A blistering second-half start – in which the visitors hit an unanswered 1-3 – powered Mayo to a fifth consecutive championship win over Galway this afternoon.
Tied at 1-5 to 0-8 at the break, Mayo went in front when Cillian O’Connor converted from a placed ball within a minute of the restart.
Then arrived the game's crucial, and, indeed, most bizarre moment. Aidan O’Shea burst through the Galway rearguard and although dispossessed by Sean Denvir, 'keeper Manus Breathnach’s attempted clearance out to the side rebounded off full-back Finian Hanley and into the Galway net.
Points followed from Aidan O’Shea and O’Connor (free) and all of sudden Mayo were 1-11 to 1-5 clear.
Galway went scoreless for the opening 11 minutes of the second period and when Paul Conroy (free) eventually extended their tally, Jason Doherty was on target at the other end in the ensuing play.
A Danny Cummins fisted goal on 53 minutes provided Kevin Walsh’s outfit with a glimmer of hope, but they were unable to cut the deficit further – Mark Ronaldson, O’Connor (free) and Seamus O’Shea closing out the result.
The sides had gone in at half-time level at 1-5 to 0-8, the home side boosted by a superb Gary Sice goal on 35 minutes.
Paul Conroy supplied the delivery and Sice took advantage of a slip by Lee Keegan to cut through the heart of the Mayo defence, beating David Clarke with a thunderous shot into the top right corner of the opposition net.
It was the first time the Tribesmen held the lead. Mayo were far the livelier out of the blocks, points from Andy Moran and two Cillian O’Connor frees moving the visitors into a 0-3 to 0-1 advantage.
The reigning champions continued to capitalise on Galway indiscipline as the half wore on, O’Connor finished the half with four frees. Indeed, referee Padraig Hughes wasn’t long in asserting his authority, six yellow cards flashed in the opening 35 minutes – four to Galway and two to Mayo.
Both teams would finished with 14 men as Hanley and Lee Keegan were dismissed late on for second infractions.
Scorers for Mayo: C O’Connor (0-9, 0-8 frees); A Moran (0-2); J Doherty, A O'Shea, S O'Shea, M Ronaldson (0-1 each).
Scorers for Galway: G Sice (1-3, 0-2 frees); D Cummins (1-1); P Conroy (0-3 frees); D Comer (0-1).
Mayo: D Clarke; T Cunniffe, K Keane, K Higgins; L Keegan, C Barrett, C Boyle; T Parsons, S O’Shea; D O’Connor, A O’Shea, J Doherty; A Moran, K McLoughlin, C O’Connor.
Subs: A Dillon for Moran (33 mins, inj), M Ronaldson for Dillon (41, inj), D Vaughan for Boyle (52), G Cafferkey for Keane (57), B Moran for Parson (66), A Freeman for C O’Connor (69)
Galway: M Breathnach; J Duane, F Hanley, C Sweeney; L Silke, G O'Donnell, S Denvir; F Ó Curraoin, T Flynn; G Sice, P Conroy, M Lundy; P Sweeney, D Cummins, D Comer.
Subs: P Óg O Griofa for Conroy (50 mins, bc), E Hoare for Flynn (62), G Bradshaw for Silke (62), A Varley for Sweeney (70).
Referee: P Hughes (Armagh)