2021 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final
The 2021 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final was the 134th final of the All-Ireland Senior Football Championship and the culmination of the 2021 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship. The match was played at Croke Park in Dublin on 11 September 2021. It was originally scheduled for 28 August but had to be postponed by two weeks when the Tyrone–Kerry semi-final was postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak. Ulster champions Tyrone took on Connacht champions Mayo, in what was their first ever meeting in a final, winning their 4th title after a 2–14 to 0–15 win. Mayo lost their 11th consecutive final since 1989, losing 6 finals in 9 years, with this latest defeat on an identical scoreline to 2020, when Mayo lost to Dublin.
|Event||2021 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship|
|Date||11 September 2021|
|Venue||Croke Park, Dublin|
|Man of the Match||Darren McCurry|
|Referee||Joe McQuillan (Cavan)|
|Weather||19 °C (66 °F), Sunny|
- Mayo were aiming to win their fourth title and first All-Ireland since 1951. Since then, they had lost ten finals (1989, 1996, 1997, 2004, 2006, 2012, 2013, 2016, 2017, 2020).
- Tyrone appeared in their seventh final, winning on three occasions in 2003, 2005 and 2008.
- This final was the fifth to be contested by county teams from Connacht and Ulster, the other finals were 1925 (Galway beat Cavan), 1943 (Roscommon beat Cavan), 1948 (Cavan beat Mayo) and 2012 (Donegal beat Mayo).
Paths to the finalEdit
|26 June 2021
|Mayo||3-23 - 0-12||Sligo||Markievicz Park, Sligo|
Referee: Paul Faloon (Down)
Man of the Match: Aidan O'Shea (Breaffy)
|Aidan O'Shea 2-2, Darren McHale 1-5, Ryan O'Donoghue 0-5 (0-4f), Eoghan McLaughlin, Conor Loftus, Tommy Conroy 0-2 each, Patrick Durcan, Jordan Flynn, Fergal Boland, Stephen Coen, James Carr 0-1 each||Report||Niall Murphy 0-6 (0-1f), Sean Carrabine 0-2, Paddy O'Connor, Liam Gaughan, Mikey Gordon, Keelan Cawley 0-1 each|
|11 July 2021
|Mayo||5-20 - 0-11||Leitrim||MacHale Park, Castlebar|
Referee: Fergal Kelly (Longford)
Man of the Match: Ryan O'Donoghue (Belmullet)
|Ryan O'Donoghue 1-6 (0-3f), Darren McHale 2-1, Darren Coen and Tommy Conroy 1-3 each, Matthew Ruane and Conor Loftus 0-2 each, Stephen Coen, Aidan O'Shea, James Carr 0-1 each||Report||Keith Beirne 0-5f, Conor Dolan and Riordan O'Rourke 0-2 each, Paddy Maguire and Evan Sweeney 0-1 each|
|25 July 2021
|Mayo||2-14 - 2-8||Galway||Croke Park, Dublin|
Referee: Conor Lane (Cork)
Man of the Match: Matthew Ruane (Breaffy)
|Ryan O'Donoghue 1-3 (1-0 pen, 0-2f), Matthew Ruane 1-2, Conor Loftus and Tommy Conroy 0-2 each, Rob Hennelly (1 '45), Paddy Durcan, Darren McHale, Kevin McLoughlin, James Carr 0-1 each||Report||Shane Walsh 1-1, Matthew Tierney 0-4 (0-3f), Damien Comer 1-0, Paul Conroy 0-2, Cathal Sweeney 0-1|
|14 August 2021
18:00 IST (UTC+1)
|Mayo||0-17 - 0-14
HT: 0-4 – 0-10
Referee: Conor Lane (Cork)
|Ryan O'Donoghue 0-5 (2fs), Tommy Conroy and Robert Hennelly (2fs, 1'45) 0-3 each, Darren Coen, Jordan Flynn, Kevin McLoughlin, Lee Keegan, Conor Loftus, Matthew Ruane 0-1 each||Report||Dean Rock 0-7 (5fs), Ciarán Kilkenny 0-3 (1m), Paddy Small 0-2, Con O'Callaghan and Seán Bugler 0-1 each|
|10 July 2021
|Tyrone||1-18 - 0-13||Cavan||Healy Park, Omagh|
Attendance: 0[note 1]
|Darren McCurry 0-10 (3f, 1m), Brian Kennedy 1-0, Cathal McShane 0-3 (1f), Niall Sludden 0-2, Peter Harte 0-1, Richard Donnelly 0-1, Paul Donaghy 0-1||Report||Gearoid McKiernan 0-6 (4f), Conor Smith 0-2, Raymond Galligan 0-1f, Thomas Galligan 0-1, Gerard Smith 0-1, Oisin Pierson 0-1, Conor Madden 0-1|
|18 July 2021
13:45 IST (UTC+1)
|Tyrone||0-23 - 1-14||Donegal||Brewster Park, Enniskillen|
Attendance: 0[note 1]
|Darren McCurry (0-7, 3 frees), Kieran McGeary, Niall Sludden, Tiernan McCann (0-3 each), Mattie Donnelly (0-2), Peter Harte, Conor Meyler, Conor McKenna, Frank Burns (0-1 each), Cathal McShane (0-1 free)||Report||Paddy McBrearty (0-4, 2 frees), Caolan McGonigle (1-0), Jamie Brennan, Niall O’Donnell (0-2 each), Michael Langan (0-2, 1 free), Michael Murphy (0-2 frees), Ciaran Thompson, Peader Mogan (0-1 each)|
|31 July 2021
|Monaghan||0-15 - 0-16||Tyrone||Croke Park, Dublin|
