Lack-lustre Mayo ride their luck in Semple Stadium scare
Tipperary ............. 1-11
MAYO are still alive in the 2018 SFC but it was a long way to Tipperary in more ways than one for Stephen Rochford's charges.
They appeared to be on the rack in early stages of the second half of their All-Ireland qualifier at Semple Statium before a lucky goal by Castlebar Mitchels ace James Durcan turned the game in the visitors' direction in the 52nd minute.
His attempt at a point from an acute angle ended up in a corner of the net to undermine the home side's confidence - and Mayo finished with a flourish which yielded 1-7 without reply to close out the victory in style.
James Durcan, the twin brother of defender Paddy, may have missed out on the Sky Sports man-of-the-match award which was presented to Jason Doherty.
Nobody will begrudge the talented Burrishoole forward, who scored 0-3, his day in the sun, but there is little doubt that Durcan's contribution of 1-2 was crucial on a day when Mayo looked to be heading out of the series at one point, such was Tipperary's zeal and impetus.
Mayo struggled to come to terms with the sweeper role deployed with such immense effect by Brian Fox while a lot of questions were raised over the Mayo full back line due to the effectiveness of Michael Quinlivan and Conor Sweeney.
Mayo had got off to a flying start but a resurgent Tipperary led by 1-7 to 0-8 at half-time. The half had not finished well for the Connaught side as midfielder Seamus O'Shea cried off with a suspected broken collarbone while Colm Boyle was black-carded.
Tipperary took command of the early stages of the second half and opened up a lead of three points after 51 minutes.
But it all changed dramatically when James Durcan produced his moment of magic and Mayo never looked back.
Mayo scorers: Cillian O’Connor 0-5 (0-5f), James Durcan 1-2, Jason Doherty and Kevin McLoughlin 0-3 each, Andy Moran, Paddy Durcan, Seamie O’Shea, Aidan O’Shea and Conor Loftus (0-1f) 0-1 each.
Scorers for Tipperary: Michael Quinlivan 1-2, Liam McGrath 0-3 (0-2f), Conor Sweeney and Philip Austin 0-2 each, Steven O’Brien
Mayo: D. Clarke, P. Durcan, G. Cafferkey, C. Boyle, C. Barrett, K. Higgins, L. Keegan, S. Coen, S. O'Shea, K. McLoughlin, A. O'Shea, J. Doherty, C. O'Connor, J. Durcan, A Moran.
Subs: D. O'Connor (for S. O'Shea inj), C. Hanley (for Boyle), E. Regan (for C. O'Connor), E.O'Donoghue (for Barrett), C. Loftus (for Moran), D. Kirby (for D. O'Connor).
Tipperary: E. Comerford, S. O'Connell, A. Campbell, J. Meagher, B. Fox, J. Feehan, R. Kiely, B. Maher, J. Kennedy, S. O'Brien, J. Keane, L. McGrath, P. Austin, C. Sweeney, M. Quinvivan
Subs: L. Boland (for Austin), L. Casey (for Kennedy), K. O'Halloran (for McGrath), K. Fahey (for Geehan), J. Lonergan (for Keane), G. Hannigan (for O'Brien).