Mayo is through to the All-Ireland final after a glistering comeback win over the Dubs in Croke Park on Saturday night.
After a poor first-half performance that saw Dessie Farrell’s side lead Mayo 10 points to 4, James Horan’s men defied all odds and stopped the Dublin juggernaut.
Here is how we saw it with the Mayo-Dublin player ratings.
Rob Hennelly – 8
Gave one of his best performances in a Mayo shirt. Improved kick-outs as the game went on, had little to do in terms of making important saves as Dublin’s goal threat was non-existent for large parts of the game. Scored three points from free’s with the equalizing point the forced extra-time.
— The GAA (@officialgaa) August 14, 2021
Padraig O’Hora – 9
The Man of The Match winning performer has been the beating heart of this young Mayo side this season. Kept Con O’Callaghan at bay for the majority of the match and produced an early reminder with a big shoulder hit on a Dublin player. Picked up an assist for Mayo’s opener from Matthew Ruane and finished the game strong, his post-match interview will live long in the memory for many.
"Look at this place… it's the best day of my life" – An emotional Padraig O'Hora captures the joy and emotion of #MayoGAA fans everywhere.
— RTÉ (@rte) August 14, 2021
Lee Keegan – 7
Had little impact if any in the first half, bar catching a few balls in the air. However, his second-half performance was the Lee Keegan of old. Drove forward with the ball, galloping past the Dublin team with energy. Did well to keep possession to give Mayo an incredible victory in extra-time.
"𝘼 𝙢𝙞𝙡𝙚𝙨𝙩𝙤𝙣𝙚 𝙢𝙤𝙢𝙚𝙣𝙩 𝙛𝙤𝙧 𝙈𝙖𝙮𝙤"
— Sky Sports GAA (@SkySportsGAA) August 14, 2021
Michael Plunkett – 6
Unfortunately for Plunkett, he was left isolated for much of the game. Coming in for the injured Oisin Mullin was a big ask for the Ballintubber defender. Tried his best but was replaced by Byran Walsh on 49 minutes.
Paddy Durcan – 8
Picking up a yellow card for a tussle with defender Jonny Cooper was the only negative for Durcan. One of Mayo’s bright sparks in the first half, bringing the much-needed speed and ferocity to his team that he is known. Made a superb block from Cormac Costello in the dying efforts to see out the victory.
Stephen Coen – 7
Did what he had to do for large parts of the game. Got overrun in the first half but his engine and fitness came to fruition. Worked the ball left to right, carried the ball into space. He was influential for this Mayo side. Was taken off at 75 minutes.
Eoghan McLaughlin – 6
Worked hard in the first half and was a bright spark for an average looking Mayo side in the first half. Lost a few balls but tried to recover. His game ended after a sickening challenge from John Small and was stretchered off after 58 minutes.
Matthew Ruane – 8.5
If you ask yourself what was the main reason for how Mayo won this game, you will conclude that it was down to Matthew Ruane in the midfield. An absolute monster performance that saw him pocket a Dublin midfield consisting of James McCarthy, Brian Howard, and Brian Fenton. Got Mayo’s opening score and never looked back. Unreal.
Conor Loftus – 6
Ruane’s midfield partner for much of the season, Loftus has improved drastically this championship season. Working really hard for the cause in the first half with a turnover from James McCarthy a standout. Was substituted in the 64th minute for fresh legs but was brought back on after 81 minutes. Scored a crucial point in the first half that reduced the game to 6 points.
Diarmuid O’Connor – 7
Had a quiet day in terms of scoring but his ability to turn up when it counts is admirable. His influence grew as the game carried on. He will be remembered for his iconic 63rd-minute effort, which saw him dive to keep the ball in from Hennelly’s effort, leading to a magnificent score from Kevin McLoughlin.
Kevin McLoughlin – 6.5
The Mayo veteran gave it his all, you get leadership from McLoughlin, which was evident throughout. Started brightly a kicked an outrageous left-foot shot to give Mayo hope.
Darren McHale – 5.5
A quiet and frustrating day for the McHale, who had little to no service coming in from a rough opening 30 minutes from Mayo. Was replaced after a mere 28 minutes for Enda Hession.
Tommy Conroy – 8
As the game reached crunch time, his impact will be long remembered by Mayo fans for years to come. Overall he was a nuisance for Dublin all game. Fouled constantly, but picked up 3 points from open play that saw his side triumph.
Tommy Conroy became a man in Croke Park on Saturday night. Potential realised ✅
69th min: first score, a monster to make it a 1-pt game.
2 min ET: another monster, 0-14 apiece.
5th min ET: bursts through to put Mayo in the lead.
He stood up and grabbed that game by the throat pic.twitter.com/JNRpUmKetD
— Tommy Rooney (@TomasORuanaidh) August 15, 2021
Aidan O’Shea – 5
It was one of the worst games for the Mayo captain in recent times. Had a nightmare first half which saw him latch onto one high ball that led to a mark. Missing a 20 metre free showcased his frustrations and was taken off after 49 minutes, O’Shea did not look happy but it proved a stroke of genius. Was brought on late to nullify the Dublin high balls. He will have a chance to write the wrongs in the final.
