O'Callaghan the driver as Dublin turn Mayo with 'most awesome 12 minutes ever' 1 week ago

O'Callaghan the driver as Dublin turn Mayo with 'most awesome 12 minutes ever'

Dublin 3-14 Mayo 1-10

Manic and controlled aggression.

Ferocious, bordering on reckless intensity. One man, two men, three men, four. Swarming every blue body that gets so much as a sniff of leather.

Mayo's first half rear-guard action was hailed as one of the most impressive defensive displays Croke Park had bore witness to. And yet it still wasn't enough. Wasn't near enough.

Con O'Callaghan got a slip on Lee Keegan and he killed ruthlessly. Paul Mannion began swinging that golden gun of a left. Dean Rock got a few frees.

Dublin weren't done there though. The third quarter is where they make hay and it was a May day this Saturday. Con O'Callaghan with all his power, panache and dynamism left Lee Keegan rooted again and before Mayo knew they were out of the dressing room, before every one of the 80 something thousand onlookers in Croke Park knew the game had restarted, Jim Gavin's side had turned a two point half-point deficit into a nine point lead.

Mayo heads were in hands, Mayo players didn't know what to do or where to look.

Dublin are ruthlessly programmed machines. Who had just exploded out of the blocks to deliver what must have been the best 12 minutes of attacking football has ever, ever seen.

Game over just like that, just like this. These lads are different gravy.

But let's give Mayo their dues for a second.

Five times let us repeat, five times in that first half they turned over Dublin men on the full forward line. Brendan Harrison stopped Paul Mannion in his tracks. Matthew Ruane took ball and James McCarthy. James Carr took a bite at the Ballymun man too. Paddy Durcan and Higgins swarmed McCaffrey before Con O'Callaghan ran into a green and red tornado.

Hairs stood alert on Mayo necks. A two point half-time lead. They'd rarely if ever seen their team play much better.

Unfortunately, they wouldn't see much of them for the rest of it. Dublin wouldn't let them.

Because something was said in that Dublin dressing room at half-time, and whatever it was, it was something special.

They came out and turned on the magic, turned on the style and Mayo were left looking like under-12s against professional athletes. They cut through like they couldn't be touched. Brian Fenton's third and final goal summed it all up.

Tom Parsons' return provided brief respite for Mayo people. This man's resilience and courage in the face of monumental adversity is admired far and wide. And he was rightly given an ovation upon his return.

The smiles didn't last long though.

To compound Mayo's misery, Cillian O'Connor was red carded for aggressively pushing Davy Byrne who had kicked the ball away inexplicably. It was a sign of a county's frustration.

Dublin are more than likely the greatest team the GAA has ever seen. They're one game away from confirming it. And sadly, Tyrone and Kerry looks just a little bit pointless.