Mayo power past Tyrone to claim final spot
Second-half display earns James Horan’s side a return to Croke Park in September
Both teams lost key players to injury in the first half: Tyrone’s Peter Harte hurt himself in a heavy tackle, followed by Mayo’s O’Connor after 11 minutes, nursing the same shoulder injury which sidelined him earlier in the year. Then, on 26 minutes, Stephen O’Neill limped off for Tyrone, after hurting his ankle.
The momentum for the opening half hour was firmly with Tyrone, with Mayo’s suffering nervously in front of goal – not helped by controversy in the 25th minute with Freeman’s goal was disallowed, referee Maurice Deegan insisting he had blown for a free. Worse again, Kevin McLoughlin somehow missed the close-range free.
Eventually, however, Mayo got to grip with the game. After a 10-minute scoring void for both teams, Mayo got their first from play, through defender Chris Barrett and swiftly followed that with two, another for Barrett and fellow defender Lee Keegan.
So, although still trailing at the break, at least Mayo had closed it up to the minimum with Tyrone in front 0-7 to 0-6. That thus set up the intriguing second half climax, with Mayo quickly finding form, and holding nerve, to book their place in the All-Ireland final on September 22nd – with Dublin and Kerry doing battle back here next Sunday to decide who will join them.
MAYO: R Hennelly (0-1, a free); T Cunniffe, G Cafferkey, C Barrett (0-2); L Keegan (0-2), D Vaughan, C Boyle; A O’Shea (0-1), S O’Shea; K McLoughlin (0-1, a free), K Higgins, A Dillon (0-2); C O’Connor (0-1, a free), A Freeman (1-4, one penalty, three frees), A Moran. Subs: E Varley (0-1) for O’Connor (11 mins, inj), M Conroy for Moran (56 mins), C Carolan (0-1) for Cunniffe (58 mins), R Feeney for Vaughan (64 mins), B Moran for A O’Shea (68 mins).
TYRONE: P McConnell; R McKenna, C Clarke, C McCarron; C McGinley (0-1), P Harte, C Gormley; S Cavanagh (0-2, one free), C Cavanagh; Matthew Donnelly, Mark Donnelly, J McMahon; D McCurry (0-4, two frees), S O’Neill (0-1), C McAliskey (0-1). Subs: D Carlin for Harte (6 mins, inj), R O’Neill (0-1) for O’Neill (26 mins, inj), R McNabb for McMahon (44 mins), A Cassidy (0-1) for Matthew Donnelly (48 mins), K Coney (0-1) for R O’Neill (58 mins)
Referee: Maurice Deegan (Laois)