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Ranking The Nine Dublin v Mayo Championship Games Since 2012

Ranking The Nine Dublin v Mayo Championship Games Since 2012
By Balls Team Updated

Ten years ago on Friday, Dublin and Mayo met in the 2012 All-Ireland senior football semi-final, and the great rivalry of the modern age was born. We've looked back on the best matches between the two counteis since then. This article was originally written by Conor McKenna in 2020.

Dublin and Mayo have met nine times in the Championship since Mayo beat Dublin in 2012 All-Ireland semi-final. Dublin have won six of those games, with two finishing in draws, and one Mayo win in their most recent clash.

From the results alone, you wouldn't think it, but it was the rivalry that defined Gaelic football in the last decade. The matchups have produced some excellent games. Dublin have always found some way to come out on top, whether it's through the curse of the Gods, or through playing some excellent, attacking football. Given the points differential of the earlier games, Mayo were incredibly unfortunate to not win some of these games.

We've gone back through all of the Dublin v Mayo games - not an arduous task - to rank them in order of entertainment value and quality.

Dublin v Mayo: Ranking a vintage modern rivalry

9. 2020 All-Ireland Final: Dublin 2-14 - 0-15 Mayo

On paper, this doesn't seem like two bad a game. But five points flattered Mayo in the only winter final of the modern era. Dublin were perhaps at their most imperious in the COVID-affected 2020 championship, winning their Leinster championship games by an average of 18 points, and battered Ulster champions Cavan by 15 in the All-Ireland semi-final.

By contrast, five points in the final wouldn't have seemed too bad for Mayo. But, in a dark, cold, empty Croke Park, the 2020 final was a pretty miserable occasion - lifted only by the Dubs yet again making history in making it six-in-a-row.

Memorable moments

Dean Rock with a rapid goal


Dean Rock's goal after just 12 seconds of the 2020 final gave a pretty good representation of just how ruthless this Dublin team was.

Half-time kerfuffle

It wouldn't be a clash between Dublin and Mayo without a bit of argie bargie, and the 2020 final was no different, as the teams scrapped going down the tunnel at half-time.


8. 2019 All-Ireland Semi-final: Dublin 3-14 - 1-10 Mayo

The most one-sided of the games between the two counties on the final scoreboard, but this was an epic tussle for 46 minutes. The 2019 All-Ireland semi-final really was a game of two halves. It's probably doing this game a disservice to have it so far down the list, although the second half was a real damp squib.

The first half was a thriller on the other hand and Mayo arguably should have been further in-front at the interval. Trailing by 0-8 to 0-6 at half-time, Dublin completely steam-rolled their opponents in the second half, with two Con O'Callaghan goals effectively ending the game as a contest by the 46th minute.

People thought this might be the end of Mayo - they're back in another All-Ireland final a year later.


Memorable moments

Con O'Callaghan making mincemeat of Lee Keegan, twice:

Dublin trailed by two points at the interval. The lead by 2-12 to 0-8 after 47 minutes. King Con's two goals brought the hammer down on Mayo as Dublin found another level.




Dublin destroyed the Mayo kick-out in that period, and they killed the game.

The half-time anxiety:

The first half was absolutely savage stuff from Mayo. The Dubs were rattled. The 5-in-a-row was hanging by a thread. And just as Mayo fans  were starting to believe...

READ HERE: The Best Dublin Football XV Of The Past Fifty Years

7. 2013 All-Ireland Final: Dublin 2-12 - 1-14 Mayo

Not a classic All-Ireland final, but certainly not terrible either. Bernard Brogan delivered a talisman's performance for Dublin. The bookies could hardly separate the sides beforehand. For three successive years, Mayo had knocked out the reigning All-Ireland champions, but they could not get over the line on any occasion.

Memorable Moments

Bernard Brogan Magic:

Bernard Brogan scored 2-3 and won the All-Ireland for Dublin. Nothing more needs to be said.


Cynical football its worst:

James Horan did not hold back after the game, speaking about Dublin fouling, as Jim Gavin had been quoted as saying "not only were we playing Mayo but we were playing the referee as well”.

Gavin had spoke before the game about a zero tolerance for cynicism in his squad and James Horan responded with “I know Jim made another interesting comment, that he’d walk away if his team were cynical so maybe that’s another comment Jim should look at."

The final minutes of the game were marred by cynical Dublin tackling. However, Cillian O'Connor had a chance to go for goal in the 74th minute, having been told there was still time to win possession. He went for a point and Mayo lost.


6. 2016 All-Ireland Final: Dublin 2-9 - 0-15 Mayo

This game will be remembered for one reason - the day Mayo scored two own goals. Has that ever happened anywhere else in GAA history? A lot of people genuinely believed Mayo were cursed after this!

A Dublin player did not score for first half hour, yet they were still two points up at halftime. And somehow, throughout it all, Mayo still fought back to secure an incredible draw.

Memorable Moments

Two own goals:

Kevin McLoughlin and Colm Boyle both scored own goals, which is unfortunately what this final will be remembered for.


O'Connor's late score:

Cillian O'Connor showed serious nerve to score from 40 metres in the 78th minute and force a replay. A truly great footballer.


Prematch schmozzzle:

None of this was ever seen on the TV, but John Casey's description of the 'skelping' before the match really set the tone, and it set the tone for the media chatter around the replay.