Aidan O'Shea has missed with a free from here
That's how it's going for Mayo so far pic.twitter.com/2tNe4Un7Ej
— GAA JOE (@GAA__JOE) August 14, 2021
Ryan O’Donoghue – 8
The Belmullet forward was Mayo’s best player for large parts of the game. Looked energetic and played with his heart on his sleeve. Scored from a mark and hit 0-5 overall.
Enda Hession – 7
Came on for Darren McHale in the first half and made a huge difference during the second half. Brought energy to a slow Mayo and never looked back.
James Carr – 6
Brought energy and willingness to work hard for the cause but was not as influential as first hoped.
Byran Walsh – 6
Not much to say came on for Michael Plunkett and worked hard but nothing drastic.
Jordan Flynn – 7.5
Scored a crucial point and gained a mark that led to a Tommy Conroy score. He played well when he came on for the injured McLaughlin.
Conor O’Shea – 6
Played without fear, getting stuck in but lost a ball that could have led to a Dublin score.
Darren Coen – 7
Kicked a beautiful score to get Mayo motoring, did his job well.
James Durcan – N/A
Not on long enough.
Brendan Harrison – N/A
Not on long enough.
Evan Comerford – 6
A frustrating night for the young goalkeeper. Lost numerous kick-outs to Mayo’s high press, his first real test was one of his worst. Over-carried in the 67th minute to allow Mayo to reduce the deficit to 2 points. Looked nervous throughout, but the 23-year-old will improve.
Michael Fitzsimons – 6.5
A stalwart of the Dublin defence for many years, Fitzsimons had a game of two halves. Looked strong on the ball in the opening 30 minutes but fell off in the second half. Struggled to control his full-back line which saw Mayo run riot.
David Byrne – 5
Like many of Dublin’s players in the first half. They had the license to roam into pockets of space, Byrne looked comfortable. He will soon want to forget his second-half performance. Caught for over-carrying and lost possession countless times that led to a few Mayo scores. An awful night.
Jonny Cooper – 6
Hot and cold for an ever-reliable source. Brought energy and a willingness to step up for the Dubs throughout the game but looked out of sorts with his tightness to attacks and was eventually replaced on 52 minutes for Tom Lahiff.
James McCarthy – 7
McCarthy was a frustrated figure after Mayo clawed back the lead from the Dubs. Prior to that, he looked comfortable, ready and strong on and off the ball. Stopping Mayo with great resistance in the first half. There was a case he should have been sent off but was black-carded for a stupid foul on Lee Keegan in the closing moments of extra-time.
John Small – 5
Invisible for large parts of the game, never really got a foothold and was very lucky not to have been sent off for a dangerous tackle on Eoghan McLaughlin.
— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) August 15, 2021
Eoin Murchan – 6
Not much to say here, done his job for parts of the game, the lack of sharpness hampered his performance here after making his return from injury in the Leinster final against Kildare. He was tasked with roaming near Aidan O’Shea to pick any loose balls. Sustained an injury and hobbled off in the 67th minute.
Brian Fenton – 7
One of the great football midfielders experienced what many should feel while playing football, a loss. The multiple time All-Ireland winner will have hated to have lost his first championship match but he played well. Caught some lovely balls but was outperformed by the excellent Matthew Ruane.
Brian Howard – 6
Looked good and fresh in the opening minutes but a hard hit from Padraic O’Hora changed things and he could never really recover afterwards. Replaced after 82 minutes.
Paddy Small – 6.5
Similar To his brother, he had little to no impact on the game. Kicked two points from play and had a decent first half. As the game faded from Dublin, he struggled to take a foothold of the match.
Ciarán Kilkenny – 5.5
Got 3 points and tried his best throughout to put a foothold on the match. Invisible in the second half like many Dublin players around him. Padraic O’Hora did a number on him.
Niall Scully – 6
Not much can be said about Scully’s performance. Worked hard but no real end product. He got substituted after 62 minutes when the game looked over.
Dean Rock – 6
The ever-reliable Dean Rock had a relatively quiet game for his standards. Scored 7 points, with two of the seven being from free’s. Tracked back to help out but could do little to stop the Mayo onslaught.
Con O’Callaghan – 6
Much like Dublin’s forward line after the first half, O’Callaghan was a frustrated figure. Was fed with plenty of ball for large parts but faded in the second-half and beyond when Mayo came at them.
Cormac Costello – 5
An awful day for the forward, Costello looked and played like an annoying figure. Kept scoreless and scuffed a few half chances. He was replaced for Colm Basquel on 49 minutes.
Colm Basquel – 5
Dublin’s first substitute saw himself black-carded for a reckless pull-down. Little to talk about.
Tom Lahiff – 5
Came on for Jonny Cooper on 51 minutes, did little to impact the game and got black-carded.
Seán Bugler – 6
Opened the scoring for Dublin in extra time to give them a 0-14 to 0-13 lead, done little else after that.
Sean McMahon – 5.5
Came on to settle the ship when Mayo took control but could do little to stop the inevitable.
Philly McMahon – 5
Gave Hennelly the opportunity to write his wrong with the re-take that gifted Mayo the chance to equalize. Lost half of his jersey in a scuffle.
Robbie McDaid – 6
Made his appearance in the 81st minute and just floated around.
Aaron Byrne – 5
Cormac Costello’s replacement had little to no involvement when introduced on 82 minutes.