Brendan Cummins – 6 out of 10 – It was another memorable day for the team’s most experienced player, who made his 66th championship appearance to break Christy Ring’s record, as he reached his fifth All-Ireland Final. He uncharacteristically fumbled a Ryan O’Dwyer delivery midway through the second half, which resulted in a sideline ball for Dublin, although he redeemed himself later in the half with a fine block from Paul Ryan’s shot. He didn’t have a particularly busy afternoon, although his puckouts and clearances were an important springboard for the side.
Paddy Stapleton – 5 out of 10 – He was fortunate not to have been called ashore after he endured a torrid time from Paul Ryan in the first half. He tightened up in the second half but like, the team as a unit, will need to improve considerably for September 4th.
Paul Curran – 7 out of 10 – On a day when Tipperary’s attack wasn’t at its best the solid display of the defence was the highlight of the overall display. Curran was a linchpin of the rearguard, keeping a tight rein on Liam Ryan and he made one spectacular catch before being fouled halfway through the second period to inspire his team, who at that stage were just a point ahead.
Michael Cahill – 7 out of 10 – The Thurles Sarsfields player often found himself as the spare man as Dublin deployed just two men in the full-forward line for much of the contest. He made the most of his freedom by mopping up some spilt milk with some raking clearances and good use of the ball.
John O’Keeffe – 6 out of 10 – The 22 year-old Clonoulty player is still finding his feet at this level, in his first year in the team, but he did little wrong. He demonstrated a willingness and ability to join the fight when his team were up against it.
Conor O’Mahony – 7 out of 10 – Another brave and obstinate defender who came into his own in the second half, winning balls and dictating play from the heart of the defence.
Padraic Maher – 8 out of 10 – His buccaneering spirit is a great rallying cry for his team and supporters, not to mention his ability to get forward and score, as he added another 2 points to the pair he slotted over against Clare in the Munster semi-final. He let Ryan O’Dwyer get away for a Dublin point 13 minutes from the finish, but overall he turned in another highly impressive display.
Gearoid Ryan – 6 out of 10 – He was moved to wing-forward for the second half, to accommodate Brendan Maher’s entry, and was in and out of the game before being replaced by Brian O’Meara 5 minutes from the end. His place could be under pressure for the final, although he has the important ability to contribute regularly to the scoreboard.
Shane McGrath – 6 out of 10 – He bore the brunt of Dublin’s rugged approach by shipping a few heavy knocks, especially in the first half, that curbed his influence. One foul, by Conor McCormack, earned the Dublin player a yellow card in the 11th minute.
Seamus Callanan – 6 out of 10 – The Drom/Inch player was sacrificed at half time in the reshuffle that saw Brendan Maher introduced at midfield and Gearoid Ryan switched to wing-forward. He scored a fine point and missed a chance for a goal three minutes before half time, although the angle was tight and deteriorating when his low shot was blocked by Dublin goalie Gary Maguire.
Noel McGrath – 7 out of 10 – He was a largely peripheral figure in the first half but he bucked up his ideas in the second period with a much better performance. Two of his three points were of the highest quality, including his sideline cut from all of 45 metres four minutes from the end, and a another in the 46th minute that saw him pluck Michael Cahill’s clearance out of the sky before scoring.
Padraic Maher – 6 out of 10 – The Bonnar was commendably eager, as always, although the ball didn’t always run kindly for him and he occasionally fumbled when in possession.
Eoin Kelly – 6 out of 10 – The captain didn’t have his greatest 70 minutes in a blue and gold jersey by his own formidable standards, and it was a rare sight to see him substituted. Crucially, however, he steered three ‘65s between the posts in the second half to keep Tipp on course for victory and had a 100% strike rate from six shots on goal. On more than one occasion he had his hurley illegally held but received no joy from referee Cathal McAllister.
John O’Brien – 5 out of 10 – Struggled to make a meaningful impact in what has been an otherwise bright season, as he was forced to play second fiddle to the outstanding Peter Kelly. He had a shout for a penalty in the second half when his hurley appeared to be held but a free to Dublin was the decision.
Lar Corbett – 8 out of 10 – The team were grateful that his radar worked so well yet again. His predatory instincts were at the sharpest when he stole in for that second minute goal. He went close again 6 minutes into the second when his shot was well saved at his near post by Gary Maguire. However the team’s best forward spent far too much time in his own half as the second half advanced.
Brendan Maher – 6 out of 10 – He slotted into midfield when he was introduced at the interval and made a good early impression before fading later on. He seems to be suffering from a lack of game time, although he’s sure to make a big push for a place in the starting fifteen for the final.
Pa Bourke – 5 out of 10 – He found it hard to get to the pace of the game in his 14 minutes on the pitch, although his converted free in the second minute of additional time was the insurance score.
Brian O’Meara, Shane Bourke and John O’Neill – Not on long enough to earn ratings.
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