Second half surge sees Mayo past Tyrone
Published 25/08/2013 | 17:15
Mayo will have the chance to end their 62-year wait for Sam Maguire after surviving a first-half wobble to beat Tyrone by 1-16 to 0-13 in their All-Ireland semi-final at Croke Park
On September 22, Mayo will play in their seventh All-Ireland final since 1951 and will be hoping to finally exorcise their Croke Park demons.
Mickey Harte Tyrone flew out of the blocks with a high-intensity game that left Mayo shell-shocked and with the Mayo forward line nullified James Horan had to rely on defenders Chris Barrett and Lee Keegan for scores.
Cillian O'Connor, Peter Harte and Stephen O'Neill were high-profile casualties in the opening half which saw Tyrone lead by 0-7 to 0-6 at the interval.
Mayo were a different animal in the second period as they took control in all facets of the game and kicked 1-4 without reply after the break with Alan Freeman's goal coming from the penalty spot.
The Connacht champions never looked like relinquishing their lead and ran out six point winners.
Tyrone were keen to avoid an early Mayo ambush that Donegal succumbed to and they certainly didn't and began very well with Ciaran McGinley fisting over.
Cillian O'Connor and Stephen O'Neill swapped points but Tyrone's Peter Harte was injured in the course of O'Neill's point and was replaced by Dermot Carlin.
Kevin McLoughlin's free levelled matters before a fabulous brace from Connor McAliskey put them two in front by the 10th minute.
Mayo suffered a serious blow with Cillian O'Connor suffering an accidental shoulder injury, on the shoulder that has been giving him problems all year, which ended his afternoon and he was replaced by Enda Varley
Darren McCurry fired over a free as Tyrone's suffocating tackling gave them some early dominace.
Alan Freeman fired over a free in the 15th minute as he took over the place-kicking duties from the stricken O'Connor.
Darren McCurry produced a masterful score from play to stretch the Mayo lead to three by the 20th minute.
Alan Freeman was denied a goal when referee Maurice Deegan blew for a free before he beat Conor Gormley and found the net.
Kevin McLoughlin inexplicably missed the free from just 14 yards out as a clearly rattled Mayo continued to fluff their chances.
Tyrone received another injury blow as Stephen O'Neill had to replaced by namesake Ronan O'Neill for an ankle injury.
O'Neill made an instant impact by pointing from an acute angle but that was cancelled out by a fine solo effort from Mayo's Chris Barrett. Mayo's first score from play after 32 minutes.
Lee Keegan added their second from play in the final minute of normal time and Barrett incredibly scored in injury time and Tyrone's lead was cut to 0-7 to 0-6 at the break.
The sides were level within two minutes of the restart with Enda Varley firing over with his right foot to become Mayo's first forward to score form play.
Mayo got a penalty in the 38th minute with the maruading Colm Boyle fouled just inside the Tyrone square by Dermot Carlin and Alan Freeman blasted to the net to give Mayo a three-point lead.
Sean Cavanagh missed a relatively easy free and the Player of the Year candidate took down Seamus O'Shea in the other half of the field and Alan Freeman stretched the advantage to four.
A fine score from Alan Dillon and a booming kick from keeper Robbie Henley made it 1-4 without reply in the second half for Mayo and they led by 1-10 to 0-7 after 47 minutes.
Sub Aidan Cassidy, who replaced the out-of-sorts Mattie Donnelly, pulled a point back and Darren McCurry added to it but Alan Freeman responded with a fabulous score.
A misplaced kickout from Pascal McConnell directly after that Freeman point saw the fullforward fouled and he duly made it 1-4 for the day from the free.
A Sean Cavanagh free was cancelled out by Lee Keegan, who was very influential, and Mayo led by six with 10 minutes remaining.
Sub Cathal McCarron, who replaced Tom Cunniffe who was hugely influential, and Seamus O'Shea stretched Mayo's advantage to eight points.
Kyle Coney pulled a point back but Mayo hit back through Alan Dillon.
Sean Cavanagh wasn't giving up and scored an acrobatic point with five minutes remaining and then aded a free to cut the lead to six but they got no closer as Mayo closed out the game.