Mayo's 23-year unbroken presence in Division 1 was brought to an end as Tyrone came out on top in a thrilling Castlebar tie to avoid the drop.

The Red Hands went into this crunch relegation battle needing just a draw to preserve their NFL top tier status, but a narrow win was the perfect tonic ahead of next weekend’s Ulster Championship clash with Donegal.

Former Aussie Rules star Conor McKenna continued his sensational return to the gaelic game, hitting two goals after making a goal-scoring senior debut a week earlier at Ballybofey.

And the other goal came from Under-20 star Darragh Canavan on his league debut.

Mayo suffered the pre-match loss of Cillian O'Connor, while Canavan, not even listed in the match-day panel, was a surprise introduction to Tyrone’s starting line-up.

The Red Hands had the advantage of a strong, swirling breeze, but they also benefited from a significant lift to their levels of intensity from last weekend’s flat display against Donegal.

Patrick Durcan, Eoghan McLaughlin and Diarmuid O’Connor were all on target early on for James Horan’s side, but the Ulster men were always in touch, with Darren McCurry, McKenna and Peter Harte hitting the target.

Canavan had edged them ahead 0-05 to 0-04 by the first water break, and straight after the resumption they conjured their first goal, Mattie Donnelly sending McKenna in to rifle his shot past David Clarke from 20 metres.

It was a spell of high productivity for Mickey Harte’s side, with Harte and McCurry pushing them into a six points lead, and Mayo went 15 minutes without a score until Daren Coen converted a free.

But they conceded a second goal in stoppage time, McKenna’s perfect pass sending Canavan in to pick his spot in the bottom corner of the net.

Tyrone led by 2-09 to 0-07 at the break but the home side struck the first three points of the second half, two of them from Darren Coen.

But McKenna got in for his second goal in the 44th minute, picking up Clarke’s poor kick-out to power forward and smash his shot to the net despite a momentary stumble on the heavy turf.

It was another jolt for the home side, now nine points adrift, as desperation began to set in.

But they produced another lively response, with three more points on the spin, from Conor Loftus, O’Connor and Coen to keep their survival fight alive.

And they were very much back in survival mode when Conroy cut inside to smash home a 58th-minute goal.

Tyrone had to play ten minutes with 14 men after Conor Meyler picked up a black card, and substitute James Durcan brought the Connacht men to within a point, as he converted a couple of frees.

However, with Donnelly and Ronan McNamee rising to the occasion, Tyrone broke out for McCurry and McKenna to kick the points that spelt safety.

Mayo: D Clarke; O Mullin, S Coen, L Keegan; P Durcan (0-01), K McLoughlin, E McLaughlin (0-01); M Ruane (0-01), C Loftus (0-01); D O'Connor (0-02, 1f), M Moran, B Walsh; T Conroy (1-03), A O'Shea, D Coen (0-05, 3f).

Subs used: R O’Donoghue (0-02, 1f) for Moran (h-t), F McDonagh for Walsh (h-t), J Durcan (0-03, 3f) for D Coen (55), P O’Hora for McLaughlin (55), P Towey for E McLaughlin (40)

Tyrone: N Morgan; L Rafferty, R McNamee, HP McGeary; T McCann, K McGeary (0-01), M McKernan (0-01); B Kennedy, M Donnelly (0-02); P Harte (0-03), C McKenna (2-2, 0-1f), D McCurry (0-04, 0-3f); M O’Neill, D Canavan (1-01), C Meyler.

Subs used: F Burns for O’Neill (31), K Coney for Kennedy (49), N Sludden for Canavan (63), N Kelly for HP McGeary (67), R O’Neill for McCurry (41)

Referee: N Cullen (Fermanagh).