Late Bradley strike flatters Derry as Mayo superiority never in doubt
A quick look at the scoreline might suggest that this was a tight enough affair but the truth is that Mayo's superiority at Celtic Park was never in doubt in a game that they dominated for all but a few short spells.
Derry don't lose too many at this venue -- this their first reverse at the city ground since 2007 -- but Mayo were much the better side here and Eoin Bradley's last-gasp goal gave the scoreline a veneer of respectability the home team didn't really deserve.
Careless Derry defending gave Mayo a three-point lead in the first 10 minutes with an Alan Dillon free and two well-taken points from Enda Varley in the fifth and seventh minute.
The Oak Leafers responded with a Lee Moore free kick from wide on the left and an amazing 40-yard point from Eoin Bradley close to the stand side to reduce to deficit to a single score.
Derry restored parity in the 16th minute when Mark Lynch's fisted pass found Gerard O'Kane and from 55 yards out the Derry skipper sent the ball sailing between the posts.
Mayo regained the lead moments after James Kielt hit the post when captain Trevor Mortimer pointed from 25 yards outs from a central position.
Mayo ran riot for the remainder of the first half with two well-taken frees from Alan Dillon and a goal from Andy Moran. That major came when Dillon floated the ball into the Derry square, Patsy Bradley and Dermot McBride both went for the ball and collided, allowing Moran to slot the ball past Martin Dunne from close range.
Paddy Bradley and Enda Varney exchanged early second-half scores but disaster struck for Derry when Aiden O'Shea fisted past Dunne to give the John Mahony's men their second goal.
Dillon's underhit point attempt hung nicely in the air at the edge of the small square for O'Shea to power in and fist home. After that, Mayo's victory was all but assured.
For Derry, only Eoin Bradley really carried a threat and he had to live off scraps. His goal came too late to affect the outcome as late scores from Andy Moran and Mortimer had already killed off any hopes of a comeback.
Scorers -- Mayo: A Moran 1-2, A O'Shea 1-1, A Varley, A Dillon (0-3f) 0-3 each, T Mortimer 0-2, C Barrett 0-1. Derry: E Bradley 1-2, P Bradley 0-4 (0-2f), G O'Kane, L Moore (0-2f) 0-2 each, C Kielt, M Lynch 0-1 each.
Mayo -- D Clarke; D Vaughan, G Cafferkey, K Higgins; L O'Malley, T Howley, K McLaughlin; T Parsons, K Conway; A Moran, S O'Shea, T Mortimer; E Varley, A O'Shea, A Dillon. Subs: C Barret for Cafferkey (40).
Derry -- M Dunne; M McGoldrick, K McCloy, D McBride; C Kielt, M Lynch, G O'Kane; Patsy Bradley, J Kielt; F Doherty, P Bradley, A McLaughlin; R Wilkinson, E Bradley, L Moore. Subs: S L McGoldrick for McLaughlin (h-t), M Craig for Moore (h-t), E Brown for Wilkinson (56).
Ref -- C Reilly (Meath).