Dublin set up huge clash with Mayo as old rivalries take centre-stage

A LATE late goal by Templeogue Synge Street’s Eoghan O’Gara ensured victory for Dublin in the final Group Two match of the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship against Tyrone in Omagh on Sunday.

Running out 1-16 to 0-13 winners, O’Gara capitalised on a brilliant run by Man of the Match Seán Bugler to bat the ball to the net in additional-time, setting them up to face old rivals Mayo in the semi-final.

Jim Gavin 080819

Jim Gavin.

Jim Gavin’s side will face a battle-hardened Mayo team who were forced to come through the backdoor of this year’s competition after being edged out my Roscommon in the Connacht semi-final.

Croke Park is expected to see its biggest crowd of the year on Saturday to see the two sides battle it out yet again as old rivalries are set to take centre stage.

The game marked the long overdue return of Diarmuid Connolly to the starting line-up for the first time in 686 days and, should Gavin give him the nod once again, a sell-out stadium will see him pitched against Lee Keegan.

It was not an uncommon sight to see a fired-up Connolly and Keegan get to grips with each other in the past and since the return of Rory O’Carroll to the panel too, fans could also get to see him go toe-to-toe with Aidan O’Shea once again.

On Dublin’s pursuit of a record fifth All-Ireland in a row, they have beaten The Yew County in two of the four finals with both ending with Gavin’s men winning by the minimum.

In the top of the group shootout between the Red Hand and the Blues last weekend, St Jude’s man Kevin McManamon was handed a start and rewarded his manager with a workmanlike performance.

Firing over a brace of fine points, he was partnered in the half-forward line by Ballyboden St Enda’s Robbie McDaid while his clubmate Michael Darragh Macauley came on after the break.

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