Dating tyrone

But as has been the case all summer it's Dublin's All-Ireland to lose. Dublin opted not to start Diarmuid Connolly; instead Niall Scully replaced Eric Lowndes.

Tyrone became the latest in a long line of pretenders stretching back nearly three seasons who have come up short against Jim Gavin's team in championship football. It mattered little, however, as the defending title holders systematically dismantled Tyrone in a manner which was scarcely believable.

It was Tyrone's worst performance and worst result at Croke Park in championship football since going down to Dublin in the 2011 All-Ireland quarter final – a win which launched them into a different orbit.

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Finally in the 42nd minute Niall Sludden became the first Tyrone forward to score from play but at the other end Paul Mannion and Jack Mc Caffrey kept the scoreboard ticking over for the Dubs.

Tyrone did show some improvement and more ambition but they had a mountain to climb.

The poverty of their effort is summed up by the fact that none of their forwards scored from play in the first half and Dublin fully deserved their seven-point interval lead (1-9; 0-5) Even Homer nods occasionally and Stephen Cluxton's first two kick outs in the second half were won by Tyrone but they couldn't make either chance count with substitute Declan Mc Clure and a subdued Sean Cavanagh kicking wides to bring their tally to six.

Even though the stadium was full, the game was been played in virtual silence.

The biggest cheer of the afternoon was reserved for the introduction of Diarmuid Connolly in the last minute of normal time and the fans on Hill 16 had even more to celebrate when Stephen Cluxton saved a Peter Harte penalty in injury time.

Dublin had 12 points to spare at the final whistle but even that margin didn't fully reflect their dominance.

Paddy Andrews chipped in with 0-2 from play and although neither scored, the work-rate of Scully and in particular Paul Mannion was superb – on three occasions the latter stripped Tyrone players of possession deep in the Dublin half.

Tyrone were a sorry mess; apart from Colm Cavanagh and Peter Harte – both of whom scored points from play – the remainder of the side failed to make a meaningful contribution.

Much of the romance in the next few week will surround Mayo.

But the harsh reality is that they have never beaten Dublin in an All-Ireland final, though they did knock the Dubs out of the title race at the semi-final stage in 20.

Sean Cavanagh bowed out of inter county football in the 55th minute after 89 championship appearances when he became the fourth Tyrone forward to be replaced in the second half.


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