|Conor McManus 0-4 (0-3f), Jack McCarron (0-1m) and Rory Beggan (0-2f) 0-2 each, Conor Boyle, Kieran Duffy, Killian Lavelle, Michael Bannigan, Conor McCarthy and Colin Walshe (0-1m) 0-1 each.||Report||Darren McCurry 0-5 (0-2f, 0-1m), Mattie Donnelly 0-3 (0-1f), Mark Bradley 0-2, Padraig Hampsey, Michael McKiernan, Niall Sludden, Peter Harte, Kieran McGeary and Cathal McShane 0-1 each.|
|28 August 2021[note 2]
15:30 IST (UTC+1)
|Kerry||0-22 (22) - (23) 3-14
HT: 0-09 (9) – (10) 1-07
Referee: David Coldrick (Meath)
|David Clifford (0-3f, 0-1 mark), Seán O’Shea (0-6f, 0-1 '45) 0-8 each, Paudie Clifford 0-2, Paul Murphy, Diarmuid O’Connor, Paul Geaney, Tom O’Sullivan 0-1 each||Report||Cathal McShane 1-3 (0-1f), Darren McCurry 0-4 (0-2f), Tiarnan McCann, Conor McKenna 1-0 each, Niall Morgan 0-2 (0-1 ’45, 0-1f), Michael McKernan, Ronan McNamee, Pádraig Hampsey, Peter Harte, Mattie Donnelly (0-1 mark) 0-1 each|
Unlike 2020, President Michael D. Higgins attended the final, with no official greeting of the players due to COVID-19. In front of a crowd of 41,150 fans (reduced to 75% capacity due to COVID-19), the match began with Mayo's Aidan O'Shea claiming the throw-in and giving a direct ball into Tommy Conroy who kicked the opening score at 16 seconds. Mayo, being the slight favourites, led by 0-02 to Tyrone's 0-01 by the sixth minute.
At half time, the score was at 0-10 - 0-08, with Tyrone leading by two points. The second half saw Tyrone score two goals from substitute Cathal McShane and Darren McCurry. Mayo were not able to score on three other goal scoring opportunities.
Mayo went on to have Matthew Ruane red-carded after an altercation with Tyrone midfielder Conn Kilpatrick. The victory was first and foremost a tribute to the Ulster champions' defending as a team. For Mayo, this latest defeat came on an identical scoreline to 2020 and meant the team had lost one third of the total number of All-Ireland SFC finals played since 1989.
|11 September 2021
17:00 IST (UTC+1)
|Tyrone||2-14 (20) - (15) 0-15
HT: 0-10 – 0-08
Referee: Joe McQuillan (Cavan)
|Darren McCurry 1-4 (0-2f), Cathal McShane 1-0, Niall Morgan 0-3 (0-2f, 0-1 '45), Niall Sludden 0-2, Pádraig Hampsey, Peter Harte (0-1 mark), Kieran McGeary, Mattie Donnelly, Darragh Canavan 0-1 each||Report||Ryan O'Donoghue 0-8 (0-7f), Tommy Conroy 0-2, Robbie Hennelly (0-1f), Lee Keegan, Patrick Durcan, Stephen Coen, Kevin McLoughlin 0-1 each|
The game was televised nationally on RTÉ Two as part of The Saturday Game live programme, presented by Joanne Cantwell from the outdoor COVID-19 pandemic-proofed studio at Croke Park, with analysis from Kevin McStay, Seán Cavanagh and Pat Spillane. Match commentary was provided by Ger Canning, assisted by Tomás Ó Sé. The game was also televised internationally by Sky Sports.
Mayo's curse at All-Ireland finals continued with the county losing 11 consecutive finals, now having lost a third of all All-Ireland football finals played since 1989, with this latest defeat on an identical scoreline to 2020, when Mayo lost to Dublin. Pat Spillane, referring to Mayo's long losing streak in All-Ireland SFC finals, quoted Samuel Beckett on television afterwards.
Mayo players Aidan O'Shea and Lee Keegan broke an unwanted record of most All-Ireland football final appearances without winning (6), with the duo losing 6 finals in 9 years (2012, 2013, 2016, 2017, 2020 and 2021).
Brian Dooher became the fifth manager to win an All-Ireland Senior Football Championship after earlier captaining his county to victory in the same competition (and the first since Páidí Ó Sé in 1997).
- The game was played behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Republic of Ireland
- The game between Kerry and Tyrone was initially due to be played on 15 August 2021, but was rescheduled to 21 August due to COVID-19 issues. Tyrone subsequently stated that they were unable to play on 21 August as several players had contracted COVID-19. It was eventually rescheduled to 28 August.
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- McGoldrick, Sean (11 September 2021). "Tyrone claim fourth All-Ireland SFC title as Mayo curse their final luck again". Irish Independent. Retrieved 12 September 2021.
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- "Something from the weekend: Lucky 13, Irish in the AFL and McKenna and Dooher join exclusive clubs". 13 September 2021.