Brave comeback in vain as Dub Cubs fall to Mayo
Mayo 5-12 Dublin 2-19
It proved a heartbreaking experience for Dublin, who fell narrowly short in their quest for a place in the Electric Ireland All-Ireland Minor Football Championship semi-finals when succumbing to Mayo by two points at Glennon Brothers Pearse Park on Saturday afternoon.
The Dubs appeared to be struggling at the break as they trailed by six points and the concession of a third goal within three minutes of the resumption further undermined their comeback ambitions.
However, they gradually began to dominate possession around the middle third, playing the match and not the occasion, and two goals in quick succession by Luke Curran and Alex Rogers edged them in front by the 52nd minute.
Their momentum was cut short after a defensive error was seized upon by Mayo substitute Rory Morrin five minutes later and his calm finish proved the pivotal score, despite Dublin spurning a number of presentable opportunities in the ensuing dramatic conclusion.
There was little to suggest in the opening half that we would be witness to such an enthralling conclusion as Mayo looked the far more composed side and they opened up a healthy lead following goals in the first quarter from Paul Walsh and Ciaran Mylett.
Dublin were not as clinical at the opposite end, with both Luke Swan and Fionn Murray failing to net from close range, although the talented Murray kicked four first-half points to ensure his side remained in touch as they trailed by 2-8 to 0-8 at the break.
A wonderful solo goal from Mayo's Ethan Henry in the 34th minute appeared fatal to Dublin's chances but with Senan Forker urging his side forward at every opportunity, the Dubs fought back with a quartet of Murray points in quick succession trimming their deficit to a single score by the 49th minute.
Once again Mayo hit back, with Ruairi Keane netting after another fine run from deep as the match lost all semblance of a defensive structure. Then Mayo's six-point lead was lost in an instant with Curran and Rogers netting past the impressive Luke Jennings.
John Grady and Murray traded scores as the match continued to enthral, with an unfortunate handling error from Oran Farrell allowing Morrin to coolly restore Mayo's lead with a low finish past Hugh O'Sullivan.
A goal for Dublin in the closing stages could not be ruled out but Mayo's defence held firm with Jennings their saviour by the end.