Brogan the hero as Dublin break Mayo hearts in the All-Ireland final
Jim Gavin’s team lift Sam Maguire Cup for second time in three years
Dublin …. 2-12
Bernard Brogan was the two goal hero as Dublin captured the All-Ireland final by the narrowest of margins in a thrilling decider at Croke Park.
Brogan fisted to the back of the net at crucial stages in the first and second-half as Dublin finally woke from their slumbers to repeat their 2011 Sam Maguire success.
And Mayo were left to wait for the All-Ireland again after another day when they appeared to leave it all behind them on the Croke Park pitch.
The Connacht champions played the better and more settled football in the first-half as nerves appeared to get the better of both teams.
It was captain Andy Moran, absent for last year’s final, who opened the scoring with a swift point in the fourth minute after Dublin had coughed up possession.
Diarmuid Connolly took advantage of a Ger Cafferkey mistake to level the scores within 60 seconds.
And try as they might Mayo just couldn’t make their superiority count on their way to a one point, 0-8 to 1-4, half-time lead.
Lee Keegan, Cillian O’Connor and Keith Higgins pointed them into a 0-4 to 0-1 lead by the 13th minute before a brilliantly fisted goal from Bernard Brogan in front of the Hill gave the Dubs new hope in the 16th minute.
O’Connor, Aidan O’Shea and Keegan pointed again for Mayo before Brogan got his first point of the day in the 25th minute to leave two points between the teams.
Moran and Dublin goalkeeper Stephen CLuxton, from a 45, and sub Eoghan O’Gara then closed the first-half scoring with a point apiece.
Dubs boss Jim Gavin clearly had words with his team at the interval as they started the second-half like the proverbial express train.
Cian O’Sullivan levelled the scores on the resumption before O’Gara pointed the Blues in front for the first time in the 38th minute after a good save from Mayo ‘keeper Hennelly.
The teams then traded points with O’Connor and Andrews swapping scores before Paul FDlynn and Brogan kicked the Dubs into a three point lead, 1-9 to 0-9, before a superb finish from Andy Moran for the opening Mayo goal levelled it again in the 50th minute.
Just when Mayo thought they were back in it, Brogan popped up for his second goal of the afternoon, again a fisted effort in the bright sunshine and in front of an 82,274 capacity crowd.
That second Brogan goal, off a Denis Bastick pass, proved decisive as Dublin moved into a 2-9 to 1-9 lead that proved untouchable as far as Mayo were concerned.
O’Connor kicked five more points before the final whistle, four minutes into added time, but Dublin also pointed through Brogan, Ger Brennan and Cluxton to secure the one point win and their second All-Ireland title in three years.
Mayo’s afternoon began in fine style with a 2-13 to 1-13 win over Tyrone in a keenly contested All-Ireland minor final, their first title at that age since 1985.
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