The Dubs see off Down in tight game

November 8, 2018

DUBLIN 2-10 DOWN 0-13

The Dubs have qualified for their first Allianz NFL Division 1 final since 1999 thanks to Saturday night’s victory over Down at Croke Park.

Dublin only needed a draw to secure a place in the decider and when sub Bernard Brogan levelled matters as the game ticked into injury-time it looked like that’s exactly the way it would transpire until three minutes into added time when a centre from Bernard was fumbled by Down midfielder Kalum King and Alan Brogan hammered the ball to the net from six metres.

In a very tactical battle the Dublin defence tightened up significantly on their Mayo display and forced Down into shooting from wide angles or long range – particularly in the opening half.

Down had the better of the early play but a Paul Flynn goal in the 11th minute catapulted the Dubs into a 1-2 to 0-3 lead. The Dubs created a couple more goal-scoring opportunities in the first half but Denis Bastick lost his footing and pulled his shot wide while Flynn hit an upright in the 32nd minute with the goal at his mercy.

By the interval the sides were level: Dublin 1-5, Down 0-8.

Down altered their gameplan at the break and ran at the heart of the Dublin defence, using the handpass effectively, but the Dublin defence for the most part held up well.

However, the game looked to be swinging the way of the Mourne men when points from Martin Clarke (two frees) and Conor Maginn had Down in front 0-13 to 1-9 approaching the 70 minutes. But when he was needed Bernard Brogan popped up with an equaliser before running the hard yards in the lead-up to brother Alan’s winning goal.

SCORERS – Dublin: T Quinn 0-4 (0-3f), P Flynn, A Brogan 1-1 each, D Connolly, B Cahill, B Cullen, B Brogan 0-1 each. Down: M Clarke 0-3 (0-3f), P McComiskey, B Coulter, D Hughes 0-2 each, M Poland, P Fitzpatrick, K McKernan, C Maginn 0-1 each.
DUBLIN – S Cluxton; P McMahon, P Brogan, N Devereux; K Nolan, G Brennan, D Nelson; D Bastick, B Cahill; P Flynn, K McManamon, B Cullen; A Brogan, D Connolly, T Quinn. Subs: B Brogan for McManamon (42), MD Macauley for Bastick (43), P Andrews for Cullen (58), P Burke for Quinn (67), D Kelly for Flynn (70)
DOWN – B McVeigh; G McCartan, D Gordon, B McArdle; C Garvey, K McKernan, D Rooney; P Fitzpatrick, K King; D Hughes, M Poland, C Maginn; P McComiskey, B Coulter, M Clarke. Subs: D McCartan for McArdle (44), D Alder for McVeigh (46), J Colgan for Fitzpatrick (51), R Murtagh for McComiskey (51), E McCartan for Poland (58)
REF – S Doyle (Wexford).