first_imgSAM’ COMING HOME TO THE HILLSIT maybe for four days to Arthur’s Day, but Sunday, September 23, 2012 will go down in the history of the GAA as ‘Jimmy’s Day’.So let’s raise a glass of the black stuff to Jimmy McGuinness who has nutured and trained his Donegal team into a fine group of true warriors who today beat Mayo at Croke Park to bring the Sam Maguire trophy back to Tir Conaill. They lost out last year to Dublin on their home turf but from the first minute of this game, Donegal had their nose in front with two quick goals and and a point leaving Mayo manager James Horan huffing and puffing on the touchline.At the end of  nearly 80 minutes of scintialating football, Donegal were crowned for the second time in their history as All Ireland football champions.And it was left to 23-year-old captain Michael Murphy, to walk up the Hogan Stand and accept the Sam Maguire trophy and raise it proudly above his head to the roar of the crowd of 82,269 who had packed into Croke Park to watch Donegal convincingly beat Mayo.It wasn’t a great day for the Taoiseach Enda Kenny who turned up to cheer on his native Mayo who were outplayed from the first whistle. As streams fell from the sky, while Donegal fans lit fireworks in the stands, Michael told the crowd: “I am delighted to accept this trophy on behalf of the Donegal team.“It is an absolute fanatastic honour to climb these steps on behalf of each and everyone of these players out there and each everyone of the people of Donegal.“To these players, their commitment and everything they have done over the last two and a half years. They are an absolute credit to the county. They have put their shoulders to the wheel over these past two years. Thanks boys.“To the families, to the wives, the girlfriends, familiess, friends and each and everyone of the backroom team, and to each and everyone of the players I really want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for the continuous support you have given us throughout the last couple of years.“The massive dedication you had to put in. A big thank you to you.“To the backroom team. Thanks a million or getting us in shape. To the medical team, thanks a million for keeping us injury free. And thanks to our sponsors.” And he thanked the Mayo team for what he called a “sporting game”. “Three cheers for Mayo.”But he kept his special thanks to manager Jimmy McGuinness and Rory Gallagher.“To Rory, for all his help and footballing knowledge. He has been a fantastic addition to Donegal.Aidan Mc Ginley, Annagry celebrating Donegal’s victory in New Delhi, India with a bit of help from a few locals“From all the players here today I want to thank you very much.” And last but not least Jimmy Guinness.“Jim McGuinnnes. Where do we start?” Then the roars ring out around Croke Park to applaud the Donegal manager.“Every man and woman Donegal, both players and alike, owe a massive debt of gratitude to Jim.“The man’s work ethici is undescribable. He has been passionate about Donegal football throughout the past two years.“And another thing is undescribable. Is our debt of gratitude, not just from the players, but also from all the people of Donegal. Thanks a million Jim.”And Michael didn’t forget to praise the fans who had made the long trek from the north west of Ireland to Dublin.“A massive thanks to you the fans and all the people in Donegal. We went out onto the pitch today to represent you the fans.”And before he finished his speech, Michael addressed the throng and sang: “Jimmy’s winning matches, Jimmy’s winning matches.“Jimmy is bringing Sam back to Donegal!!” And with that the captain proudly holds the Sam Maguire aloft in his left hand.Mayo manager James Horan, who was finding it tough on the touchline watching his players keep in touch with Donegal, was magnanimous in defeat.“All credit to my players. They tried to keep the scoreline close, but Donegal are a serious team. They kept going and going. Unfortunately for us, Donegal ran out winners.”After two minutes of added time, Laois referee Maurice Deegan blew the whistle and Donegal were crowned the champions: 2-11 to  Mayo’s 0-13. Magnficient performance from Jimmy’s boys.Although Donegal run out winners, they did have a few heart stopping moments. With time added on the clock Donegal keeper Paul Durcan saved what could have been a sure fire goal for Mayo. PHEW!!Mayo, who were in the final after dumping last year’s winners Dublin in the semi final, fought right to the end. Jason Gibbons pegged the gap back to four points with just a few minutes to go.His point just came after Donegal’s Neil Gallagher pumped the ball over the bar with three minutes to go.Horan’s heroes from the semi-final clash kept the pressure up on Donegal with Lee Lee Keegan narrowing the margin towards the end of the second half. Donegal hearts were pounding.Cillian O’Connor, who was probably Mayo’s best player, had a great chance late in the second half but sent it wide. It was a rare miss from the gifted footballer who by that stage hadn’t scored a point for 11 minutes. And not a single point from open play. Amazing stats and ones James Horan will have to look at in his after match post mortem.Capain Michael Murphy sailed a point over the bar with his equisite footwork, putting a six point marging between them and Mayo. But as Donegal fans knew in their hearts, Mayo would not go down