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Dublin v Mayo – Player Ratings From The All Ireland Final

Dublin have won their fourth title in six years and have become the first side since Kerry in 2007 to successfully defend their All-Ireland title.

Once again Mayo hung in there until the very end but just couldn’t peg back the Dubs as Jim Gavin’s side won 1-15 to 1-14 in a thrilling All-Ireland final replay at Croke Park.

The win sees Dublin cement their status as one of the greatest Gaelic Football teams of all time but here’s how the players rated during their 26th All-Ireland win.


Stephen Cluxton – 8 – Shaky with his kickouts to start and was well beaten on Lee Keegan’s opening goal, but had an exceptional second-half and set up a number of key Dublin points with late kickouts finding his teammates in the middle of the park.

Michael Fitzsimons – 10 – Came into the side for Davy Byrne and showed an enthusiasm and vigour from the very start. Limited Mayo’s attacking opportunities down the right flank and was aggressive and highly impressive as Dublin’s right corner-back.  Great block on McLaughlin at the death and Dublin’s best on the day.


Jonny Cooper – 7-  Let Moran go a couple of times early on but was largely reliable and trustworthy at the back. Outmuscled Moran for a key first-half interception that stopped Mayo from tying the scores but was dismissed after 20 minutes for taking out the ankles of Donal Vaughan.

Philly McMahon – 6 – Physical and confrontational as usual but never really had a huge impact on the game.

Cian O’Sullivan – 9 –  Man marked Aidan O’Shea and was exceptional in covering the Mayo forward as well as making a number of interceptions in the heart of the Dublin defence. Great going forward and barely put a foot wrong outside of a first-half foul on Aidan O’Shea.

James McCarthy – 7 – Missed Dublin’s first opportunity of the game with a poor kick from a rather difficult angle but was very physical in the Dublin defence and consistently forced Mayo wide and into the corners. Missed a late chance to bury Mayo and finish the game off.

John Small – 5 – Mishandled an early Cluxton kickout taking down an advancing Andy Moran and was lucky not to receive a black card for the challenge on Moran. Was even luckier not to receive  a straight red for swinging at a downed Cillian O’Connor.

All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final Replay, Croke Park, Dublin 1/10/2016 Dublin vs Mayo Dublin's John Small is yellow carded by referee Maurice Deegan  Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne
All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final Replay, Croke Park, Dublin 1/10/2016
Dublin vs Mayo
Dublin’s John Small is yellow carded by referee Maurice Deegan
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

Brian Fenton – 6 – Has been tremendous for Dublin all year but was outplayed in the midfield by Tom Parsons and Seamus O’Shea. Gave away a few frees at the end and was needlessly booked for an altercation with Colm Boyle.

Paul Flynn – 5 –Picked up an early knock and although he ran long and worked hard, never really had a meaningful impact on the game.

Ciaran Kilkenny – 7 – Butchered an early chance to extend Dublin’s lead with an underwhelming strike from a very kickable position and lacked creativity in the Mayo final third. Was quiet for the first 55 minutes but came alive and was excellent for the Blues towards the end of the game making a crucial catch from a Stephen Cluxton kickout that helped finalise Dublin’s win.

Kevin McManamon –  7 – Direct running and did very well to pick out Flynn who won a free for Dublin’s first point of the game. Noticeably quiet during the first final but caused Mayo a lot more problems here in the replay.

Paddy Andrews – 5 – Never really settled into the game after taking over after coming on the in the first-half of the first final. Didn’t make too many mistakes with ball in hand but never seriously worried the Mayo defence.

Dean Rock – 8 –  After an uncharacteristic first final, Rock had an exceptional start to Sunday’s replay with three points inside the first six minutes. The Ballymun Kickhams forward had a wayward first game against Mayo but was deadly with ball in hand in the replay, showing exactly why he was the leading point scorer during the 2016 championship.

GAA All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final, Croke Park, Dublin 18/9/2016 Dublin vs Mayo Dublin's Dean Rock Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Donall Farmer
Credit ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

Diarmuid Connolly –  8 – Very quiet to start the game but worked very hard in tracking back and hassled Colm Boyle out of a potential point. Was locked up for the first 30 minutes by Keegan but did put a brilliant point over the bar once he found separation. Operated freely in the second-half and score a game changing penalty.

Paul Mannion – 5 – Came into the side for Bernard Brogan but struggled to penetrate and create space as Mayo’s defence did an excellent job of locking up the Kilmacud Crokes forward.


Davy Byrne – 7 – Parried an Andy Moran long ball and performed admirably in the absence of Cooper. Worked tirelessly and provided great energy from the bench.

Michael Darragh MacAuley – 8 – Made a huge impact coming on in the second-half and caused Mayo plenty of problems with ball in hand as well as driving the ball through the middle.

Cormac Costello – 8 –  Scored three brilliant points after coming off the bench and caused Mayo real problems in the last 15 minutes. Big difference maker and was instrumental in helping Dublin pull away at the end.

