With only a few minutes into the game hawk eye was introduced to deny Keith Higgins of Mayo, his first point of the game, thus establishing the tone of this All Ireland Final. An Andy Moran point was cancelled by Diarmuid Connolly. Mayo had Dublin backpedaling with the help of the O’Shea brothers in midfield. With twelve minutes on the clock Mayo were in the lead by 0-4 – 0-1. Dublin was struggling but when the ball was dropped in by Paul Flynn, Bernard Brogan leaped above Rob Hennelly to bring the scores level.
Mayo didn’t lose their momentum. Lee Keegan was a constant threat to Dublin kicking his second point to give Mayo the lead. But this momentum was not to last, Dublin were able to retain possession and move the ball. They began to chip away at Mayo’s lead with points from Brogan, Cluxton from a “45” and substitute Eoghan O’Gara. Mayo’s advantage had been trimmed back to a single point at half time, 0-8 to 1-4.
The Dubs took the lead for the first time three minute into the second half. O’Gara broke through, only to be denied by a superb Hennelly save. Paul Flynn and Brogan both floated over delightful long range scores for a three points lead, but in the 50th minute, Mayo’s captain conjured a goal. Denis Bastick had been on the field less then a minute when he picked out Brogan at the far post and the former Football of the Year punched home his second goal in the 54th minute. Mayo fought back but Dublin kept them at arms length, restricting their scoring chances to a handful of frees. The Ballintubber man narrowed the gap back to a single point, but it was not enough and the westerners were left to reflect on a seventh All Ireland loss since their last victory 62 years ago.