Mighty Flynn’s fifth All Ireland

by Karl Graham

PAUL Flynn came off the bench to land his fifth senior All-Ireland medal by helping Dublin to a 1-17 to 1-16 victory over Mayo at Croke Park last Sunday.
Some expected Flynn to potentially start on Sunday after putting in an impressive display to bag three points when he came on at half-time against Tyrone in the previous round. However, manager Jim Gavin elected to make just one change with Eoghan O’Gara replacing Niall Scully.
Flynn wouldn’t have to wait long to make his entrance, however, as Jack McCaffrey’s game was brought to a premature end when he picked him a knee injury after nine minutes.
The Fingallians’ clubman took his place in the forward line, with Ciaran Kilkenny dropping back to fill in for McCaffrey.
It meant he played a role in adding to previous victories in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016 with his brother-in-law Darren Daly – from Fingal Ravens – alongside him in the panel throughout. St Maur’s Ciaran Reddin, meanwhile, was part of the panel for a first All-Ireland medal.
In the end, the tie was settled by an injury time free by Dean Rock – who grew up in Garristown – for a 1-17 to 1-16 victory, making it three in a row for Dublin.
“Composure has been the hallmark of these guys,” manager Jim Gavin said afterwards. “They work so hard at their game and are very disciplined in what they do. The sacrifices they make to play Gaelic games is phenomenal.
“That composure when they went two points ahead and had the crowd behind them – there is a perception Mayo had the momentum but in the last quarter we probably outscored them four points to one.
“Recent Dublin [versus] Mayo games have been nip and tuck so I don’t think it was a surprise to our players that there was very little in it going into the last few minutes. I thought our boys showed good composure when the game was there to be won.
“That shows how present the Dublin players were in the game. For them to turn it around and finish so strongly was satisfying,” said Gavin.
The two finalists appear to have moved clear of the chasing pack with plenty of talk of splitting Dublin due to their power in recent years.
But Gavin believes there is very little between many of the big teams and it inevitably comes down to the work put in by the layers throughout the year.
“One of the biggest strengths of this squad is their attitude and what they bring to the Dublin team from their clubs.
“In terms of the future, there are so many good teams out there. If you put any of the top teams head to head in championship football in an All-Ireland final there is not going to be much in it.
“That is what we have experienced over the last few years. All this is down to the hard work, dedication and sacrifice that the players have put in over the last number of years and that is what they are going to have to do again.”

Related Articles