All Ireland SFC S-F: Late Conor O'Shea goal seals Mayo win
All Ireland SFC Semi-Final
Mayo 2-13 Tipperary 0-14
By Jackie Cahill at Croke Park
Stephen Rochford has guided Mayo to a third All-Ireland senior football final appearance in five seasons – but they had to work hard for it against Tipperary at Croke Park this afternoon.
The Premier County gave it everything in their first semi-final appearance in 81 years, but avoidable goals in either half proved crucial as Mayo moved on to a September 18 showdown with Dublin or Kerry.
Mayo will know they will have to improve considerably for their first final since 2013 as surprise packets Tipp asked plenty of questions.
But the pre-match underdogs finished the game with 14 players when Bill Maher was issued with a straight red card for an off-the-ball offence in the 65th minute.
It was another sickening blow for Tipp, who lost Robbie Kiely to a black card as early as the ninth minute for a foul on Jason Doherty.
Mayo had Andy Moran in excellent form but they struggled otherwise in front of 53,212 spectators at GAA headquarters.
And for the game’s opening goal, scored by Doherty in the 27th minute, the Premier County were very much the architects of their own downfall.
Colm O’Shaughnessy coughed up possession inside his own half and Mayo broke with lightning pace, Keith Higgins cutting a swathe the middle before off-loading to Doherty.
The forward’s finish was cool, as he side-stepped goalkeeper Evan Comerford before shooting into an empty net.
That goal helped to turn Mayo’s fortunes around in the first half, after they fell 0-3 to 0-6 behind against a fired-up Tipp.
It was a fortunate break for Mayo as, in truth, they could have been further behind as Tipp missed some good early chances.
After scoring the goal, Mayo added four points to necklace 1-4 without reply, as a Conor Sweeney point in the 33rd minute stopped the rot for Tipp.
But by half-time, they were six down attain as Andy Moran (two) and Aidan O’Shea collected points before the break.
After Conor Sweeney kicked Tipp’s sixth point in the 25th minute, they would add just one further score before the interval and in that time, Mayo hit 1-7.
Finding a more clinical edge, Mayo turned up the heat but Tipp opened the second brightly and by the 48th minute, they had cut the deficit back to two points.
Mayo were 1-11 to 0-12 in front and Mikey Quinlivan’s effort, which was shown to be wide by HawkEye, could have had the margin back to the bare minimum.
Tipp goalkeeper Evan Comerford kept his side in it with a smart save to deny Moran 16 minutes from time, but Mayo did get their second goal in the 64th minute.
Evan Regan’s mishit effort dribbled behind the Tipperary inside line and Conor O’Shea drew on the loose ball to find the bottom corner.
From there until the finish, Mayo had little trouble in closing the game out in their sixth successive semi-final, particularly when Tipp lost the services of Maher.
Mayo had Donal Vaughan black-carded in the sixth minute of stoppage time – and finished the game with 14 players too after using all six subs – but they had the job done by then.
Scorers for Mayo: A Moran 0-4, J Doherty and C O’Shea 1-0 each, C O’Connor 0-3 (3fs), D O’Connor 0-2, L Keegan, C Boyle, K McLoughlin and A O’Shea 0-1 each.
Scorers for Tipperary: M Quinlivan 0-7 (7fs), C Sweeney 0-3 (1f), K O’Halloran 0-2 (1f), B Maher and P Austin 0-1 each.
Mayo: D Clarke; B Harrison, B Moran, K Higgins; L Keegan, C Boyle, P Durcan; S O’Shea, D Vaughan; K McLoughlin, A O’Shea, D O’Connor; J Doherty, A Moran, C O’Connor.
Subs: T Parsons for S O’Shea (53), C O’Shea for Doherty (58), E Regan for Moran (63), C Barrett for Boyle (67), A Dillon for McLoughlin (69), C Loftus for C O’Connor (70+1).
Tipperary: E Comerford; C O’Shaughnessy, A Campbell, C McDonald; B Maher, R Kiely, J Feehan; P Acheson, G Hannigan; J Keane, M Quinlivan, B Fox; K O’Halloran, C Sweeney, P Austin.
Subs: S Leahy for Kiely (b/c 10), A Moloney for Leahy (32), S O’Connell for O’Shaughnessy (56), I Fahey for O’Halloran (66), M Dunne for Keane (70+2).
Referee: D Coldrick (Meath).