READ HERE: Ger Brennan Looks Set To Be Named Next Monaghan Manager

5. 2015 All-Ireland Semi-Final Replay: Dublin 3-15 - 1-14 Mayo

This All-Ireland semi-final replay ended the short-lived Holmes and Connelly reign over Mayo.  Mayo lead by four points in the 53rd minute and ended up losing by seven. A brilliant defensive performance turned into an outright calamity.

Diarmuid Connolly's availability dominated the discussion right up until throw-in. This was a good, entertaining match that started Dublin on the road to five-in-a-row

Memorable Moments

Mayo's missed opportunity to go five clear:


Andy Moran had just found the net in the 43rd minute and Lee Keegan had a chance after that would have put Mayo five points up. He didn't take it and Dublin began to dominate.

4. 2015 All-Ireland Semi-Final: Dublin 2-12 - 1-15 Mayo

The drawn All-Ireland Semi-Final in 2015 was one of the most frenetic, and chippiest, games the two counties would ever play. The match was marred by indiscipline and cynicism, though Dublin seem home and hosed, up seven points clear late on. Mayo did not give in, and from the 67th minute onwards, scored 1-4 without reply, and a late Cillian O'Connor penalty forced a replay.

Memorable moments

Mayo's late rally:

Mayo are incredible competitors and rarely die without a fight. Trailing by 2-12 to 0-11, they forced a draw. Croker was rocking from a comeback that had everyone inside thinking about 2006


Connolly's red card:

Diarmuid Connolly was shown a straight red card in stoppage time. He seemed certain to miss replay, but was cleared at the last minute.


READ HERE: Roscommon GAA Launch Investigation After Alleged Referee Assault

3. 2021 All-Ireland semi-final: Mayo 0-17 - 0-14 Dublin

14 August 2021; Brian Fenton of Dublin with Aidan O'Shea of Mayo during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship semi-final match between Dublin and Mayo at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

On the grittier side of the "all-time classic" debate, but this one was nothing but gripping from start to finish, and signalled the momentous end to Dublin's reign at the top of Gaelic football.

With a late fightback, Mayo managed to push the game to extra-time, and took a historic win in dramatic circumstances. It was Dublin's first loss in championship football in seven years.

Memorable moments

O'Connor keeps Mayo in it

14 August 2021; Diarmuid O'Connor of Mayo keeps the ball in play in the build up to a Mayo point during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship semi-final match between Dublin and Mayo at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

With Mayo a point down and the clock ticking down rapidly, it looked like the Dubs would just about hold on. The heroics of Diarmuid O'Connor in chasing down a lost ball and keeping it in play led to...

Rob Hennelly coming in clutch

One of the great points of the past few years, made all the more dramatic by the fact it had to be retaken. Rob Hennelly showed nerves of steel to level the game up and force extra time. Mayo would go on to win by three, booking their place in the final (which they would ultimately lose to Tyrone).

2. 2016 All-Ireland Final Replay: Dublin 1-15 - 1-14 Mayo

This All-Ireland final replay was even more dramatic than the drawn game. Stephen Rochford made a big decision in dropping goalkeeper David Clarke and bringing in Rob Hennelly for the game. It did not work out at all, as Hennelly did not play well and was shown a black card in the 41st minute. Diarmuid Connolly converted the subsequent penalty.

One point ended up being the final margin, as a late free from Cillian O'Connor went wide and Dublin won their second successive All-Ireland.  O'Connor had scored nine other frees over the course of the game and had also scored the point the first day that forced a replay.

Memorable moments

Hennelly spills the ball:

The screw-up that spawned some famous Joe Brolly columns.

O'Connor's free goes inches wide.

The height of Mayo agony, or so we thought.


1. 2017 All-Ireland Final: Dublin 1-17 - 1-16 Mayo

This was a thrilling game of football. It had everything from the first minute to the last, and was one of the greatest games ever played. Dublin were put to the pin of their collar and were very nearly caught out.

It looked like it could be a one-sided affair when Con O'Callaghan found the net for Dublin in the second minute, though Mayo had built up a one point lead by the interval.

John Small and Donal Vaughan were both dismissed in the second half and Lee Keegan's 54th minute goal put Mayo in the driving seat.

Dublin held their nerve in the final quarter however and a late free from Dean Rock saw them claim a third successive All-Ireland.


Memorable Moments

Satellite saga towards the end:

Dean Rock slotted a free to seal the three in a row, though there was controversy towards the end as Lee Keegan appeared to throw a GPS tracker in his direction as he struck the free.

Donie Vaughan's red card

Mayo seemed to be in control until Donal Vaughan was sent off on a straight red card for a late charge on John Small who had just taken out Colm Boyle. Small would walk for a second yellow, Vaughan received a needless red. It was a sliding doors moment for Mayo. Dublin kicked on and won the game.


Mayo and Dublin have produced classic games of all different types. The one common denominator of all seven games is that Mayo are not on the winning side. James Horan, and all the fanatical Mayo fans in the county and beyond, would love that to have changed by Saturday evening. If it does, it will be hard to imagine Dublin going down easily. You would imagine a Mayo win would catapult the 2020 meeting to the top of the list.

SEE ALSO: The Birth Of A 24 Year Saga - Mayo's Thrilling But Doomed All-Ireland Bid In 1996

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