Fairytale over for Tipperary as unconvincing Mayo progress to All-Ireland final

Mayo 2-13 Tipperary 0-14

A spluttering Mayo were forced to scrap to push away a stubborn Tipperary effort and reach a first All-Ireland final in three years, writes John Fogarty.

In front of a 53,212 Croke Park crowd, Mayo only looked comfortable when substitute Conor O’Shea doubled to the net an Evan Regan kick that fell short.

It was a freakish goal but gave Mayo, who had gone 19 minutes without a score in the second half, the impetus to see out the game.

Mayo had led by three before O’Shea intervention having been outscored 0-5 to 0-1 in the opening 13 minutes of the second half.

Their indiscipline cost them dearly as Michael Quinlivan sent over three frees while Josh Keane overran when a goal looked on.

But with the aid of Aidan O’Shea Mayo eventually took control of the game's pace.

Mayo were terribly slow to start and found themselves three points down by the 25th minute despite the early loss of Robbie Kiely to a black card as Mayo threatened Evan Comerford’s goal.

Tipperary settled much quicker and Bill Maher’s driving runs were causing Mayo bother.

Barry Moran had been assigned to the edge of his own square to combat the anticipated aerial bombardment from Tipperary but it never came whether Liam Kearns’ side were loath to do it with Moran perched there or simply chose to play otherwise.

Both teams have half chances at goals before the 27th minute when Jason Doherty finished to the net after a brilliant Keith Higgins run from the middle where he exchanged with Aidan O’Shea before taking out two defenders with his hand-pass to Doherty.

The leveller was followed in quick succession by Diarmuid O’Connor, Kevin McLoughlin, Andy Moran and Lee Keegan points and the game had been turned on its head.

Andy Moran was at the forefront and finished off the half with four points to his credit.

Conor Sweeney ended what turned out to be a long eight minutes without a Tipperary score but three more followed at the other end via Moran (twice) and Aidan O’Shea to give Mayo a handsome 1-10 to 0-7 interval advantage.

Scorers for Mayo: A. Moran (0-4); J. Doherty, C. O’Shea (1-0 each); C. O’Connor (0-3, frees); D. O’Connor (0-2); K. McLoughlin, L. Keegan, A. O’Shea, C. Boyle (0-1 each).

Scorers for Tipperary: M. Quinlivan (0-7, frees); C. Sweeney (0-3, 1 free); K. O’Halloran (0-2, frees); P. Austin, B. Maher (0-1 each).

MAYO: D. Clarke; B. Harrison, K. Higgins, L. Keegan; B. Moran; C. Boyle, P. Durcan; S. O’Shea, D. Vaughan; D. O’Connor, K. McLoughlin, J. Doherty; A. Moran, A. O’Shea, C. O’Connor (c).

Subs for Mayo: T. Parsons for S. O’Shea (53); C. O’Shea for J. Doherty (58); E. Regan for A. Moran (63); C. Barrett for C. Boyle (67); A. Dillon for K. McLoughlin (69); C. Loftus for C. O’Connor (70+1); D. Vaughan (black, 70+6 - not replaced).

TIPPERARY: E. Comerford; A. Campbell, C. McDonald, C. O’Shaughnessy; B. Fox; B. Maher, R. Kiely, J. Feehan; P. Acheson (c), G. Hannigan; J. Keane, K. O’Halloran; C. Sweeney, P. Austin, M. Quinlivan.

Subs for Tipperary: S. Leahy for R. Kiely (black, 9); A. Moloney for S. Leahy (32); S. O’Connell for C. O’Shaughnessy (inj 56); I Fahey for K. O’Halloran (66); M. Dunne for J. Keane (70+2).

Sent off: B. Maher (straight, 65).

Referee: D. Coldrick (Meath).

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