Bernard Brogan – 6 – Scored a fine score to calm Dublin nerves, after combining brilliantly with Michael Darragh MacAuley, but was consistently blocked thereafter in his other attempts on goal.

Darren Daly – 5 – Helped steady the ship but the game was all but over when he came on.

Eric Lowdnes – 6 – Came on for Small and provided stability but passed up a golden opportunity to seal the game off passing the ball to Bernard Brogan when kicking a point would have been the better option.




Rob Hennelly – 3 – Awful. Don’t want to hammer him too much, as those who watched the game will realise just how much he held Mayo back, but he had a forgettable performance to say the least. Inaccurate with his kickouts and gave away a penalty after letting the ball slip straight through his hands on an uncontested high ball.

Brendan Harrison – 5 – Very quiet. Played hard but never really made a significant impact on the game to really make a lasting difference on the game.

 Donal Vaughan – 8 –  Was fouled on the crucial Jonny Cooper black card and won a great high ball in midfield over Paul Flynn before being taken down by James McCarthy. Made a number of interceptions at the back for Mayo and did a great job of starting Mayo counter-attacks before being taken off at halftime.

 Keith Higgins – 7 –  Made a couple of very important blocks in the second-half and kept Paul Mannion very quiet.

 Lee Keegan – 7 – Scored Mayo’s first goal of the game with a brilliant right footed shot into the bottom left corner. Did his usual man-marking job on Diarmuid Connolly and was one of Mayo’s best on the day before being black carded just before halftime.

Colm Boyle – 8 – Showed great pace and enthusiasm going forward and constantly forced Dublin to drag defenders towards him every time he advanced up the field. Won Mayo a free just before the end of the first-half with a surging run down the right wing and was one of Mayo’s best on the day.


All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final Replay, Croke Park, Dublin 1/10/2016 Dublin vs Mayo Dublin's Paul Flynn and Colm Boyle of Mayo Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Ryan Byrne

 Patrick Durcan –  8 – Scored Mayo’s first point of the game after getting into a nice position and was devastating across the Mayo half-back line with Colm Boyle. Scored a crucial point in the second-half to bring Mayo within one score.


 Seamus O’Shea – 8 – Picked out Moran with an accurate kick pass for the full-forward’s first score of the game and was much improved in the replay after a poor showing in the first game. Was accurate with the hand and kick pass, and got the best of his opposite number Brian Fenton in a strong performance.


 Tom Parsons – 8 – Was very mobile and accurate in the Mayo midfield and nullified the effectiveness of Footballer of the Year favourite Brian Fenton. Covered a lot of ground and was a great link between attack and defence.


 Kevin McLoughlin – 8 – Quiet in attack to start but worked tremendously hard in defence and forced a number of Dublin turnovers. Was one of Mayo’s main attacking threats in the second half and scored a brilliant point from play to keep Mayo within touching distance.


 Aidan O’Shea – 9 – Great kick pass to start the game and pick out Tom Parsons, and continued a hugely beneficial streak of finding his teammates picking out Lee Keegan with a great hand pass. Didn’t score from play but did about everything he could to try and will Mayo to a drought ending win.


All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final Replay, Croke Park, Dublin 1/10/2016 Dublin vs Mayo Mayo's Aidan O'Shea at the end of the game Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Donall Farmer
Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Donall Farmer

 Diarmuid O’Connor -8 – Struggled to contain McManamon on the left wing in the first-half but started the second-half with a great score after swerving by multiple Dublin defenders. Worked tirelessly after the break and was instrumental in Mayo mounting a comeback kicking a key point just after the interval.


 Jason Doherty – 4 – Very quiet afternoon and struggled to put any sort of dent in the Dublin defence. Was replaced by Alan Dillon in a forgettable afternoon for the Burrishoole forward.


 Andy Moran – 7-  Worked very hard in creating space and was constantly looking for the ball from Mayo midfielders Tom Parsons and Seamus O’Shea. Missed a kickable point in the second-half that could have been the difference for Mayo.


Cillian O’Connor – 9 – Outstanding for Mayo. Talismanic and did everything within his powers to keep his county in it. Very accurate with his free’s but missed the most important one of all with the game on the line.



Conor O’Shea – 7- Missed a kickable point in the waning minutes that would have brought Mayo level, but ultimately hit his left footed shot short and into the arms of Cluxton. Otherwise, brought great energy and enthusiasm off the bench and consistently looked to initiate positive play in the Dublin half.

Stephen Coen – 6 – Performed admirably in the absence of Keegan but just couldn’t replicate the effectiveness of his All-Star teammate. Played a different role to Keegan but didn’t let Connolly run riot.

Alan Dillon – 5 – Provided some fresh legs for  Doherty but didn’t have the same effect as Costello had for Dublin.


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Author: The PA Team

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