Posted by Mickey Harte

eircom GAA ambassador Mickey Harte tells us how he thinks Dublin beat Mayo in the All-Ireland Final

Bernard Brogan Sam Maguire

eircom GAA ambassador Mickey Harte tells us how he thinks Dublin beat Mayo in the All-Ireland final...

The goalkeepers were a crucial part of the final for a couple of reasons. The first goal let Dublin back into the game and part of the blame has to go to full-back Ger Cafferkey who was very good on Bernard Brogan but allowed to him to get a flick on the ball past Robert Hennelly, who himself made a bad call in coming for the ball.

The other key factor in relation to the netminders was the kickouts. Stephen Cluxton was able to find his men rather easily and it looked as if Mayo had spoken about how to deal with this beforehand, because it was not unexpected.

James Horan would have known how quick and accurate Cluxton is. They expected it but they didn’t deal with it and maybe that was because of the day that was in it and dealing with that. Mayo just didn’t put enough attention into it during the game.

The Connacht champions had been in a strong place in the first half at 0-4 to 0-1 ahead and they seemed to have conquered playing in an All-Ireland final. But the first goal was a big blow and allowed Dublin back into it, and a one-point lead for Mayo at half-time did not reflect their superiority.

The second goal was a very poor one to give away in the sense that Mayo allowed two Dublin midfielders to drive at their defence untracked and that must have been very hard for their defenders to look at.

Brogan finished the move but Dean Rock was also free so there was a lot of ball-watching. It was a devastating blow so soon after Andy Moran’s goal.

It was interesting to see so many players seemingly out on their feet before the end of the first half. It was a very warm day and perhaps the players were not prepared for that.

Also, the game was played at a serious pace and it was like ping-pong. There was a continuous, perpetual motion and the players looked as tired as you would at the end of the game.

I don’t think this is the end of Mayo because they are the best Connacht side and will be in the latter stages coming through the province. And once you’re in the last eight, they have great experience to call on at that level.

It’s a big ask to get the same effort out of those players and to imbue them with the belief after going so long without an All-Ireland.

I think that was a factor on the day, it had to be. Dublin got that monkey off their back in 2011 and not having won in so long was something that was brought up often with them, even though they had only to go back to 1995.

But every time they didn’t win one, that was another year gone. So for Mayo, it’s much longer and subconsciously they must have been carrying that.

But again, they should get into the last eight next year and can push on, but it’s a big ask.

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