Saturday 24 March 2018

Cracking late score from McLoughlin sees Mayo edge Tyrone in thrilling encounter

Tyrone 0-12 Mayo 1-10

Kevin McLoughlin
Kevin McLoughlin

It was always going to take something special to separate these teams in such a tight, tactical battle in Healy Park and it was delivered, right on cue, by Mayo's Kevin McLoughlin whose 72nd minute winner broke a 15-minute deadlock without a score.

When Mark Bradley levelled for Tyrone in the 57th minute, 1-9 to 0-12, they looked well placed to kick on and win but in the grind that developed Mayo hung in with McLoughlin applying the coup de grace.

It leaves them with their Division One destiny still in their own hands though Cavan's draw with Kerry still leaves them vulnerable on the head-to-head if they don't beat Donegal next week and Kerry beat Tyrone.

Mayo welcomed back Aidan O'Shea for his seasonal return while Diarmuid O'Connor also resurfaced as Mayo threw everything into survival and defended tigerishly.

The sides were level regularly throughout but Tyrone will regret a haul of 15 wides.

A rare Tom Parsons goal had given Mayo a slight edge at the break, 1-6 to 0-8. In the tactical layers that generally unfold between these teams there was great entertainment and the build up and finish to that goal stood apart, Cillian O'Connor's ball in behind to Andy Moran and then Moran's deft lay off to the midfielder steaming in a delightful sequence that got Mayo back, just after they had slipped 0-6 to 0-4 behind.

The black card was in sharp focus during that first half. Tyrone's Niall Sludden had just scored an equalising third point when he chased down Lee Keegan and took him down. But it did not look deliberate from any angle.

With that in mind, Keegan himself should have been a lot more careful when he moved in on Ronan McNabb, taking him down with more intent than Sludden previously. Inevitably, he was shown black too.

Danny Kirby was black carded in the second half.


Scorers - Mayo: C O'Connor 0-5 (3fs, 1 45), T Parsons 1-0, K McLoughlin, P Durcan 0-2 each, S Nally 0-1.

Tyrone: M Bradley 0-3, S Cavanagh, P Harte, K McGeary all 0-2 each, N Sludden, N Morgan (f), T McCann all 0-1 each.

Mayo: D Clarke; C Barrett, B Harrison, K Higgins; P Durcan, L Keegan, C Boyle; T Parsons, D Kirby; F Boland, S Nally, D Drake; K McLoughlin, A Moran, C O'Connor. Subs: S Coen for Keegan BC, D O'Connor for Boland (44), D Vaughan for Kirby BC (53), A O'Shea for Moran (54), J Doherty for Drake (63), C O'Shea for Nally (65).

Tyrone: N Morgan; P Hampsey, C McCarron, R McNamee; A McRory, R McNabb, T McCann; C Cavanagh, M Donnelly; P Harte, N Sludden, K McGeary; D McCurry, S Cavanagh,  M Bradley. Subs: C Meyler for Sludden BC (17), C McShane for McNamee (52), H Loughran for McNabb (55), J Monroe for McRory (69).


Referee: C Lane (Cork)

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