Keegan kicks Mayo into semi-final
LEE Keegan emerged as the hero of the day when his 64th minute point proved to be the score which dragged Mayo past Tyrone and into an All-Ireland semi-final meeting with Tipperary.
Four minutes of injury time was played before Mayo could finally breath a sigh of relief and had Tyrone been able to capitalise on a few Mayo errors in the closing pulsating minutes this game could well have gone to a replay.
On a day when six of the starting Tyrone forwards were replaced, Mayo’s defence produced a massive display in a game that was very much dominated by both defences.
But the big turning point came midway through the second half when David Clarke produced a stunning save to deny Conor McAliskey on a day when neither team could find the net.
The sides proved inseparable in the first half and 0-7 apiece was a fair reflection of proceedings, with Colm Boyle producing one of the best points of the half, Aidan O’Shea also on target with a long-range effort as Mayo used the long ball to beat the Tyrone blanket defence.
Andy Moran and Cillian O’Connor also found the target as Mayo went 0-3 to 0-1 up at one stage, but Tyrone also went ahead by two, midfielder Mattie Donnelly scoring three points from play. However, it was that injury-time point from Boyle which ensured parity at the break.
Mayo went two ahead in the second half but Tyrone came back on each occasion to pull level before losing Sean Cavanaugh, on a second yellow card, 10 minutes from time.
Keegan’s point, and his second of the game, was to prove the winning score but Mayo supporters had their hearts in their mouths as Tyrone almost snook in twice to level it after some careless passing out of the Mayo defence, only to fire wide, while a late free by their goalkeeper also drifted wide of the target as Mayo March on to a semi-final date with Tipperary on August 21.
Final score: Mayo 0-13, Tyrone 0-12