Tuesday 23 January 2018

Healy quits after Cork exit amid time-keeping furore

Mayo 0-27 Cork 2-20

Cillian O'Connor of Mayo. Photo: Sportsfile
Cillian O'Connor of Mayo. Photo: Sportsfile

Ronan O'Brien

Cork manager Peadar Healy stepped down after his side bowed out of the championship in controversial circumstances, with referee Ciaran Branagan needing a Garda escort off the pitch amid furious protests from the Rebels that he had blown the final whistle 30 seconds early.

Three minutes of stoppage time had been signalled for the second period of extra-time but Branagan called a halt to proceedings with only two minutes and 30 seconds played, with Mayo a point ahead, and in possession.

Mayo’s Aidan O’Shea is challenged by Eoin Cadogan at the Gaelic Grounds last night. Photo: Sportsfile
Mayo’s Aidan O’Shea is challenged by Eoin Cadogan at the Gaelic Grounds last night. Photo: Sportsfile

Healy had been at the helm for two ultimately disappointing seasons, but his team exited the championship with pride intact after pushing last year's losing finalists to the brink.

Cork fought back heroically from seven points down on 48 minutes to force extra-time, and then led 2-19 to 0-24 at the break in added time; after Mayo went in front, they had chances to equalise, but two wides and the early whistle ended their season.

Earlier, Donncha O'Connor had kicked six first-half points - three from play - but Mayo, inspired by Aidan O'Shea, finished the opening period strongly to lead 0-10 to 0-7 at the break.

Cork corner-back Jamie O'Sullivan was shown a black card for the second game in a row for an unnecessary challenge on O'Shea.

Andy Moran of Mayo in action against James Loughrey of Cork during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Round 4A match between Cork and Mayo at Gaelic Grounds in Co. Limerick. Photo: Sportsfile
Andy Moran of Mayo in action against James Loughrey of Cork during the GAA Football All-Ireland Senior Championship Round 4A match between Cork and Mayo at Gaelic Grounds in Co. Limerick. Photo: Sportsfile

Mayo, having been behind at the break in their three previous championship games, extended their lead three minutes after the restart when Moran landed his third point, with Cork suffering another blow when midfielder Aidan Walsh limped off.

Mayo, who have not lost a qualifier game since being shocked by Longford in 2010, turned the screw.

Cillian O'Connor fired over two excellent points and sub Paddy Durcan wasted little time in making an impact when he pointed to make it 0-14 to 0-7.

Double scores after 48 minutes suggested an easy win for Mayo but Donncha O'Connor and then John O'Rourke gave Cork some hope as they hit the target inside a minute.

Boosted by those scores, Cork burst forward and O'Rourke grabbed a second before Colm O'Neill announced his introduction with a good score and suddenly there was only a goal between the sides with 20 minutes to go.

Cillian O'Connor, O'Shea and Andy Moran doubled the lead but then the superb Sean Powter got in for a 57th-minute goal to give Cork hope.

They got the gap down to one before Mayo pulled away again, but two minutes into stoppage time Luke Connolly took a return pass from Rory Deane to shoot an equalising goal.

Durcan edged Mayo back in front but in the seventh minute of stoppage time, Connolly kept his nerve to force extra-time with a free from 35 yards - brought forward after an unnecessary secondary foul from Tom Parsons - to leave it 0-21 to 2-15.

And in extra-time, Mayo were able to tough it out, having taken the lead on the resumption with three points in succession through Keith Higgins, Diarmuid O'Connor and Cillian O'Connor

Scorers - Mayo: C O'Connor 0-11 (4f, 1 '45'); A Moran 0-4; A O'Shea 0-3; P Durcan, C Loftus 0-2 each; L Keegan, T Parsons, J Doherty, K Higgins, D O'Connor 0-1 each. Cork: D O'Connor 0-6 (4f); L Connolly 1-1 (0-1f); S Powter 1-0; J O'Rourke, P Kerrigan, C O'Neill 0-3 (1f); M Hurley 0-2; B O'Driscoll, T Clancy 0-1 each.

Mayo: D Clarke; G Cafferkey, B Harrison, C Barrett; L Keegan, K Higgins, C Boyle; S O'Shea, T Parsons; K McLoughlin, A O'Shea, Diarmuid O'Connor; J Doherty, C O'Connor, A Moran. Subs: P Durcan for Barrett (44), S Coen for S O'Shea (49), D Vaughan for Boyle (53), D Drake for Keegan (58, black card), C Loftus for Moran (63), C Crowe for Cafferkey (80), E Regan for McLoughlin (81), A Dillon for Diarmuid O'Connor (87).

Cork: R Price; J Loughrey, M Shields, J O'Sullivan; T Clancy, E Cadogan, C O'Driscoll; A Walsh, I Maguire; M Collins, S Powter, J O'Rourke; B O'Driscoll, P Kerrigan, Donncha O'Connor. Subs: K Crowley for Loughrey (19), S Cronin for O'Sullivan (35, black card), R Deane for Walsh (37), C O'Neill for Shields (46), L Connolly for B O'Driscoll (53), M Hurley for Donncha O'Connor (62), S White for C O'Driscoll (71), A O'Connor for Maguire (71), K O'Driscoll for O'Rourke (71), C Dorman for Crowley (75), C O'Driscoll for Powter (80).

Referee: C Branagan (Down)

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