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Inspirational Brady drives Mayo into last eight

MAYO 0-21 ; TIPPERARY 1-14 TIPPERARY'S flirtation with the All-Ireland series came to an abrupt, but dignified end, at Cusack Park in Ennis on Saturday evening where they were headed off at the pass by Mayo in the last five minutes of an absorbing contest.

With 12 minutes remaining, the sides were on level terms, but, in the closing stages, Pat Holmes's men finally kicked for home, David Brady at midfield, and substitute Kieran McDonald, emerging as key figures in dragging them into the last eight of the Bank of Ireland Qualifiers.

It was no less than Mayo deserved, but, as they did against Limerick, they made heavy going of a game they in truth should have won without having to look over their shoulder coming to the line.

Despite being lethargic at times in the first half and drifting in and out of it at midfield, Mayo has enough reserves of experience and guile to handle Tipperary, whose team on the programme bore no resemblance to the side named in the dressing-room.

The severe beating by Cork had taken it's toll and although they battled gamely, not even the magnificent Declan Browne, the scorer of six second half points, and seven in all, could sustain their championship ambitions which hung by a thread in the closing minutes.

The first quarter was a different story, Peter Lambert's, goal in the 12th minute wiping out three early Mayo scores, and the Tipp goal was followed by a Browne free, which saw his side in command as they lead 1-2 to 0-3 after 15 minutes.

However, Stephen Carolan with three wonderful points, and the emergence of James Horan along with some excellent work from Brian Maloney saw Mayo reduce the deficit and turnover 0-12 to 1-6 in front at half-time.

Inside three minutes of the restart, Browne, now finding more freedom when switched to the corner, posted two frees to reduce the gap to one, and it was then Holmes sent a message by express courier for McDonald to enter the game, while James Nallen was also introduced for the injured Alan Roche.

McDonald was slow to start but he was soon to make things buzz, making a telling impact and scoring four points, two from play, as Mayo switched to the short-passing game again.

But it was hard grafting by both sides, the teams level three times in that second half, with Browne really causing Mayo serious problems at the back.

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However, the emergence of Brady at midfield was to play a pivotal role in the closing 10 minutes, and it was his point, followed by a McDonald free, and another Brady point pushing Mayo three clear, all in a space of five minutes which titled the game towards Mayo.

Browne's free, two minutes from the end of normal time, did leave a goal in it, but McDonald had the final say, a wonderful chip with the outside of the left boot, making the game safe deep in injury time, although that might have happened much earlier had Horan not opted for a fisted point when he had a clear goal at his mercy.

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