Darragh Canavan and Darren McCurry inspire Tyrone comeback victory over Mayo

McCurry came off the bench for the second half and scored eight points at Healy Park

AFL Division One: Tyrone 1-15 Mayo 1-11

Tyrone are breathing a little more easily following a second-half revival inspired by the attacking brilliance of deadly duo Darragh Canavan and Darren McCurry.

Canavan led the line with class, hitting a brilliant match-turning goal, while McCurry came off the bench for the second half and steered over eight points as the Red Hands came from behind to see off Mayo.

Crucially, they halted a run of defeats and lifted the relegation fear that had been hanging over Healy Park after reversals at the hands of Galway and Derry.

“We’re just glad to get the result and the performance in the second half, the work rate, the intensity was all there and that was the most pleasing thing,” said joint manager Brian Dooher.


His front men delighted the home support as they cut loose in an energised second-half performance.

“Darren and Darragh whenever they’re on song they are worth the entrance fee alone. Darren had the ‘flu last week so did well to recover.

“We didn’t think he’d have the energy in the legs after the week he had but he came on in the second half and you wouldn’t have known there was anything wrong with him,” said Dooher.

Cillian O’Connor clipped over a couple of frees and netted a 23rd-minute penalty, with Peter Harte keeping Tyrone in touch with two placed-ball scores.

But Mayo, with Jordan Flynn, Stephen Coen and Mattie Ruane powering forward, led by 1-4 to 0-4 at the break, with the home side struggling to impact the contest.

McCurry’s entry into the fray had the transformative effect that the Ulster side needed.

Canavan fired in a brilliant 47th-minute goal, and McCurry did the rest with classy scores from frees and play.

Mayo boss Kevin McStay sent in Ryan O’Donoghue, who pulled back a point following his 48th-minute introduction, but Mayo were struggling to swing the game back in their favour as Tyrone maintained the intensity going forward.

Fergal Boland also found the target, but the renewed energy of a fired-up Tyrone side saw them close down the threat and counter again for McCurry to twist the knife.

TYRONE: N Morgan; C Devlin, P Hampsey, A Clarke; M McKernan, C Quinn, N Devlin; B Kennedy, C Donnelly; C Daly, C Kilpatrick, P Harte (0-2, 2f): J Oguz, D Canavan (1-4, 0-1f), S O’Donnell (0-1).

Subs: D McCurry (0-8, 6f) for Donnelly, B Cullen for McKernan (both h-t), K McGeary for O’Donnell (67 mins), R Canavan for D Canavan (76).

MAYO: R Hennelly (0-1, f); J Coyne, R Brickenden (0-1), S Callinan; M Plunkett, S Coen (0-1), E Hession; D O’Connor, M Ruane; D Duffy, F Boland (0-2), J Flynn; C O’Connor (1-2, 1-0 pen, 0-2f), T Conroy, C McStay (0-1).

Subs: J Carney for D O’Connor (5 mins), R O’Donoghue (0-2) for McStay, E McLoughlin for Plunkett (both 48), B Tuohy (0-1) for Ruane (57) D McHale for Duffy (62)

Referee: B Cawley (Kildare).

  • See our new project Common Ground, Evolving Islands: Ireland & Britain
  • Sign up for push alerts and have the best news, analysis and comment delivered directly to your phone
  • Find The Irish Times on WhatsApp and stay up to date
  • Our In The News podcast is now published daily – Find the latest episode here