Mayo 2-13 Tipperary 0-14
Goals in either half proved crucial this afternoon as Mayo advanced to a third All-Ireland SFC final in five seasons.
The Westerners have another chance to claim Sam Maguire for the first time since 1951 when they face Dublin or Kerry on 18 September – but they’ll have to improve considerably on their semi-final showing against spirited Tipperary.
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 progressed.
Both sides finished the game with 14 players – Tipp losing Bill Maher to a red card in the 65th minute before Donal Vaughan was black-carded deep in stoppage time when Mayo had used their six subs.
But Mayo, back in the final for the first time since 2013, had their work done by then as Tipp’s glorious voyage came to a shuddering halt.
Maher’s red card 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 HQ.
And for the game’s opening goal, scored by Doherty in the 27th minute, Tipp were very much the architects of their own downfall in a game pockmarked by some terrible shooting from both teams.
Colm O’Shaughnessy coughed up possession far too cheaply 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 0-03 to 0-06 behind against a fired-up Tipp.
It was a fortunate break for Mayo as, in truth, they could have been further behind as the beaten Munster finalists missed some good early chances.
Mayo star Aidan O'Shea isn't getting carried away by his side's All-Ireland SFC semi-final win over Tipperary. https://t.co/CCPKDgKczo— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) August 21, 2016
After scoring the goal, Mayo added four points to necklace 1-04 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, the Connacht side hit 1-07.
Finding a more clinical edge, Mayo turned up the heat but Liam Kearns' side 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 Hawk-Eye, 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, Stephen Rochford's charges 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.
MAYO: D Clarke; B Harrison, B Moran, K Higgins; L Keegan (0-01), C Boyle (0-01), P Durcan; S O’Shea, D Vaughan; K McLoughlin (0-01), A O’Shea (0-01), D O’Connor (0-02); J Doherty (1-00), A Moran (0-04), C O’Connor (0-03f).
Subs: T Parsons for S O’Shea (53), C O’Shea (1-00) 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 (0-01), R Kiely, J Feehan; P Acheson, G Hannigan; J Keane, M Quinlivan (0-07f), B Fox; K O’Halloran (0-02, 1f), C Sweeney (0-03, 1f), P Austin (0-01).
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)
Tipperary's players 'never bent the knee', says proud manager Liam Kearns https://t.co/noghMSdY9S— The Sunday Game (@TheSundayGame) August 21, 2016