Dubs to face Cork in the All Ireland Semi Final

November 8, 2018

Goals, they say, win games. And Eoghan O’Gara’s strike in Saturday’s All-Ireland SFC quarter-final at Croke Park could not have come at a better time.

Two points in succession from Tyrone’s Martin Penrose (one free) had this pulsating battle balanced on a knife-edge 0-13 each with six minutes remaining.
It was a case of whoever blinks first loses in front of an attendance of 62,749.

Then the vital goal when O’Gara gathered Paul Flynn’s point effort rebounding back of the right upright before driving the ball to the roof of Pascal McConnell’s net.

Points from Conal Keaney (free) and the hard-working Michael Darragh Macauley sealed victory as the Dubs continue their renaissance since imploding against Meath in the Leinster championship and ease the memories of the Dubs nightmare quarter-final displays in 2008 (Tyrone 3-14 Dublin 1-8) and 2009 (Kerry 1-24 Dublin 1-7).

If O’Gara’s goal was the most vital score of the game Bernard Brogan was arguably the most influential player on the park with his nine points (including five frees), and his ability to show for the ball all afternoon, creating major problems for the Tyrone team and management.

Dublin needed a strong start and they achieved it with points from Bernard Brogan (two frees) and Bryan Cullen to open up a 0-3 to 0-0 lead inside six minutes, and by the 22nd minute they had stretched it to 0-6 to 0-2.

But in classic Tyrone fashion they fired the next five points without reply between the 24th and 30th minute to edge in front, before a monster point from Philly McMahon broke their sequence of scores, but by the interval the Ulster champions led 0-8 to 0-7.

It could have been more as Martin Penrose cannoned a goal effort of the crossbar in first half added time. Crucially Tyrone got nothing out of that late raid as Seán Cavanagh had his point effort blocked by Barry Cahill. On such matters games turn, and Tyrone’s shooting was wayward throughout, amassing 17 wides v Dublin’s 8.

Within a minute of the restart Dublin were level when Bernard Brogan slotted a free after his brother Alan had been fouled.

Tyrone moved two ahead as Philip Jordan began to surge forward and cause problems for the Dublin defence but back came the Dubs with points from Bernard (two) and one from Alan as the Brogan brothers began to combine to telling effect.

A brace of points from Bernard in the 52nd and 54th minutes nosed Dublin 0-13 to 0-11 clear before Penrose replied with two points from Tyrone to bring the sides level heading towards the final five minutes.

Then came O’Gara’s goal to finally break the Tyrone resistance and Dublin were rewarded for giving their all on a day when the underdog bite back.

SCORERS – Dublin: B Brogan 0-9 (0-5f), E O’Gara 1-0, B Cullen, P McMahon, S Cluxton (‘45’), C Keaney (0-1f), MD Macauley, A Brogan 0-1 each. Tyrone: M Penrose (0-3f), O Mulligan (0-2f) 0-5 each, P Jordan 0-2, B McGuigan 0-1.
DUBLIN – S Cluxton; M Fizsimons, R O’Carroll, P McMahon; B Cahill, G Brennan, K Nolan; MD Macauley, R McConnell; N Corkery, A Brogan, B Cullen; D Henry, E O’Gara, B Brogan. Subs: C O’Sullivan for Cahill (ht), P Flynn for Henry (ht), E Fennell for Corkery (43), C Keaney for A Brogan (50), A Brogan for Cullen (67).
TYRONE – P McConnell; C McCarron, Justin McMahon, R McMenamin; P Jordan, C Gormley, D Harte; C Cavanagh, K Hughes; B Dooher, B McGuigan, Joe McMahon; M Penrose, S Cavanagh, O Mulligan. Subs: D Carlin for McCarron (24), S O’Neill for D Harte (ht), E McGinley for Hughes (61), P Harte for Penrose (63).
REF – D Coldrick (Meath).