Gaelic Football: Dubs restore status

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A dreadful advertisement for Gaelic football it may have been, marred by the sending-off of the Dublin cult hero Charlie Redmond for head-butting, but the majority of the 65,000 present for the All-Ireland final at Croke Park yesterday could not care a whit about all of that.

The Sam McGuire Cup is back in the capital for the 22nd time after a 12-year absence and for Dubs that was all that mattered. Whether the other 31 counties will share their joy is unlikely for Dublin's superiority complex is now restored.

An over-elaborate and fitful Tyrone (playing in their first final) compounded aberrations of team selection which were only rectified as the game progressed. They relied on their full-forward Peter Canavan, who landed all but one of his 11 frees.

Dublin hunted in packs, won possession in midfield and played the ball along the ground to the mobile Jason Sherlock and the opportunistic Dessie Farrell.

Dublin had already moved ahead by 0-6 to 0-5 when Sherlock pounced on a handling error by Fay Devlin to steer the ball past Finbarr McConnell. Redmond followed up to score the decisive goal (worth three points) after 26 minutes.

However, their half-time lead of 1-8 to 0-6 had been substantially reduced when Redmond had to be restrained by the linesman after head-butting Fergal Logan. Amid high farce he remained on the pitch for two minutes of play before the referee, Paddy Russell, eventually removed him from the fray.

Dublin (echoing their last win in 1983, when they finished with 12 men to Galway's 14) rolled up their sleeves, sometimes drew as many as 12 men into their own half and effectively disrupted Tyrone, holding on as Canavan took the underdogs to within a point at the end.

Dublin: O'Leary; Walsh, Moran, K Galvin (Gilroy, 50); Curran, Barr, Deegan; Bealin, Stynes; Gavin (Boyle, 63), Clarke, Farrell (Murphy, 70); Redmond, Sherlock, M Galvin.

Tyrone: McConnell, P Devlin, C Lawn, F Devlin; McGarrity, McCallan (Donnelly, 59), McLoughlin; Logan, Gormley; Corr, Pascal Canavan, Loughran (McGeenan, 31), McBride, Peter Canavan, S Lawn (Gormley, h-t).

Referee: P Russell (Tipperary).

Scorers: Dublin: Redmond 1-1 (1 point from free); Farrell 0-4 (one point from free); Clarke 0-2 (one point from free); Barr (free); Curran 0-1; Gavin 0-1.

Tyrone: Peter Canavan 0-11 (0-10 from frees); Gormley 0-1.

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