/ GAA

Dublin 2-16 Mayo 0-16

Updated: Monday, 15 Apr 2013 15:13 | Comments

Jason Whelan scored a first-half goal for Dublin
Jason Whelan scored a first-half goal for Dublin

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Dublin remain on course for their first league title in 20 years after beating Mayo 2-16 to 0-16, a brace of early goals proving to be the difference between the sides at Croke Park.

A promising start by Mayo was wiped out when the superb Paul Mannion and Jason Whelan blasted to the net to put the Dubs 2-1 to 0-3 in front after 18 minutes, and they never surrendered the lead thereafter.

Dublin led by 2-9 to 0-8 at the interval and with Mayo failing to get the goal they needed to get back in the match, Jim Gavin’s men powered on to set up a final meeting with Tyrone.

Mayo, bidding for their first title since 2001, started well with a couple of pointed frees from Cillian O’Connor either side of an effort from Cathal Carolan.

But then Mannion blasted to the net from a tight angle after 14 minutes for Dublin.

And before Mayo could recover, the Dubs struck again with Jason Whelan cracking home a superb effort from 20 metres.

Darren Daly, Jack McCaffrey and Mannion pointed for Dublin to lead by 2-04 to 0-03 as Mayo faced into another Croke Park nightmare.

Mayo goalkeeper David Clarke did well to deny Mannion a second goal and after falling 2-09 to 0-05 behind, Mayo rallied before the break with points from O’Connor, Michael Conroy and Jason Gibbons.

There was little between the sides in the third quarter and Mayo gave themselves some hope when they reduced the margin to 2-12 to 0-12 after 50 minutes.

But Mayo never looked like breaking through a strong Dublin defence and goalkeeper Stephen Cluxton went forward to point a free before Mannion landed another in a man of the match display which saw him finish with 1-04.

Bernard Brogan continued to put daylight between the sides and while Mayo continued to battle away with Aidan O’Shea getting his second point and O’Connor taking his haul to 0-7, they needed a goal to seriously trouble the Dubs.

And that never looked like materialising as Gavin’s men ran out convincing winners to set up a final date with Tyrone as Dublin seek their first crown since defeating Donegal in 1993, and Harte’s men look for their first title since they overcame Laois in the decider a decade ago.

DUBLIN: S Cluxton (0-01, 0-01f); K O’Brien, J Cooper, D Daly (0-01); P McMahon, G Brennan, J McCaffrey (0-01); MD McAuley, C O’Sullivan; J Whelan (1-01), D Connolly (0-03), P Flynn; P Mannion (1-04, 0-01f), P Andrews, B Brogan (0-05, 0-01f).

Subs used: D Bastick for O’Sullivan (49 mins), N Devereux for Daly (49 mins), B Cullen for Flynn (53), J Fitzsimons for Cooper (63 mins).

MAYO: D Clarke; K Keane, G Cafferkey, C Barrett; L Keegan, D Vaughan, C Boyle; S O’Shea, J Gibbons (0-01); K McLoughlin (0-01, 0-01f), A O’Shea (0-02), C Carolan (0-01); C O’Connor (0-08, 0-07f), J Doherty, M Conroy (0-03).

Subs used: R Feeney for Doherty (35 mins), B Gallagher for Gibbons (43 mins), E Regan for McLoughlin (63 mins).

Referee: Joe McQuillan (Cavan).

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