Feeney fires Mayo back to Croke Park
Mayo 1-18 Donegal 2-11
A year after dropping down from the Christy Ring competition, Mayo are on their way to Croke Park in search of silverware after withstanding a strong Donegal fightback in Letterkenny.
An early goal by Ciaran Matthewson kept Donegal in it, but Mayo - led by Kenny Feeney and Sean Regan - were 0-13 to 1-5 ahead at the break.
When Joseph McManus fired home a 41st-minute goal, Mayo led by ten points. Donegal hit five in a row and were right back in it when the stylish Danny Cullen scored a magnificent major six minutes from time.
That left just two points between them, but Mayo shook their heads clear with Fergal Boland and Feeney striking the insurance scores to punch their tickets for Jones' Road.
Scorers - Mayo: K Feeney 0-7 (4f, 1 '65); J McManus 1-1; S Regan 0-4; D McTigue 0-2; C Freeman, S Boland, K McDermott, F Boland 0-1 each. Donegal: L Henderson (f) 0-7; D Cullen 1-1; C Matthewson 1-0; S McVeigh, N Cleary, J O'Loughlin 0-1 each.
Mayo - D O'Brien; E Collins, G McManus, B Hunt; C Freeman, P O'Flynn, A Lyons; C Charlton, K McDermott; S Regan, K Higgins, J McManus; D McTigue, K Feeney, S Boland. Subs: F Boland for O'Flynn (h-t), P Connell for Lyons (h-t), D Kenny for G.McManus (53), C Scahill for McTigue (61), S Mulroy for S.Boland (70).
Donegal - P Burns; P Doherty, J McGhee, M Callaghan; J O'Loughlin, J Donnelly, C McDermott; D Cullen, C Matthewson; L Henderson, N Cleary, B Lafferty; R McDermott, S Gillespie, S McVeigh. Subs: J Boyle for McGhee (43), K Campbell for Lafferty (58), P Hannigan for Cleary (54), C O'Donnell for Donnelly (67).
Ref - J Murphy (Limerick).