked Dublin two points ahead. Morgan’s kick-outs became more and more erractic as Dublin began to dominate possession. After a blistering run, Con O’Callaghan found Niall Scully who bundled the ball into Morgan’s net to put five between the sides. Dublin lost Cian O’Sullivan to the hamstring injury that he carried into the game after just 27 minutes. Tyrone were lucky not to lose Peter Harte minutes later after he was thought to have struck John Small in the face off-the-ball. Further Dublin scores left them seven points ahead at the break.

Mickey Harte reverted to their high-intensity set up at the beginning of the second-half with Connor McAliskey and Kieran McGeary grabbing early points. The influential Tiernan McCann made a second influential turnover but Kilkenny soon retablished thier six point lead. Tyrone have relied on the influence of their bench all year and Harte introduced a number of substitutions but they were unable to curb the influence of the Dublin attack either.

Dublin also began to make changes, one of which was Cormac Costello whose first contribution was to run at the Tyrone goal, forcing Morgan into a brilliant save. Nothing was going the way of the Red Hand as a good team move was sent wide by McShane who was subsequently replaced. Lee Brennan did manage to point two frees but Dublin were ruthless as Brian Fenton and Rock continued over scores.

Tyrone were gifted the opportunity to reduced the deficit when Padraig Hampsey was fouled by Philly McMahon in the box, allowing Peter Harte to guide the ball into the bottom corner of Cluxton’s goal, leaving them five points behind. With renewed energy, Tyrone ran at Dublin once more but the final shot was poor by Brennan and proved to be their 15th wide.

Just as he did in the 2016, referee, Conor Lane announced seven minutes of additional time. Much to the delight of the Tyrone fans, he then proceeded to show John Small a red card following a second yellow. But despite being down to 14, it was Dublin who grabbed the next score, courtesy of Kevin McManamon. As Hill 16 found their voice once again, Ciarán Kilkenny and Michael Darragh MacAuley pointed to ensure the six point.

Dublin: Stephen Cluxton; Philly McMahon, Cian O’Sullivan, Eoin Murchan; John Small, Jonny Cooper, Jack McCaffrey (0-1), Brian Fenton (0-2), James McCarthy; Niall Scully (1-0), Con O’Callaghan, Brian Howard (0-1); Paul Mannion (1-0, 1 pen), Ciarán Kilkenny (0-3), Dean Rock (0-7, 2f, 1 45′).

Substitutions: Michael Fitzsimons for O’Sullivan (26) Cormac Costello for Scully (49) Darren Daly for Murchan (58) Kevin McManamon (0-1)for Mannion (58) Eric Lownes for Cooper (63) Michael Darragh MacAuley (0-1) for Rock (66)

Tyrone: Niall Morgan; Michael McKernan, Ronan McNamee, Padraig Hampsey; Tiernan McCann (0-1), Rory Brennan, Peter Harte (0-1, 1f); Colm Cavanagh (0-1), Cathal McShane; Mattie Donnelly (0-1), Niall Sludden, Kieran McGeary (0-1); Mark Bradley (0-2), Conor Meyler, Connor McAliskey (0-3, 1f).

Substitutions: Lee Brennan (0-2, 2f) for Meyler (39) Frank Burns for Sludden (43) Harry Loughran for McGeary (49) Richie Donnelly for McAlliskey (49) Declan McClure for McShane (55) Ronan O’Neill for Bradley (62)

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Author: Marisa Kennedy

Marisa is a Digital Journalist with Pundit Arena. You can contact her at or on Twitter