All-Ireland SFC final: Dublin beat Tyrone 2-17 to 1-14 to secure fourth title in a row

By John HaugheyBBC Sport NI at Croke Park
Niall Scully celebrates scoring Dublin's second goal in the first half
Niall Scully celebrates scoring Dublin's second goal in the first half
All-Ireland SFC final: Dublin 2-17 Tyrone 1-14
Dublin scorers: Rock 0-7, Kilkenny 0-4, Mannion 1-0, Fenton 0-2, McCaffrey 0-1, Howard 0-1, McManamon 0-1, Macauley 0-1
Tyrone scorers: Harte 1-1, McAliskey 0-3, Brennan 0-3, McShane 0-2, Bradley 0-2, McCann 0-1, Hampsey 0-1, McGeary 0-1

Dublin secured a fourth successive All-Ireland Football title, winning 2-17 to 1-14 in a game which turned on a hugely controversial first-half penalty.

Tyrone led 0-5 to 0-1 as the Dubs looked rattled before referee Conor Lane awarded a 19th-minute penalty.

Lane adjudged that Tiernan McCann had fouled Paul Mannion who got up to net the spot-kick. Niall Scully's goal made it 2-7 to 0-6 to Dublin at half-time.

They moved eight ahead but Peter Harte's penalty cut the lead to four.

However despite having defender John Small sent off in injury-time, the Dubs held on helped by late scores from substitutes Kevin McManamon and Michael Darragh Macauley to seal a 28th senior title.

Tyrone were playing in their first All-Ireland final in 10 years as manager Mickey Harte was attempting to clinch a fourth Sam Maguire Cup triumph following the county's successes in 2003, 2005 and 2008.

Re-live all the action at Croke Park as it unfolded

Red Hands left reeling by penalty

Such was Dublin's domination at stages of the second half, it's difficult to have any complaint with the final outcome.

However, Tyrone folk will forever wonder about what might have happened had the first-half penalty not been awarded.

The Red Hands were 0-5 to 0-2 ahead when the referee adjudged that McCann had tugged Mannion when replays suggested that the Tyrone man had merely blocked the close-range shot with his knee.

Within 10 minutes, Dubs were suddenly five ahead after Scully palmed to the net following the outstanding Con O'Callaghan's run straight through the Tyrone defence.

Two further points before the break left the Dubs seven ahead as the nightmare scenario had arisen for the Red Hands with the game effectively already put to bed.

It was all so different from the early stages as Mark Bradley's running had Jonny Cooper in big trouble in the Dublin defence.

Tyrone's Ronan McNamee attempts to halt the progress of Dublin's Dean Rock
Dean Rock hit seven points for Dublin in the decider

Tyrone unable to respond

But while Tyrone have a legitimate grievance over the awarding of a penalty, they were found badly wanting in responding to the adversity as Dublin outscored them 2-6 to 0-1 in the 19 minutes of action before the break.

The Red Hands weren't helped by Colm Cavanagh appearing to pick up a leg injury in the first half although, ironically, his late stationing at full-forward did help them produce their last-gasp rally.

In that pivotal second quarter and for much of the second half, Tyrone's key players Harte, Mattie Donnelly, Tiernan McCann and Niall Sludden were unable to get on the ball.

The driving runs of Donnelly and McCann from deep were absent as they were required for marking roles on Brian Howard and Ciaran Kilkenny.

Sludden, so influential for Tyrone this season, was replaced by Frank Burns early in the second half.

As was the case in the narrow semi-final win over Monaghan, Tyrone's shooting and option taking in attack left a lot to be desired as they hit 16 wides in addition to dropping a number of balls into Stephen Cluxton's hands.

Tyrone players show their dejection on the pitch after the game
Tyrone players show their dejection on the pitch after the game

Dublin rattled early on

Dean Rock kicked Dublin into a third-minute lead but the free-taker then appeared to be suffering a crisis of confidence as he missed three straightforward placed balls during Tyrone's period of dominance.

Harte's seven-minute equaliser from a free was immediately followed by scores from Bradley and McCann.

Dublin were looking distinctly rattled after a Connor McAliskey free was followed by his beauty from play with the outside of his right foot.

But after Kilkenny's steadying reply for the Dubs, then came the hugely contentious penalty as Lane ruled that McCann had barged over Mannion as he was about to pull the trigger.

Rock found his range again to add two immediate points and while McShane did respond with Tyrone's only score of the second quarter, man of the match Jack McCaffrey ran upfield to point before O'Callaghan's dance through the Red Hand defence set up Scully's palmed finish.

Harte takes 'pride' in Tyrone's All-Ireland defeat

Dubs retain control after the break

Mickey Harte gathered his shell-shocked players in a huddle on the pitch immediately after the half-time whistle before they made their way to the dressing room.

The Red Hands did notch the first two scores after the resumption as McAliskey and Kieran McGeary pointed but these were quickly cancelled out by efforts from Fenton and Howard.

During the next 25 minutes, the closest margin between the sides was six as the dominant Dubs were already playing keep ball.

During this period, McGeary's black card for a body check on Fenton added to Tyrone's woes.

Substitute Cormac Costello had a chance for a third Dublin goal on 55 with Niall Morgan diverting the close-range effort on to a post and out for a 45.

By that stage, Cavanagh had been sent to the edge of the Dublin square in Tyrone's last throw of the dice. However, the Moy man was a bystander for 10 minutes before his high fetch yielded the 67th-minute penalty after Philly McMahon's foul.

Harte converted the spot-kick to get the Tyrone faithful going again with Small's red card in the first of seven added minutes further raising the Red Hand decibels.

But Dublin were never in any real danger as they became only the fourth county to win four successive titles.

Few will back against them becoming the first team to earn a five-in-a-row in 2019.

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

Subs: M Fitzsimons for O'Sullivan 26 mins; C Costello for Scully 52 mins; K McManamon for Mannion 57 mins; D Daly for Murchan 57 mins; E Lowndes for Cooper 63 mins, M Macauley for Rock 66 mins.

Tyrone: N Morgan; R McNamee, T McCann, P Hampsey; M Donnelly, M McKernan, R Brennan; C Cavanagh, C McShane; K McGeary, N Sludden, C Meyler; M Bradley, P Harte, C McAliskey.

Subs: L Brennan for Meyler 39 mins; F Burns for Sludden 45 mins; H Loughran for McGeary (bc) 48 mins; R Donnelly for McAliskey 48 mins; D McClure for McShane 54 mins; R O'Neill for Bradley 62 mins.

Referee: Conor Lane (Cork)