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IT Sun, Sep 23
 

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  • 13:31
    Donegal are favourites but almost inevitably as the throw-in time draws closer, people across the country are beginning to back Mayo.

    Jim McGuinness’s Donegal team have been lauded for their tactical nous but Mayo’s victory over last year’s winners, Dublin means that calling this year’s final is no easy task. Mayo are without their talismanic captain Andy Moran but this will nevertheless be seen as their best opportunity to win their first All-Ireland title since 1951.

    Donegal captured their only All-Ireland final 20 years ago. Jim McGuinness was the youngest member of that squad but can he repeat that success as a manager? There are a lot of questions being asked about today’s final. Will it be Donegal or Mayo’s year? Stick with me, Ciaran Daly, to find out the answer.

    Before then, an all-Leinster minor football final takes place between Dublin and Meath. The sides have met already this year and Dublin were convincing winners in July on a score-line of 3-17 to 1-11. Cormac Costello was the star for the Dubs that day but Meath are a much improved outfit so this afternoon’s encounter should be a much tighter affair.

    The minor game is already up and running. The Dubs lead by 0-3 to 0-2 after 14 minutes. Strap yourself in for a busy afternoon of GAA action. 
     
    GAA All-Ireland senior football championship final
    Mayo v Donegal, Croke Park, 3.30pm
    GAA All-Ireland minor football championship
    Dublin v Meath, Croke Park, 1.15pm
  • 13:35
    17 mins – Dublin 0-5 Meath 0-2
  • 13:39
    DUBLIN: L Molloy; E Mullan, D Byrne, R McGowan; E Lowndes, C Mulally, M MacDonncha; S Cunningham, S Carthy; R Gaughan, N Scully, N Walsh; C McHugh, C Costello, G Burke.

    MEATH: R Burlingham; R O Coileáin, B Power, S Gallagher; D Smyth, P Harnan, S Lavin; S McEntee, A Flanagan; C O’Sullivan, J Daly, J McEntee; B Dardis, F Ward, S Coogan.
  • 13:41
     23 mins - Meath sub – Patrick Kennelly replaces Barry Dardis
  • 13:42
    It hasn’t exactly been a classic minor final so far. Very tactical, defensive stuff. Somewhere in Croke Park, Pat Spillane will be shedding a tear for the youth of the GAA community.
  • 13:43
    Meath haven’t scored for 14 minutes now. Exciting, eh?
  • 13:44
    David Byrne with a great block in the heart of the Dublin defence but the quick break upfield comes to nothing. It’s still 0-5 to 0-2. Dublin lead.
  • 13:45
    Just two minutes until half-time. Surely, the second half has to be better than this. Turgid stuff.
  • 13:46
    Cormac Costello with a great score. That’s his third point. He’s the stand-out player in the final. Dublin 0-6 Meath 0-2
  • 13:46
  • 13:47
    Conor McHugh fouled. This should open up a five point lead for Dublin now.
  • 13:47
    30 mins - Costello converts. Dublin 0-7 Meath 0-2
  • 13:48
    Half-time: Dublin 0-7 Meath 0-2
  • 13:48
  • 13:50
    Yes, we know Meath had to curb the Dublin attack coming into this minor final but they seem to have overlooked the fact that they also need to score themselves.

    Two points in half an hour of football isn’t going to win an All-Ireland.

