Dublin 2-17 Tyrone 1-14
History came to Dublin in Croke Park on Sunday with a fourth consecutive All-Ireland title, the 28th place of the province. Tyrone made their contribution to the finals with a blazing first quarter which caused Dublin to look shocked and insecure, but the champions recovered with a 1-3 blitz in three minutes and then the game was on the run for the Ulster men.
So Dublin joins the two Kerry teams of 1929 – & # 39; 32 and 1978 – & # 39; 81, as well as with creepy symmetry their Wexford predecessors of exactly a century ago in 1915-18 as joint holders of the most successful series of football. The coming year there will be a lot of speculation about the possibility of a legendary fifth, the Holy Grail or Gaelic games for a century and a quarter of an hour.
A late penalty, well tucked away by Peter Harte, in the 67th minute – with seven minutes of injury time 10 minutes on the clock – was followed by a Lee Brennan free to halve the eight point deficit, but Tyrone was unable to find the calmness to exert full pressure and in the remaining time Dublin actually hit three of the last four scores.
So we reached the expected destination via a somewhat unexpected route.
After Dublin made the necessary corrections, it never seemed that they were under heavy pressure. The first adjustment came when Cian O & # 39; Sullivan had to be replaced in the 27th minute, his gambling game on the hamstring injury that was picked up against Galway in the semi-finals did not work out.
In fact, the defensive Dublin coordinator had looked into trouble from the beginning, not with the usual fluency and pulled into a number of man-marking pursuits that were clearly a kind.
In the end, Jim Gavin & # 39; s team received detailed performances from their best players while Tyrone's were eventually subjected.
A year after his last final was broken by a cross injury, Jack McCaffrey's pace and intelligent defense made a big impression; Brian Fenton emerged as a key figure, especially in the second half: kicking two slow points, the type in which he gives the ball just enough money to clear the bar – and leading the centerfield area.
Con O & # 39; Callaghan did not replicate his amazing goals of the semifinals and final of last year, but he was energetic and excellent in his use of the ball, a constant threat. All in all, Ciarán Kilkenny led the show for Dublin. From the inside line he took the time – just like the rest of the team – to step into the game, but once there he took over.
Strangely enough he had never scored in a senior All-Ireland final before, but he finished his fifth as Dublin-top scorer in the game, with three points. He also took the baton to carry out the attack, at some point it seemed amusing to punish Philly McMahon for a loose attempt at a shot when other options were available by not giving him the ball, rather as a librarian loan refuses to someone who has previously damaged a book.
From the perspective of Tyrone, their main influencers were well restrained after the encouraging start. John Small kept Harte scoreless from the game and in a further echo of the quarterfinals of the counties in Omagh, Eoin Murchan did the same on Niall Sludden.
They had their successes in the sense that Pádraig Hampsey did well on Mannion, who scored only one from the game – to deal with another of his defensive interventions against Tyrone when he materialized in the 25th minute for his own goal to initially clear a ball blocked by the excellent Jonny Cooper.
All this had appeared far away in the first quarter. Dublin started poorly when Dean Rock lacked two early frees after opening the score in the third minute and McCaffrey spoiled disappointingly an excellent run by getting his shot down quite a bit.
Tyrone stabilized and began to compose vivid, energetic attacks. Harte took it right with a free one and after Stephen Cluxton broke his kick-out, Mark Bradley put it before him. Tiernan McCann, who at this stage did a good job at Kilkenny, kicked a third and Connor McAliskey added the fourth and fifth place of a free and playing and 0-1 to 0-5, in the 16th minute the champions were in the roll.
It is clear that the revival of Dublin has nullified the early advantage, but Tyrone should have taken more of his preponderance. Their shot choice was not always good and the vision to release a better placed teammate was not always present.
The comeback in Dublin began with an ambitious kick-out by Cluxton – whose two wobbles in the eighth and ninth minutes proved to be the only restart he lost to 31 – which McCaffrey just reached at a point that was torpedoed on goal and culminated in Kilkenny & # 39; s point.
Tyrone's goalkeeper, Niall Morgan, had been accurate enough up to that time, but Kilkenny eliminated the restart and the action ended in a penalty when Paul Mannion was deemed to have been eliminated in a borderline but just call and Mannion himself had delivered a textbook conversion to Morgan & # 39; s left.
Another two points followed in deadly staccato from Dean Rock, conciliatory for his dead-ball misery with sharp finish in the game. It was now 1-4 to 0-5 and Tyrone never even returned parity. The next blow came when O & # 39; Callaghan ingeniously opened a goal pass, but the ball got away for Niall Scully to catch the net.
Tyrone was amazed by the turning point in the fortune and was behind seven in the break, 2-7 to 0-6.
In the second half, they tried a few things, from man to man, and set off, moving Colm Cavanagh – fortunately they did not get a black card for a first half of the error on O & # 39; Callaghan – completely forward . They then promptly forgot him until a long ball led to the late penalty after he was floored by McMahon, just as happened in injury time in last year's semi-finals, except, on that occasion, Cluxton rescued.
Dublin simply kept them on arm's length, scored periodically and never had a goal until the late penalty. Kieran McGeary got a black card in the 47th minute and the Dublin John Small saw red in stoppage time for a second yellow, but it was not a very tough match.
The champions never seemed to be liable to crack in the tense final minutes with points from substitutes Kevin McManamon and Michael Darragh Macauley, so they stayed on track for a victory of six points, their biggest in an All-Ireland final for 41 years.
DUBLIN: 1. Stephen Cluxton (capt.); 3. Cian O & # 39; Sullivan, 2. Philip McMahon, 6. Jonny Cooper; 5. John Small, 4. Eoin Murchan, 7. Jack McCaffrey (0-1); 8. Brian Fenton (0-2), 9 James McCarthy; 10. Niall Scully (1-0), 11. Con O & # 39; Callaghan, 12. Brian Howard (0-1); 13. Paul Mannion (1-1, goal a penalty), 15. Dean Rock (0-7, three frees, one 45), 14. Ciarán Kilkenny (0-3).
Subs: 21. Michael Fitzsimons for O & # 39; Sullivan (27 min.), 19. Cormac Costello for Scully (53 min), 25. Kevin McManamon (0-1) for Mannion (58 min), 20. Darren Daly for Murchan (58 mins), 23. Eric Lowndes for Cooper (64 min.), 24. MD Macauley (0-1) for Rock (67 min.).
TYRONE: 1. Niall Morgan; 5. Tiernan McCann (0-1), 3. Ronan McNamee, 4. Pádraig Hampsey (0-1); 2. Michael McKernan, 10. Matthew Donnelly (capt.), 18. Rory Brennan; 8. Colm Cavanagh, 25. Conor Meyler; 12. Kieran McGeary (0-1), 11. Niall Sludden, 9. Cathal McShane (0-2); 13. Mark Bradley (0-2), 7. Peter Harte (1-1, penalty and free), 15. Connor McAliskey (0-3, one free).
Subs: 17. Lee Brennan (0-3, three frees) for Meyler (40 minutes), 14. Richard Donnelly for McAliskey (44 minutes), 6. Frank Burns for Sludden (46 minutes), 20. Harry Loughran for K McGeary (black card, 49 minutes), 22. Declan McClure for McShane (55 minutes), 26. Ronan O & # 39; Neill for Bradley (62 minutes).
Referee: Conor Lane (Cork).