Mayo advance after topsy-turvy encounter against Cork

Updated: Monday, 04 Aug 2014 18:50 | Comments

Aidan O'Shea beats lunging Cork keeper Ken O'Halloran for Mayo's only goal of the game at Croke Park
Aidan O'Shea beats lunging Cork keeper Ken O'Halloran for Mayo's only goal of the game at Croke Park

Mayo 1-19 Cork 2-15

Mayo defeated Cork in a thrilling All-Ireland quarter-final at Croke Park to earn a clash with Kerry in the last four.

The sides were level on six occasions in a first half that finished level all-square at 0-08 apiece, with Cork's Brain Hurley and Mayo’s Cillian O’Connor both scoring four points.

Mayo forged six points clear after the restart, but Donnacha O’Connor’s 63rd-minute goal brought Cork level.

Aidan O’Shea then netted for Mayo, but Hurley smashed home a Cork seconds later as the Rebels made the perfect response. 

Late scores from Donal Vaughan and Lee Keegan saw Mayo advance. 

A speculative shot from wide on the right by Jason Doherty almost caught out goalkeeper Ken O’Halloran, who stuck out a toe to deflect the hopping ball out for a ’45.

Earlier, Doherty and Brian Hurley had swapped scores, while Mayo went ahead through Cillian O’Connor in the seventh minute.

With Tom Cunniffe deployed as a Mayo sweeper and Cork half-forwards Mark Collins and Colm O’Driscoll channelling back to galvanise the defence, scoring chances were at a premium, but the Rebels made the most of the openings they managed to create, with Fintan Goold and Hurley both hitting the target as they built a 0-04 to 0-02 lead in the 13th minute.

Hurley was too hot for Ger Cafferkey to handle as he lofted over his fourth point in the 16th minute.

But the westerners came storming back as Seamus O’Shea and O’Connor (two) brought them level by the 20th minute.

Cork lost centre-back Tomas Clancy to a black card, and it was O’Shea who edged the Connacht champions back in front in the 21st minute.

A point from Colm O’Neill and Aidan Walsh’s long-range free had the Rebels back in the driving seat, but O’Connor’s ability to kick points from distance trumped the Munster sides defensive strategy as he levelled for the fifth time.

TV reaction: Mayo beat Cork

They went in deadlocked at the break on 0-08 each, but Mayo made a thunderous start to the second half.

With Seamus O’Shea in inspirational form at midfield, they hit seven points, with just one in reply, to go six ahead by the 48th minute.

Veterans Moran and Dillon nailed two each, with Vaughan and Kevin McLaughlin also on target, as Cork’s brave challenge looked like it was beginning to fade.

However, the Rebels managed to stem the tide and turn the game back in their favour as Goold and substitute Donncha O’Connor slotted over points, and when O’Neill tapped over a free, just three points separated the sides.

In the 63rd minute the sides were level as James Loughrey pushed forward to release Donncha O’Connor for a superb goal.

And another couple of incredible twists saw both sides grab goals in the space of a minute.

Vaughan carved the opening for Aidan O’Shea to round keeper O’Halloran and plant the ball in the net, but almost immediately, Hurley smashed home a bullet at the other end.

Keegan and Vaughan scored for Mayo in a frenetic finish as James Horan’s charges progressed by the narrowest of margins.

Mayo: R Hennelly, C Barrett, G Cafferkey, K Higgins, L Keegan (0-01), C Boyle, D Vaughan (0-02), T Cunniffe, S O’Shea (0-02), K McLoughlin (0-01), A O’Shea (1-00), J Doherty (0-02), C O’Connor (0-06, 3f), A Moran (0-02), A Dillon (0-03).

Subs: K Keane for Boyle (BC), E Varley for Moran, B Harrison for Barrett, A Freeman for O’Connor, J Gibbons for A O’Shea

Cork: K O’Halloran, J Loughrey, E Cadogan, N Galvin, M Shields, T Clancy, B O’Driscoll, I Maguire, A Walsh (0-01, f), P Kerrigan, M Collins, C O’Driscoll, C O’Neill (0-06, 4f), B Hurley (1-04, 0-1f), F Goold (0-2).

Subs: D Cahalane for Clancy (BC), P Kelly for C O’Driscoll, D O’Connor (1-02, 0-1f)for Collins, J O’Rourke for O’Driscoll, D Goulding for Maguire.

Referee: C Reilly (Meath)

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