    As D:Ream sang back in the 90s – 'Things can only get better.'
  • 13:53
    Dublin have already beaten Meath in this year’s Championship. It was very one-sided in July. We were told Meath have improved.
    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/sport/2012/0921/1224324230369.html
  • 13:56
    Everyone loves All-Ireland final day, right? Wrong. Step forward beaten All-Ireland finalist from 2010 – Benny Coulter.
  • 13:56
  • 13:58
    Dublin beat Meath by 12 points in July but the ultra-defensive game Meath are deploying today isn’t exactly working for them either.
  • 14:01
    The second half of the minor final has begun. Let it be better than the first.
  • 14:03
    Conor McHugh with the first wide of the second half. Not a good omen.
  • 14:04
    It’s like watching rugby at times. A lot of backward handpassing going on.
  • 14:05
    Dublin have registered three wides in the second half. They are in absolute control but they’re not adding to their tally. Meath need to respond.
  • 14:06
    Niall Scully points for the Dubs after a good inter-change with Cormac Costello. Dublin lead 0-8 to 0-2
  • 14:07
  • 14:07
    I don’t believe my eyes. Meath have held possession for longer than five seconds.
  • 14:07
    Alas, it didn’t last. Dublin have the ball back.
  • 14:08
    Meath sub - Harry Rooney replaces Stephen Coogan. A-ha!
  • 14:10
    Point for Meath! Point for Meath! Point for Meath!
  • 14:10
  • 14:10
  • 14:11
    Fiachra Ward pointed a free for Meath.
  • 14:11
    Harry Rooney points for Meath from play. Did someone say ‘comeback?’
  • 14:12
    40 mins – Dublin 0-8 Meath 0-4
  • 14:12
  • 14:13
    Penalty for Meath!!!
  • 14:14
    Fiachra Ward…scores! Meath 1-4 Dublin 0-8
  • 14:14
    42 mins – Meath 1-4 Dublin 0-8
  • 14:14
  • 14:15
    Just as Kennelly was about to shoot his foot was blocked by a Dublin defender. It probably was a penalty.
  • 14:16
    Conor McHugh is totting up the wides now for Dublin. They can’t throw this away, can they?
  • 14:18
  • 14:18
    Dublin respond with two points.
  • 14:18
  • 14:19
    47 mins – Dublin 0-10 Meath 1-4
  • 14:19
    So have Dublin weathered the storm or can Meath come back. The Meath subs have definitely made a difference.
  • 14:20
  • 14:20
    Cillian O’Sullivan drags his effort wide of the mark. Meath can’t afford to miss those anymore.
  • 14:21
    Brilliant score. Niall Scully points again. Once again, set up by Cormac Costello. Dublin lead 0-11 Meath 1-4
  • 14:21
  • 14:22
    10 minutes left and Dublin appear to have weathered the Meath storm.
  • 14:23
    Let’s not dress this up – this All-Ireland minor final has been dour.
  • 14:24
    Shane Carthy converts another free for Dublin. They lead by five.
  • 14:25
    Fiachra Ward has been subbed. White flag?
  • 14:26
    Dub sub David Campbell squeezes another point from play over.
  • 14:27
  • 14:27
    55 mins Dublin 0-13 Meath 1-4
  • 14:29
    This minor final has been like a Beckett play – Nothing happens. nobody kicks, nobody scores. It’s awful. Dublin won’t mind though.
  • 14:30
    Meath had a half-chance but Stephen Cunningham cleared off the line.
  • 14:31
  • 14:31
    59 mins – Cormac Costello converts another free. Dublin 0-14 Meath 1-4
  • 14:32
    Costello deservedly receives the man-of-the-match award.
  • 14:33
    Costello was man-of-the-match in the All-Ireland minor hurling final this year too. He’s the living embodiment of a pub quiz question.
  • 14:33
  • 14:34
  • 14:34
    Full-time: Dublin 0-14 Meath 1-5
  • 14:35
    Dublin are the All-Ireland minor football champions!
  • 14:35
    They definitely deserved it. It may not have been spectacular but it was effective. Well done Dublin!
  • 14:38
    Meath scored twice in the first half and four times in the second (one of which admittedly was their goal). That was never going to be good enough to win an All-Ireland final.
  • 14:46
  • 14:48
    That was a comprehensive victory for Dublin. Surely, the senior match won’t be as one-sided? It certainly has to be more entertaining.
  • 14:49
    The promo is exciting anyway
  • 14:49
  • 14:54
  • 15:02
  • 15:15
    DONEGAL: P Durcan; P McGrath, N McGee, F McGlynn, E McGee, K Lacey, A Thompson; N Gallagher, R Kavangh; M McHugh, L McLoone, R Bradley; P McBrearty, M Murphy, C McFadden.
