Mayo overcome Tyrone Challenge

The West is well and truly awake this morning.

Mayo now enter their 2nd consecutive All Ireland final on the 22nd of September to face either Dublin or Kerry.
But it wasn't all bells and whistles for James Horan's men.

Having suffered an early set back losing Cillian O'Connor to a trade mark shoulder injury, Mayo were on the back foot from the first minute. Tyrone looked hungry, set and extremely organised down the middle of the field. Sean Cavanagh pulled the strings of the operation. Tyrone also suffered a blow losing Peter Harte early on and the Stephen O'Neill before the break.

Tyrone strung points from play through O'Neill and McAliskey and Mayo could only reply through soft frees awarded by Maurice Deegan who's performance could only be described as dismal. It took Mayo 32 minutes to register their first point from play, a change from their previous 4 games which they won by an average of 15 points. The Croke Park roar echoed before half time from Mayo fans as Barrett smashed 2 points in quick succession along with Lee Keegan to leave it 7-6. Mayo showing signs off a similar performance last year against Donegal and needed to improve quick.

The Second Half was a whole different ball game. Mickey Harte's men looked sluggish and a shadow of their first half stature. Up step Alan Freeman.


Tyrone conceded an early penalty and Freeman stepped up and nailed a text book penalty. He was alive and his Mayo teammates followed. Freeman took charge of free taking as well as scoring a well worked point from play. The penalty turned the game and Mayo now looked like the fearsome side that ripped Donegal to shreds.
McCurry added points along with Cavanagh but the damage was done and Mayo ran out 1-16 to 13 winners.

Mayo had a dismal first half and only for Lee Keegan and Chris Barrett taking charge of the scoring, Mayo could have lost this game. Tyrone's main men are the older boys. This showed as the team tired and played at only a fraction of the ability they showed in the first half.

Mayo truly deserve their place in the final having swept every team aside so far but they were made work yesterday and they showed strength and character, attributes some Mayo teams have lacked in the past.
Maurice Deegan was dismal he refused to let the game run and gave little or no advantage which cost Freeman a goal in the first half.
James Horan should be proud of his men, and proud of himself. He has a tactical flare that makes him one of the best.

Ken Haughton

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