In the battle of the Gaelic football broadcasters, this writer is of the opinion that Sky Sports were the winners. The full verdict can be read here. Part of what set Sky apart is their focus on forensic and detailed analysis, and the main provider of this detail is Peter Canavan.
Sky believe that Serious Analysis requires long periods of standing at a touch-screen (see Monday Night Football) and it is Canavan who has assumed this role. He is excelling, as his half-time analysis of Mayo's first own-goal at Croke Park shows.
While RTE focused on Mayo's extraordinary bad fortune - Joe Brolly muttered darkly that Mayo must be trapped in 'The Twilight Zone', Canavan used a high camera angle, perched in the corner of the Canal End and Cusack Stand to get a bird's-eye view of Croke Park to accentuate how the goal, while unfortunate, was also avoidable.
The move began with a Stephen Cluxton kick-out, with Canavan shedding light on the fact that it could have been avoided had Seamus O'Shea been more alert in tracking the run of Brian Fenton.
Here's the first frame, on Cluxton's kick-out.
Canavan has pointed out that Mayo have pushed up (ie the Mayo forwards have gone man-to-man on the Dublin back-line) on Stephen Cluxton's kick-outs, a tactic Kerry had some joy with in the first half of the semi-final. Canavan then points out that, when this happens, the onus is on the Mayo midfielders to be equally tight to their men, as the ball is going to land in their zone.
The Mayo midfield has split: Seamus O'Shea tracks Brian Fenton left, while Donie Vaughan is meant to be picking up Michael Darragh Macauley. Macauley, however, makes a clever run: he feints to go to the right - dragging Vaughan out of position - only to check back inside and collect Cluxton's kick-out without being put under any pressure.
Macauley collects, and then Canavan draws attention to the subsequent run of Brian Fenton, who leaves Seamus O'Shea for dead in midfield:
O'Shea, however does recover to get back goal-side of Fenton a few moments later:
O'Shea, however, lost his concentration for a brief second, and got caught ball-watching as Fenton played a pass off to a teammate. Dublin ruthlessly exploited this split-second error, and look at the space between O'Shea and Fenton by the time the Dublin midfielder gets the ball back. (In this instance, the emphasis added is ours).
It was Fenton's shot on goal which was saved by David Clarke, and then rebounded off the unfortunate Kevin McLoughlin and into the Mayo net.
Misfortune, of course, but it was avoidable. And even on an off-day, Dublin can be utterly ruthless. Superb stuff by Canavan.