    MAYO: D Clarke; K Keane, G Cafferkey, K Higgins; L Keegan, D Vaughan, C Boyle; B Moran, A O’Shea; K McLoughlin, J Doherty, A Dillon, E Varley, C O’Connor, M Conroy.
  • 15:16
    I think we can all agree that Donegal have won the battle for the best All-Ireland final song this year. ‘Jimmy’s winning matches’ is a classic!
  • 15:16
  • 15:17
    Read Seán Moran’s piece on why Donegal are ready to take the final step - http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/sport/2012/0922/1224324272198.html
  • 15:18
    Taoiseach Enda Kenny is a proud Mayo man today. Will he be a disappointed Mayo man in a couple of hours?
  • 15:19
    Darragh Ó’Sé is tipping Mayo though. Read his thoughts here - http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/sport/2012/0919/1224324158442.html
  • 15:19
  • 15:20
    Is Neil Lennon on a scouting mission today at Croke Park?
  • 15:20
  • 15:21
    So, who’s going to win it? I’m going for Donegal…not just because I bet on them at the start of the year…I swear…
  • 15:22
  • 15:22
  • 15:23
    Some abseilers brought the match ball down to the pitch. The question on everyone’s mind is simply this - why?
  • 15:24
    The atmosphere at Croke Park is building nicely minutes before throw-in. Where in the world are you following the biggest football match of the year?
  • 15:26
    I’m beginning to think Pat Spillane is contractually obliged has to say ‘intensity and work-rate’ at least five times at every match.
  • 15:27
    The lads in the RTÉ are all going for a Donegal win.
  • 15:28
    I’m not trolling here but isn’t it refreshing not to have a Leinster or Munster team competing today?
  • 15:30
    The National Anthem is being belted out. Permission to get excited granted.
  • 15:31
    Maurice Deegan from Laois is the referee.
  • 15:31
    We’re off!
  • 15:32
    Tentative start as you’d expect.
  • 15:34
    GOAL! What a bullet. Lacey to Murphy and what a finish from the Donegal captain!
  • 15:34
  • 15:34
    2 mins – Donegal 1-0 Mayo 0-0
  • 15:35
    The finish was emphatic. Murphy won the aerial battle but his finish was superb. What a cracking start to the game.
  • 15:36
    Joe Brolly called on Michael Murphy to deliver on his promise before the throw-in. Murphy must have heard him.
  • 15:37
    Mark McHugh cynically fouled by Lee Keegan. Very high challenge. That’s a yellow card. That’s Mayo’s second.
  • 15:37
    6 mins - Donegal 1-1 Mayo 0-0 – McFadden converts the free.
  • 15:38
  • 15:39
    McBrearty with a surging run but a poor shot.
  • 15:40
    Conroy wins a free for Mayo. They need a score.
  • 15:41
    No score for Mayo. Mark McHugh picks up the scraps and clears.
  • 15:41
    Donegal have been dominant in the first 10 minutes but some indications that Mayo are beginning to make inroads now.
  • 15:43
    GOAL! It’s Colm McFadden this time. McBrearty’s effort came off the post and McFadden gathered and slid it into the bottom corner.
  • 15:43
  • 15:43
    11 mins – Donegal 2-1 Mayo 0-0
  • 15:44
    Yellow cards for O’Connor and McGee for off-the-ball stuff.
  • 15:45
    McFadden had another goal chance but it was blocked down. Donegal are rampant!
  • 15:47
    McLoughlin scores Mayo’s first point. They had to wait 16 minutes for that.
  • 15:47
  • 15:47
    They have an opportunity to add to their tally. Free in. Can Cillian O’Connor convert?
  • 15:48
    Yes! Mayo 0-2 Donegal 2-1
  • 15:48
  • 15:49
    Mayo surely can’t leave Michael Murphy isolated in the final third. He’s winning everything in the air.
  • 15:50
    Some fairly cynical challenges off the ball, predominantly from Mayo players.
  • 15:50
  • 15:50
    Ryan Bradley scores Donegal’s second point. It’s 2-2 to 0-2 in Donegal’s favour. a
  • 15:52
  • 15:52
    McFadden with another superb kick, this time from play from 45 metres out. Donegal 2-3 Mayo 0-2
  • 15:53
    What is it with Mayo and poor starts in All-Ireland finals?
  • 15:54
    Mark McHugh and Karl Lacey are machines. They don’t stop running.
  • 15:55
    Another wide for Mayo. They didn’t need that.
  • 15:56
    It’s all a bit aimless from Mayo.
  • 15:57
    Kevin McLoughlin scores Mayo’s third points. They trail by two goals.
  • 15:57
    There are 10 minutes left in this half. Mayo need some scores to build some momentum.
  • 15:59
    Donegal are beginning to make mistakes.
  • 15:59
    Mark McHugh took a free and nearly presented Mayo with a chance for goal. Paul Durcan was alert and cleared the danger.
