SUPER SAVER Dublin's Bernard Brogan has his shot saved by Mayo goalkeeper David Clarke in the 66th minute of the 2012 All-Ireland SFC semi-final at Croke Park. Pic: Sportsfile
1 Save from Bernard Brogan, 2012 All-Ireland semi-final
MAYO are on the brink of letting a ten point lead slip. Dublin have it down to three late on when a high ball is missed in the sun by Ger Cafferkey and the best forward in the game at the time, Bernard Brogan, is in on goal.
Clarke spreads himself big, as per usual, and in a stunning reflex save, gets his right hand to the ball. It’s a save as memorable for its brilliance as its importance. Dublin find the net and are likely go on to win. And we’re not sure Mayo sustain at the level they did for the decade. Clarke saves and Mayo win by three points.
2 Paddy Andrews penalty save, 2017 National League
IT may have ‘only’ been a league game where Mayo were well on their way to a comprehensive defeat, but Clarke’s penalty save and the follow-up stops were as good a series of saves as we’ve ever seen.
The penalty wasn’t brilliant and Clarke got down low to his left to save, but when Andrews sent the rebound to the far corner, Clarke somehow got across to save again and followed it up by blocking the third rebound. It demonstrated incredible agility.
3 Punch clear from a ‘45, 2006 All-Ireland semi-final
DUBLIN’S Mark Vaughan hit a rocket of a ‘45 from the right wing with Dublin trying to equalise after Ciarán McDonald’s lead score. It was carrying over the bar but Clarke used every inch of his commanding frame to climb high and punch the ball clear. It’s an example of his command of the square and never was that attribute more important than this moment.
4 A sequence of penalty saves
NOT one moment but a collection. From the 2016 All-Ireland Final replay to the Qualifier against Limerick in 2018, David Clarke wasn’t beaten by a single one, saving an incredible four consecutive penalties – Paddy Andrews (above), Kerry (twice) and Derry.
It was a remarkable record, ended by two penalty goals by Limerick on the same day that Cillian O’Connor smashed the all-time Mayo top scorer record at the other end.
5 Save from Michael Quinlivan, All-Ireland semi-final 2020
THIS might not be in his best five saves but was really good, and indicative of the type of save Clarke has mastered. One-on-one, he makes himself big, doesn’t go down too early and reacts like a tiger to get down low to block the shot.
We’ve seen no Gaelic goalkeeper as hard to beat in one-on-ones as Clarke is.