Irwin's power steers Mayo into decider
Mayo 1-15, Leitrim 1-5
Mayo put a disappointing first half behind them to eventually wear down a stubborn Leitrim side at McHale Park.
The home side were somewhat flattered by an interval lead of 1-5 to 1-2, the Mayo goal coming from Tommy Conroy, who poked a loose ball to the net after both a defender and the Leitrim goalkeeper had slipped on a greasy surface when attempting to clear the danger.
However, Leitrim were rewarded with a bit of good fortune of their own when a high ball from top scorer, Cathal McCawley, broke to the feet of Conor Gaffney who guided the ball to the net.
But class did eventually take over in the second half, as Mayo's defence tightened things up and Val Roughneen and Diarmuid O'Connor gained control at midfield.
Liam Irwin was a strong physical presence in the Mayo attack and the Breaffy player hit back-to-back points as the gap opened up to six points with 15 minutes to go.
The eye-catching display was from substitute Conor Byrne who kicked three fine points from play.
scorers – Mayo: L Irwin 0-5 (1f), T Conroy 1-0, C Byrne 0-3, D Doherty, V Roughneen (1f) 0-2 each, S Coen, M Hall, D O Connor 0-1 each. Leitrim: C McCawley 0-5f, C Gaffney 1-0.
MAYO – M Mulligan; E Doran, S Cunniffe, D Kenny; R Finn, S Coen, M Hall; V Roughneen, D O'Connor; B Walsh, C Loftus, C Hanley; T Conroy, L Irwin, D Doherty. Subs: S Burke for Coen (45), C Byrne for Conroy (45), P Prendergast for Doherty, S Conlon for Finn (58).
LEITRIM – S McPartland; L Ryan, B Nash, K McHugh; A McLoughlin, M Clancy, K Shanley; D Daly, K McWeeney; D Farrell, C McCawley, C Gaffney; L Murphy, K Cox, B Cunningham. Subs: S McGowan for McHugh (25), M Plunkett for Murphy (35), D for Daly (37), C Keegan for McWeeney (40), D Mulvey for Nash (48)
REF – S Hehir (Galway)