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Sunday 4 December 2016

Dub v Mayo: From ecstasy to agony with minutes to go in nail-biting semi-final draw

GAA fans Aine McClean from Swords & Martina Fahey from Blanchardstown at the GAA Semi Final between Dublin & Mayo in Croke Park, Dublin
GAA fans Aine McClean from Swords & Martina Fahey from Blanchardstown at the GAA Semi Final between Dublin & Mayo in Croke Park, Dublin
GAA fan Ella Cushion 5 from Enfield at the GAA Semi Final between Dublin & Mayo in Croke Park, Dublin
Dublin GAA fans at the GAA Semi Final between Dublin & Mayo in Croke Park, Dublin
GAA fans (L to R) Bethany Monaghan; Emer O'Donnell; Maire Ruddy; Marie Deane Shannon Tighe all from Belmullet
GAA fans Paul Hansard Harold's Cross & Marese Corbally from Donabate at the GAA Semi Final between Dublin & Mayo in Croke Park, Dublin
GAA fans Paul Hansard Harold's Cross & Marese Corbally from Donabate at the GAA Semi Final between Dublin & Mayo in Croke Park, Dublin
GAA fans (L to R) Michael Lynsey & Kerry Ann Browne Birmingham at the GAA Semi Final between Dublin & Mayo in Croke Park, Dublin
Dublin GAA fans at the GAA Semi Final between Dublin & Mayo in Croke Park, Dublin
GAA fans (L to r) Stefani Sage,Geraldine Carr & Trisha Armstrong all from Westport at the GAA Semi Final between Dublin & Mayo in Croke Park, Dublin
GAA fans (L to R) Michael Lynsey & Kerry Ann Browne Birmingham at the GAA Semi Final between Dublin & Mayo in Croke Park, Dublin
GAA fans Mayo Magella Haverty from Castlebar & Laura Young from Kildare at the GAA Semi Final between Dublin & Mayo in Croke Park, Dublin
GAA fans (L to r) Orla Dunne, Emer Maher & Fiona Dunne all from Templeogue at the GAA Semi Final between Dublin & Mayo in Croke Park, Dublin
GAA fans (L to r) Niamh Grealis & Clara Grealis both from Mulranny at the GAA Semi Final between Dublin & Mayo in Croke Park, Dublin
GAA fans Mayo Magella Haverty from Castlebar & Laura Young from Kildare at the GAA Semi Final between Dublin & Mayo in Croke Park, Dublin
GAA fans (L to R) Kacy Mannion 7 & Senan Farrell 7 both from Charlestown at the GAA Semi Final between Dublin & Mayo in Croke Park, Dublin
GAA fans Aine McClean from Swords & Martina Fahey from Blanchardstown at the GAA Semi Final between Dublin & Mayo in Croke Park, Dublin
GAA fans Darragh Biddlecombe, Liam Ecock, Andrew Bacon all from Cabra at the GAA Semi Final between Dublin & Mayo in Croke Park, Dublin
GAA fans (L to r) Orla Dunne, Emer Maher & Fiona Dunne all from Templeogue at the GAA Semi Final between Dublin & Mayo in Croke Park, Dublin
30 Aug 2015; Dublin fans Conor Devlin, left, 21, and Paddy O'Reilly, from Tallaght. All Ireland Senior Football championship semi-final, Dublin v Mayo. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
30 Aug 2015; Dublin fans: Stephen Leonard, from Stamullen, with his children, Matthew, 17, Killian, 15, William, 11 and James, 9. All Ireland Senior Football championship semi-final, Dublin v Mayo. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
Dublin fan Darragh KearnsMcGee, 8, from Naas
Dublin fans Laura Brennan, 12, with brother Anderw, 9, and sister Emily, 8, from Drumcondra. All Ireland Senior Football championship semi-final, Dublin v Mayo. Croke Park, Dublin
30 Aug 2015; Dublin fans twins Tadhg left, supporting Dublin, and Fionn Dillon, 6, (supporting Mayo) from Oranmore, Galway (mother from Balbriggan, Dublin). All Ireland Senior Football championship semi-final, Dublin v Mayo. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
Dublin fan during the match
30 Aug 2015; Dublin fan Darragh KearnsMcGee
Dublin fans John Kirby, from Clonsilla, with daughter Ciara, 9, and son Darragh, 11
Dublin fan enjoys a hot-dog during the match. All Ireland Senior Football championship semi-final, Dublin v Mayo. Croke Park, Dublin
Dublin fan as Mayo are awarded a late penalty. All Ireland Senior Football championship semi-final, Dublin v Mayo. Croke Park, Dublin
Mayo fan after Mayo score a late penalty. All Ireland Senior Football championship semi-final, Dublin v Mayo. Croke Park, Dublin
Dublin fan in the final moments of the game. All Ireland Senior Football championship semi-final, Dublin v Mayo. Croke Park, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn

DUBLIN supporters were left in shock after their team threw away a seven-point lead against Mayo in the All-Ireland semi-final to settle for a draw. BIG MATCH ANALYSIS: SEE SPORT

The blue half of the sell-out 82,000 crowd were in ecstasy with minutes to go in the match, only to exit Croke Park annoyed and wondering what might have been.

Famous faces among the crowd were Mayo man and Taoiseach Enda Kenny, former Taoiseach and boys in blue supporter Bertie Ahern, legendary Dublin All-Ireland winning goalkeeper John O’Leary, boom-time developer Sean Dunne and former Meath footballer Graham Geraghty.

Meanwhile, Renua TD Terence Flanagan was playing the cymbals in the Artane Senior Band during half-time.

TICKET

Geraghty said he’ll be buying a ticket for Hill 16 if the Dubs make the final.

“A neighbour of mine is a massive fan so I said I’d go on the Hill,” he said.

Mr O’Leary told the Herald that the former Meath star will get a warm reception among Dublin supporters.

“He’ll have a bit of fun. There’ll be a bit of slagging alright, but they’ll treat him well,” he said.

Mr O’Leary said if Dublin overcome Mayo and defeat Kerry in the final, they could become the best Dublin team of all time.

“If they win in September, it’ll be their third in five years so they’d be there or thereabouts,” he said.

Bertie Ahern, who was attending the match with his son-in-law, Nicky Byrne, also said the jury is still out on how good this Dublin team is.

“I’ve my fingers crossed. I’ll tell you at the end of September,” he said.

However, Dublin supporters remain confident that the boys in blue will come out on top in the replay.

“It was unreal, very exciting right until the end,” said Jason Kelly (46) from Donaghmede, who was at the game with his daughter, Chelsea (13).

Eimhin O’Connor (16), from Skerries, thinks the Dubs need to curb their arrogance before the next game.

“We got cocky, but I can’t wait for the replay, we’ll beat them in that,” she said.

Meanwhile, divided Dublin–Mayo families were left with their hearts in their mouths after a dramatic finish to the game.

Cabra man Jimmy Meehan lives in Mayo with his wife and six kids, all of whom except one were supporting the red and green.

“I was sweating for the last 10 minutes when Mayo got back into it,” said Mr Meehan.

“When we got the seven point lead, I was giving it loads, telling the kids ‘Mayo are falling apart now’ and ‘that’s it over’ and next of all they came back,”

Rathfarnham father and son Louis and Sean Gunnigan were supporting Mayo and Dublin respectively and Louis told the Herald he’s just relieved.

“I’m very glad to be still in it and it’s all to play for. I was talking to Sean briefly and he feels the same,” said Louis.

“We’ve another week of slagging each other, and that’s what it’s all about,” he added.

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