with out a fight.Even with ten minutes to go, and with Donegal having a five point breathing space, fans in the ground and back home in the hills were having a nail biting time.Even at 13 minutes after the break, Donegal were 2-8, Mayo 0-10 but nobody believed that Mayo would go down without a fight.Cillian O’Connor, twice at the start of the second half, saved Mayo’s blushes by sending points over the bar, including one from a tight angle on the left touchline.As Mayo start to find their game, Jimmy McGuinness started to ring a few changes and brought fresh legs, particulary for Padd McBrearty who worked his socks off for Dun na nGnall.Murphy, the captain and hero kept Donegal’s nose ahead with point, even with the odd wide for the men from the hills as dangerous Mayo stil had the potential to launch a late strike back.But at times it looked like some of Mayo’s players left their shooting boots in the dressing room, spuring good chances and hitting the ball wide of the posts. By this stage they had six wides, an it looked ominous that Mayo would rue those wides at the end of the match.At one point, Mayo manager James Horan shook his head in disgust watching Enda Varney sending a great chance wide. The Gods just were not shining on Mayo.As Donegal feared a push from Mayo, Jimmy McGuinness looked to strengthen his outfield and took 0ff Ryan Bradley and replaced him with David Walsh just five minutes of the second half.Seconds earlier Frank McGlynn scored a great point and the match was finally balanced with Donegal 2-6 to  Mayo’s 0-8.As the second half got under way, Mayo find their rhythm again and get a point and narrow the gap to just three points after Donegal opened the half with another point.During the first half, Donegal were on top of the game for the majority of the first half scoring two goals and a point in the first 11 minutes.Colm McFadden got a second goal after great passing throw the midfield and after the ball came off the post he rifled it into the back of the net with his left peg.Donegal added a couple of more points to the board as a shell shocked Mayo, who had two players yellow-carded in the first six minutes tried to regroup.And it was in the 15th minute before Mayo’s Kevin McLaughlin broke Mayo’s duck with a point.But Donegal, who looked fit and fast, seeemed to take the foot off the pedal as Mayo started to grow their way into the final.And as referee Maurice Deegan blew the half time whistle, Mayo had clocked up another six points leaving them just three points behind at the break.Michael Murphy got Donegal off to a flyer of a start with a goal with just two minutes and 25 seconds on the clock.Mayo hit the post and it is a free to Mayo.There is just five minutes to half time and Donegal have a five point cushion over Mayo who finally finding their feet at Croke Park.Free on the right touchline to Donegal.Mayo’s Cillian O’Connor is 25 minutes out and he puts it over the bar. 2-3 to Donegal and Mayo are 0-4. Mayo are five points behind.PHEW!! Almost a howler of a mistake by the Donegal backs. The ball is safely cleared. Free to Mayo.A point to Mayo. they are now two goals behind.With ten minutes to half time, Donegal are certainly on top. Mayo have yet to find their stride.to Mayo and Cillian O’Connor sends his 45 wide of the post. Three wides to Mayo. They are seven points behind after 23 minutes.Donegal’s Eamonn McGee is getting treatment on his 100th game for his county.With 21 minutes gone its 2-3 to Donegal. Mayo 0-2.Free to Donegal.  And a point to Colm McFadden. That’s a goal and two points to his name.Ryan Bradley gets off the score sheet for Donegal as 19 minutes approach. 2-2 to 0-2 to Donegal. Mayo and Donegal have two wides each now.Donegal’s Michael Muprhy misses a hand pass over the bar. Saved by David Clarke. 2-1 to 0-2 to Donegal.Sixteen minutes gone, and Cillian O’Connor settles Mayo’s nerves with a second point from a free.Mayo have got their first point with Kevin McLaughlin on 15 minutes and 20 seconds. He has saved Mayo’s blushes.David Clarke saves what could have been a third goal to Donegal. 15 minutes gone and Mayo are facing a rout.May0 now have three men on yellow cards. Its tense stuff here at Croke Park.Yellow cards to Cillian O’Connor and Mayo’s Eamon McGee.And it is a second goal to Donegal!!! Colm McFadden. 2-1 to no score. Mayo are on the ropes and their defence looks very brittle.WITH ten minutes gone, Donegal are certainly on top. Mayo’s ball handling is poor. Free out for Donegal.Free to Mayo on right hand side. Enda Varney could Mayo on the scoreboard. No, it drops in the box and Donegal are on the march again.Another free to Donegal. Mayo Colm Boyle with a late tackle. Donegal are on top with just 8 minutes gone.And it is 1-1 for Donegal after a free in after just six minutes. Mayo have one wide as do Donegal.Referee Maurice Deegan has issued two yellow cards in just the first six minutes against Mayo.And it is a goal by Michael Murphy to Donegal after just 2 mins and 25 seconds!!!!! Not the fastest ever goal in an All Ireland final.FULL TIME ALL-IRELAND FINAL – WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS MO CHARA!! was last modified: September 23rd, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:ALL-IRELAND FINAL – DONEGAL V MAYO LIVE FROM CROKE PARKlast_img

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