  • 16:00
    28 mins - Cillian O’Connor reduces the arrears to five points. Donegal 2-3 Mayo 0-4
  • 16:00
  • 16:02
    Donegal’s passing has become wayward and Mayo are exerting more pressure on the man in possession.
  • 16:03
    Maurice Deegan has awarded a free to Mayo. That was soft.
  • 16:03
    Cillian O’Connor converts easily. Mayo 0-5 Donegal 2-3
  • 16:04
  • 16:04
    Michael Conroy with a great point from an acute angle. Mayo are motoring. There are three points between the teams now.
  • 16:05
  • 16:07
    There have been late tackles throughout the first half, mostly from Mayo it has to be said
  • 16:07
    There will be two minutes of added time at the end of the first half.
  • 16:08
  • 16:08
    McFadden scores a huge point from a free. Donegal needed that. Donegal 2-4 Mayo 0-6. That was Donegal’s first point for 16 minutes.
  • 16:09
  • 16:09
    Enda Varley strikes the ball over instinctively. Mayo have come back brilliantly after a disastrous start.
  • 16:09
  • 16:09
    Half-time: Donegal 2-4 Mayo 0-7
  • 16:11
    Mayo will not have wanted to end that half when they were on top. After Donegal dominance early in the half, Mayo responded with a flurry of points. Donegal, so assured in possession began to make basic mistakes.
  • 16:11
    Anyone care to make a prediction for the second half?
  • 16:13
    Golazo! Colm McFadden celebrates (INPHO/Morgan Treacy)
    Golazo! Colm McFadden celebrates (INPHO/Morgan Treacy)
  • 16:20
    Tony McCoy OGrady "Mayo will not have wanted to end that half when they were on top." Why? Who wouldn't want to be on top of any game at half time, in any sport?
  • 16:21
    The half-time break may stop Mayo’s momentum.
  • 16:22
    Donegal began very brightly but McBrearty and Murphy saw less and less of the ball as the half wore on.
  • 16:22
    Are Donegal getting nervous?
  • 16:24
  • 16:24
    82,269 at Croke Park this afternoon. Nothing beats being there, eh?
  • 16:25
    Least likely Donegal fan today? Phil Neville is surely a good shout.
  • 16:28
    The second half is underway.
  • 16:29
  • 16:29
  • 16:30
  • 16:30
    Leo McLoone wins a free for Donegal. McFadden points. Donegal 2-5 Mayo 0-7
  • 16:31
    Enda Varley generously awarded a free.
  • 16:31
    Cillian O’Connor converts. Mayo 0-8 Donegal 2-5
  • 16:31
  • 16:33
    Frank McGlynn scores his customary point. Good patient move. Nice finish.
  • 16:33
  • 16:33
    Donegal sub: David Walsh replaces Ryan Bradley.
  • 16:36
    42 mins – Enda Varley misses a scoreable free. Donegal lead 2-6 Mayo 0-8
  • 16:37
    Mayo’s shooting has been poor. Really poor.
  • 16:37
  • 16:39
    Donegal had so much possession but ultimately, they shoot wide when it mattered.
  • 16:39
    Gallagher has won two huge balls in midfield in the last couple of minutes.
  • 16:40
    47 mins – Michael Murphy converts a free. Donegal 2-7 Mayo 0-8
  • 16:41
  • 16:41
    That was a great score under pressure.
  • 16:41
    Donegal sub: Martin McElhinney replaces Paddy McBrearty
  • 16:42
    Aidan O’Shea fouled. Enda Varley with the free. Enda Varley with the score.  Donegal 2-7 Mayo 0-9
  • 16:43
  • 16:43
    Mayo sub: Alan Freeman replaces Jason Doherty
  • 16:43
    Donegal are winning the battle for midfield.
  • 16:44
    Donegal are giving away a lot of frees from dangerous positions. Very unlike them.
  • 16:45
    Cillian O’Connor scores another point. Mayo 0-10 Donegal 2-7
  • 16:45
  • 16:45
    That’s O’Connor’s fifth free today.
  • 16:46
    Donegal are laboured in the final third.
  • 16:47
    Both defences are doing brilliantly.
  • 16:48
    Michael Murphy converts another free from distance. Captain Fantastic. Donegal 2-8 Mayo 0-10
  • 16:49
  • 16:50
    Donegal sub: Christy Toye replaces Leo McLoone
  • 16:50
    David Walsh pulls a shot wide. That should have been a routine finish.
  • 16:50
    Donegal’s defence has been excellent. Their forwards haven’t been as cohesive today.
  • 16:51
    McFadden worked so hard to win possession and won a free which Murphy should convert.
  • 16:52
    58 mins – Murphy kicks another free. Donegal 2-9 Mayo 0-10
  • 16:52
  • 16:52
    Mayo sub – Jason Gibbons replaces Michael Conroy
  • 16:53
    There are 10 minutes left to play and Donegal lead by five points.
  • 16:54
    Mayo sub – Richie Feeney replaces Enda Varley
  • 16:54
