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 TyroneKerry semi-final was postponed due to a COVID-19 outbreak.[1][2][3][4] 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.[5] 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.

2021 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship Final
Sam Maguire Cup.jpg
The trophy in August 2013
Event2021 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship
Date11 September 2021
VenueCroke Park, Dublin
Man of the MatchDarren McCurry
RefereeJoe McQuillan (Cavan)
Weather19 °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).[6]
  • Tyrone appeared in their seventh final, winning on three occasions in 2003, 2005 and 2008.[6]
  • 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).[6]

Paths to the finalEdit


26 June 2021
Connacht Quarter-final
Mayo   3-23 - 0-12   Sligo Markievicz Park, Sligo
Attendance: 200
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
Connacht Semi-final
Mayo   5-20 - 0-11   Leitrim MacHale Park, Castlebar
Attendance: 3,500
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
Connacht Final
Mayo   2-14 - 2-8   Galway Croke Park, Dublin
Attendance: 18,000
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)
All-Ireland Semi-final
Mayo   0-17 - 0-14
HT: 0-4 – 0-10
  Dublin Croke Park
Attendance: 24,000
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
Ulster Quarter-final
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)
Ulster Semi-final
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
Ulster Final
Monaghan   0-15 - 0-16   Tyrone Croke Park, Dublin
Attendance: 18,000
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)
All-Ireland Semi-final
Kerry   0-22 (22) - (23) 3-14
HT: 0-09 (9)(10) 1-07
  Tyrone Croke Park
Attendance: 24,000
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



Cavan's Joe McQuillan was the referee for the final. He was previously in charge of finals in 2011, 2013, and 2017.[7][8]


Meath played Tyrone in the All-Ireland Minor Football Championship final which took place on 28 August, two weeks before the senior final. Meath won the game on a 1–12 to 1–11 scoreline.[9]

Unlike 2020,[10] President Michael D. Higgins attended the final, with no official greeting of the players due to COVID-19.[11] In front of a crowd of 41,150 fans (reduced to 75% capacity due to COVID-19),[12] 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.[13] Mayo, being the slight favourites,[14] led by 0-02 to Tyrone's 0-01 by the sixth minute.[11]

At half time, the score was at 0-10 - 0-08, with Tyrone leading by two points.[15] The second half saw Tyrone score two goals from substitute Cathal McShane and Darren McCurry.[11][13] Mayo were not able to score on three other goal scoring opportunities.[16]

Mayo went on to have Matthew Ruane red-carded after an altercation with Tyrone midfielder Conn Kilpatrick.[17] The victory was first and foremost a tribute to the Ulster champions' defending as a team.[11] 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.[18]


11 September 2021 (2021-09-11)
17:00 IST (UTC+1)
All-Ireland Final
  Tyrone 2-14 (20) - (15) 0-15
HT: 0-10 – 0-08
Mayo   Croke Park
Attendance: 41,150
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.[19] Match commentary was provided by Ger Canning, assisted by Tomás Ó Sé.[20] The game was also televised internationally by Sky Sports.[21]


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.[18] Pat Spillane, referring to Mayo's long losing streak in All-Ireland SFC finals, quoted Samuel Beckett on television afterwards.[22]

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).

Conor McKenna became the fourth former AFL player to win the Sam Maguire Cup.[23]

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).[24]


  1. ^ a b The game was played behind closed doors due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the Republic of Ireland
  2. ^ 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.


  1. ^ Cooney, Gavin. "All-Ireland football final moved to 4 September as Kerry v Tyrone semi-final refixed". The42.
  2. ^ Moran, Seán. "Kerry and Tyrone's All-Ireland semi-final postponed". The Irish Times.
  3. ^ Mooney, Francis (14 August 2021). "Tyrone will not fulfil next weekend's semi-final with Kerry". RTÉ News and Current Affairs. Retrieved 15 August 2021.
  4. ^ Lawlor, Damian (15 August 2021). "Kerry-Tyrone game moved to Saturday 28 August". RTÉ News and Current Affairs. Retrieved 15 August 2021.
  5. ^ McGoldrick, Sean (11 September 2021). "Tyrone claim fourth All-Ireland SFC title as Mayo curse their final luck again". Irish Independent. Retrieved 11 September 2021.
  6. ^ a b c "A List Of Sam Maguire Cup Winners". World Sports Weekly. Retrieved 30 August 2021.
  7. ^ "Joe McQuillan confirmed as referee for All-Ireland SFC final". The 42. 1 September 2021. Retrieved 9 September 2021.
  8. ^ "Pressure is on referee Joe McQuillan to steer Mayo-Tyrone All-Ireland final through various battles of will". Irish Independent. 8 September 2021. Retrieved 9 September 2021.
  9. ^ McGoldrick, Seán (28 August 2021). "Meath shock Tyrone to claim All-Ireland Minor football title". Irish Independent. Retrieved 12 September 2021.
  10. ^ Masterson, Eugene (12 December 2020). "President and Taoiseach to miss All Ireland Final for the first time ever due to Covid crisis". Sunday World. Retrieved 12 September 2021.
  11. ^ a b c d McMahon, James (11 September 2021). "Recap: Tyrone 2-14 Mayo 0-15". RTÉ News and Current Affairs. Retrieved 12 September 2021.
  12. ^ "GAA to proceed with capacity of 41,150 for All-Ireland football final". Irish Independent. 1 September 2021. Retrieved 12 September 2021.
  13. ^ a b O'Brien, Kevin (11 September 2021). "As it happened: Mayo v Tyrone, All-Ireland Football Final". The42.ie. Retrieved 12 September 2021.
  14. ^ Costello, Lee (11 September 2021). "Mayo are favourites but Tyrone will benefit from rocky road to the final". JOE.ie. Retrieved 12 September 2021.
  15. ^ "Tyrone 2-14 Mayo 0-15 - Tyrone are All-Ireland champions!". The Irish Times. 11 September 2021. Retrieved 12 September 2021.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ Culhane, Darragh (11 September 2021). "Mayo fans devastated as Matthew Ruane sees red to condemn side to another All-Ireland loss". Irish Mirror. Retrieved 12 September 2021.
  18. ^ a b Neville, Conor (11 September 2021). "Tyrone claim fourth All-Ireland SFC title as Mayo curse their final luck again". RTÉ News and Current Affairs. Retrieved 11 September 2021.
  19. ^ Leen, Tony (10 September 2021). "RTÉ pair Ger Canning and Tomás Ó Sé on All-Ireland final TV commentary". Irish Examiner. Retrieved 14 September 2021.
  20. ^ McMahon, James (11 September 2021). "Mayo v Tyrone - All-Ireland SFC final: All you need to know". RTÉ News and Current Affairs. Retrieved 14 September 2021.
  21. ^ "Here are the live GAA championship games on RTÉ and Sky Sports this summer". The42.ie. Retrieved 14 September 2021.
  22. ^ "It won't mean much but Pat Spillane's compliment to Mayo and to Lee Keegan says it all". 11 September 2021.
  23. ^ Gallagher, Mark (11 September 2021). "Tyrone's Conor McKenna on verge of making history in All-Ireland decider". Extra.ie. Retrieved 19 September 2021.
  24. ^ "Something from the weekend: Lucky 13, Irish in the AFL and McKenna and Dooher join exclusive clubs". 13 September 2021.