Kevin McLoughlin shoots to score Mayo's first goal. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

McLoughlin goal seals the deal for Mayo

MAYO are within touching distance of a place in the All-Ireland semi-finals following a nine-point win over Meath at Croke Park this afternoon.

It finished Mayo 2-17, Meath 0-14.

The game was very much in the melting pot until Mayo finally clicked into gear, scoring 1-4 without reply in the closing 15 minutes.

The sides were locked at 0-12 each on 53 minutes, Meath having two chances to kick ahead but they failed with both attempts.

An important point from Colm Boyle was the catalyst Mayo needed, while Lee Keegan put them two ahead before Kevin McLoughlin was set up for the vital goal of the match by Keegan to fire Mayo into an unassailable 1-16 to 0-12 lead.

In the fourth of five minutes of injury-time Mayo were awarded a penalty when the Meath goalkeeper took out Cillian O’Connor off the ball.

O’Connor put home the spot-kick at the second time of asking when he pounced on the rebound after the Meath replacement goalkeeper saved it.

It won’t go down as the best of games, particularly in the first half when Mayo did well to remain on level terms at the break - 0-7 apiece, with Meath creating the best goal chance of the half when Donal Keoghan forced a fine save from David Clarke who was very commanding under the high ball.

Mayo scorers: C. O’Connor 1-5 (4f, pen), K. McLoughlin 1-1, F. Boland, J. Doherty and F. McDonagh 0-2 each, D. Coen, L. Keegan, C. Boyle, J. Carr and A. Moran 0-1 each.

Meath scorers: S. Walsh 0-6 (6f), S. Lavin and M. Newman (1f) 0- 2 each, C. O’Sullivan, J. McEntee, J. Conlon and E. Devine 0-1 each.