    Dangerous ball in from Rory Kavanagh fisted over by Michael Murphy. Could have been a goal. They’ll take a point though. Donegal lead by six.
  • 16:55
  • 16:56
    Another Mayo wide. This looks like it could be over. Mayo haven’t scored in over 11 minutes.
  • 16:57
    There are six minutes left and there are six points between the sides. Donegal lead.
  • 16:58
    Richie Feeney shrugged off his marker and put the ball over the bar. Mayo need a goal.
  • 16:58
  • 16:59
    Lee Keegan looped an effort over the bar. Mayo 0-12 Donegal 2-10
  • 16:59
  • 16:59
    Donegal won’t let this lead slip surely?
  • 17:00
  • 17:00
    Neil Gallagher points after some great passing. Surely, that’s the point that will decide the final.
  • 17:02
  • 17:02
    Jason Gibbons scores another point for Mayo. Mayo 0-13 Donegal 2-11a
  • 17:02
    Can Mayo get the goal they so desperately need?
  • 17:03
    There was a chance for Mayo but they couldn’t force the ball into the net.
  • 17:04
    There will be three minutes of added time.
  • 17:05
  • 17:05
    I could be out of line here but Aidan O’Shea should have been booked before now. He deservedly sees yellow now.
  • 17:05
    Dermot Molly replaces McElhinney for Donegal.
  • 17:06
    Donegal are the All-Ireland senior football champions!
  • 17:06
    Full-time: Donegal 2-11 Mayo 0-13
  • 17:06
  • 17:07
    Jim McGuinness – take a bow!
  • 17:07
    It wasn’t a classic All-Ireland final but Donegal deservedly win. Poor old Mayo. Always the bridesmaid…
  • 17:07
  • 17:08
    For only the second time in their history, Donegal are the All-Ireland senior football champions! It has come 20 years after their initial victory.
  • 17:09
    It’s just not the same without a good old-fashioned pitch invasion.
  • 17:09
  • 17:11
    Will you ever see a greater show of eloquence than a GAA victory speech?...
  • 17:11
    I demand pictures of a raging Enda Kenny!
  • 17:12
    Here we go. Michael Murphy will be presented with the Sam Maguire Cup.
  • 17:14
    Murphy lifts Sam Maguire!
  • 17:14
    The entire county of Donegal will be drunk for at least a month now.
  • 17:19
    The patronising three cheers for the losing team – one of the oldest GAA traditions.
  • 17:19
    Michael Murphy must have thanked every single person in Donegal.
  • 17:20
    Jimmy McGuinness = GAA’s Jose Mourinho
  • 17:22
    No Copperface Jacks mention this year.
  • 17:23
    A short rendition  of ‘Jimmy’s Winning Matches’ to end. That was longer than Martin Luther King’s ‘I have a dream’ speech. I do but jest. Congratulations to Michael and to Donegal! Commiserations Mayo.
  • 17:23
  • 17:24
  • 17:25
    Michael Murphy really did come good today. His goal was fantastic and his frees in the second half steadied the Donegal ship.
  • 17:26
    Ah go on then – it’s ‘Jimmy’s winning matches’ again!
  • 17:26
  • 17:29
    Cavan, Derry, Tyrone, Down, Kerry, Cork and Mayo. Donegal have beaten some of the best teams to win their first All-Ireland in 20 years. They did beat Cavan too.
  • 17:41
    Pat Spillane trying to speak Spanish. My poor ears.
  • 17:44
    ‘Ain’t no stopping us now’ playing out RTÉ’s coverage of the All-Ireland football final. Very strange but funky!
  • 17:48
    So concludes the All-Ireland football championship for another year. Sam is heading for the hills as Donegal defeated Mayo on a score-line of 2-11 to 0-13.

    There can be little doubt that Donegal were the best team in Ireland in 2012 but spare a thought for Mayo, whose long wait for a first All-Ireland title since 1951 continues. A disastrous start for the Connacht champions during which Michael Murphy and Colm McFadden both netted meant that they were playing catch-up right from the off.

    They weren’t able to close the gap and Donegal won by four points in the end. Jim McGuinness has surely confirmed his status as the best manager in Ireland by taking what were a group of ‘also-rans’ and turning them into All-Ireland champions.

    Quite unbelievably, the team I backed from the beginning of the year have won. Hooray! That’s it on the GAA football live-blogging front this year but you better be back for the All-Ireland hurling finals next week. Until then keep singing 'Jimmy's Winning Matches'
  • 17:50
    GAA All-Ireland senior football championship final
    Donegal 2-11 Mayo 0-13
    GAA All-Ireland minor football championship final
    Dublin 0-14 Mayo 1-5