All-Ireland SFC Final: Mayo hoping to end 66 years of hurt against Dublin

Aidan O'Shea and David Clarke celebrate after Mayo's All-Ireland semi-final replay win over Kerry in Croke Park
Aidan O'Shea and David Clarke celebrate after Mayo's All-Ireland semi-final replay win over Kerry in Croke Park

Mayo will embark on the latest quest to end their long wait for an All-Ireland Senior Football title against defending champions Dublin on Sunday.

The Connacht side have not won the Sam Maguire Cup since 1951, subsequently losing eight and drawing two of their 10 final appearances.

Dublin are chasing a three-in-a-row of All-Ireland titles in Croke Park.

The teams drew the 2015 All-Ireland semi-final and the 2016 final, with Dublin winning both replays.

Mayo's perfect 10?

Mayo have had an arduous route to the September showpiece, coming through extra-time qualifier wins over Derry and Cork.

Sunday's game will be their 10th championship match of the summer, with the team attempting to emulate Tyrone who won the 2005 All-Ireland title after a demanding 10-match schedule.

Fatigue should not be a factor, however, and battle-hardened Mayo's long summer adventure could be a significant advantage.

Lee Keegan was the GAA's 2016 Player of the Year and has had another influential summer in Mayo's rollercoaster run to the All-Ireland final
Lee Keegan was the GAA's 2016 Player of the Year and has had another influential summer in Mayo's rollercoaster run to the All-Ireland final

Dublin are going for a 27th All-Ireland title but Jim Gavin's champions have coasted into the decider after a facile Leinster Championship campaign.

They also breezed past Monaghan in the All-Ireland quarter-final and thrashed Tyrone by 12 points in the All-Ireland semi-final.

Dublin bench could be key

No team in the country can rival Dublin's staggering financial resources or playing numbers.

They have massive strength in depth with two former Player of the Year winners, Bernard Brogan and Michael Darragh Macauley, to call upon as well as Kevin McManamon, Paul Flynn and Eoghan O'Gara among the list of possible replacements.

Star forward Diarmuid Connolly was only given a few minutes at the end of Dublin's easy semi-final win over Tyrone after serving a 12-week suspension for pushing a match official, but is bound to see more game-time in what's expected to be a closely contested affair.

Jim Gavin has named an unchanged team, meaning Connolly must settle for a place on the bench.

However it would not be a surprise to see him start, possibly at the expense of Niall Scully who retains his wing-forward berth after he was a late replacement for Eric Lowndes in the semi-final.

Last year it was the relatively unheralded Cormac Costello who was the surprise Dublin match-winner, the substitute kicking three crucial points in the 1-15 to 1-14 replay victory over Stephen Rochford's beaten Mayo side.

Rochford has named an unchanged team from the semi-final replay win over Kerry, with the inclusion of keeper David Clarke and Chris Barrett in place of Robbie Hennelly and Paddy Durcan, the only alterations from the side which started in last year's final replay defeat by the Dubs.

Dublin: S Cluxton; P McMahon, C O'Sullivan, M Fitzsimons; J Cooper, J Small, J McCaffrey; B Fenton, J McCarthy; C Kilkenny, C O'Callaghan, N Scully; P Mannion, P Andrews, D Rock.

Mayo: D Clarke; B Harrison, D Vaughan, K Higgins; L Keegan, C Barrett, C Boyle; S O'Shea, T Parsons; K McLoughlin, A O'Shea, D O'Connor; J Doherty, C O'Connor, A Moran.

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