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All-Ireland SFC 2012: Mayo's route to the final

Relive how the Connacht champions booked their place in Sunday’s showdown with Donegal.

Sunday, June 24: Connacht Championship, semi-final – MAYO 4-20 Leitrim 0-10 (MacHale Park)

Alan Freeman scores Mayo’s first goal. Credit: INPHO/James Crombie

MAYO STEAMROLLED THEIR way past Leitrim at MacHale Park back in June – with 13 different scorers contributing to an enormous 22-point win. The game may have begun competitively but any hopes the underdogs had of making a contest of it were dashed in the first half by goals from Alan Freeman and Andy Moran. There was no let-up in the second half as several substitutes provided scores in a bid to impress ahead of the Connacht final.

Scorers: Mayo: A Moran 2-0, C O’Connor 0-6 (0-6f), K McLoughlin 1-2, A Freeman 1-0, A Dillon 0-3, C Mortimer 0-2 (0-1f), R McGarrity, E Varley, M Conroy, L Keegan, K Higgins, B Moran, D Geraghty 0-1 each

Leitrim: E Mulligan 0-7 (0-5f), D Sweeney, D Beck, R Cox 0-1 each

Mayo: D Clarke; K Keane, G Cafferkey, K Higgins; L Keegan, D Vaughan, C Boyle; B Moran, D Geraghty; K McLoughlin, C O’Connor, A Dillon; J Doherty, A Moran, A Freeman. Subs: R Feeney for Boyle (46 mins, R McGarrity for Geraghty (48), M Conroy for Doherty, C Mortimer for Freeman (both 53), E Varley for A Moran (63).

Leitrim: C McCrann; D Beck, F McMorrow, P Maguire; C Clarke, E Williams, W McKeon; D Sweeney, S Moran; P McGowan, E Mulligan, P Brennan; R Cox, J Glancy (Glencar), A Craol. Subs: R Lowe for McKeon (8 mins), C Sheridan for Moran (half-time), B McDonald for Craol (48), G Hickey for McGowan (57), K Conlon for Lowe (65).

Sunday, July 15: Connacht Championship, final – Sligo 0-10 MAYO 0-12 (Hyde Park)

Mayo’s Colm Boyle and Andy Moran celebrate at the final whistle. Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie.

James Horan’s men became the first team to win back-to-back Connacht titles in nine years with a narrow victory over Sligo at Hyde Park. It was also the first time the county had been crowned provincial champions since 1996/1997 but it wasn’t all plain sailing on the day. Mayo played some good football in spells but, overall, it was a fairly ugly performance which was riddled with mistakes and poor decision-making. Despite being second best, Sligo went into the break two points to the good and right up until the 68th minute were very much in with a shout. Wing-back Lee Keegan, with one of the scores of the game, was the man who eventually put the result to bed in the closing moments.

Scorers: Mayo: C O’Connor 0-3 (3f), A Dillon 0-2, D Geraghty 0-1, E Varley 0-1 (1f), A Moran 0-1, B Moran 0-1, A O’Shea 0-1, C Boyle 0-1, L Keegan 0-1

Sligo: M Breheny 0-3 (2f), A Marren 0-3 (2f), D Maye 0-2 (1 45′, 1f), A Costello 0-1 (1f), D Kelly 0-1

Mayo: D Clarke; K Keane, G Cafferkey, K Higgins; L Keegan, D Vaughan, C Boyle; B Moran, D Geraghty; K McLoughlin, C O’Connor, A Dillon; E Varley, A Moran, J Doherty. Subs: A O’Shea for D Geraghty (42), M Conroy for E Varley (47), A Freeman for J Doherty (60).

Sligo: P Greene; N Ewing, J Martyn, R Donovan; C Harrison, M Quinn, P McGovern; S McManus, T Taylor; A Costello, D Maye, B Egan; M Breheny, A Marren, D Kelly.  Subs: E O’Hara for S McManus (47), E Mullen for T Taylor (58), S Coen for A Costello (62), P McGovern for J Davey (66), D Rooney for M Quinn (71).

Saturday, August 4: All-Ireland, quarter-final – MAYO 3-18 Down 2-9 (Croke Park)

Cillian O’Connor of Mayo with Brendan McArdle of Down. Credit: INPHO/Donall Farmer

Mayo met Down for the very first time in the All-Ireland SFC and came into form at GAA HQ to brush their Ulster opponents to one side. After the first five minutes failed to produce a score, Jason Doherty slices through the Down defence then rolls the ball past Brendan McVeigh in goal. Midfielder Kalum King cancelled that out and brought the score level soon after but a brace from Michael Conroy and Cillian O’Connor’s free-taking skills helped the Yew County prevail. One sour note was the knee injury suffered by Andy Moran in the second half.

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Scorers: Mayo: C O’Connor 0-7 (6f), M Conroy 2-1, A Dillon 0-4, J Doherty 1-0, K McLoughlin 0-2, A Moran 0-1, L Keegan 0-1, A O’Shea 0-1, E Varley 0-1

Down: A Carr 0-7 (5f), B Coulter 1-1, K King 1-0, L Doyle 0-1 (1f)

Mayo: D Clarke; K Keane, G Cafferkey, K Higgins; L Keegan, D Vaughan, C Boyle; B Moran, A O’Shea; K Mc Loughlin, C O’Connor, A Dillon; M Conroy, A Moran, J Doherty. Subs: A Freeman for A Moran (55), R Feeney for J Doherty (59), E Varley for M Conroy (64), J Gibbons for A O’Shea (65), C Barrett for C Boyle (67).

Down: B McVeigh; D O’Hagan, D Gordon, C Garvey; N McParland, K McKernan, A Carr; A Rogers, K King; B McArdle, M Poland, C Maginn; E McCartan, C Laverty, B Coulter. Subs: A Branagan for N McParland (23), D O’Hare for E McCartan (32), L Doyle for C Maginn (HT), D Turley for C Garvey (41), D Rooney for B McArdle (59).

Sunday, September 2: All-Ireland, semi-final – Dublin 0-16 MAYO 0-19

Barry Moran celebrates at the final whistle. Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

Defending All-Ireland champions Dublin were dethroned in front of 81,000 at Croke Park earlier this month. Mayo may have been underdogs but looked the hungrier of the two sides and came back from an early two-point deficit to lead 0-12 to 0-6 at half-time. Mayo held a ten-point advantage over Pat Gilroy’s side at one stage but came under heavy pressure in the final quarter. A certain Brendan Brogan goal was somehow kept out by David Clarke before Seamus O’Shea ruled out a late comeback as Mayo set up the first Connacht-Ulster All-Ireland final for 54 years.

Scorers: Dublin: B Brogan 0-6 (0-6f), D Connolly 0-2, C Kilkenny 0-3, S Cluxton 0-3 (0-3 45), P Flynn 0-2.

Mayo: C O’Connor 0-7 (0-3 45, 0-3f), M Conroy 0-1, A Dillon 0-3, B Moran 0-1, E Varley 0-2 (0-1f), K McLoughlin 0-2, J Doherty 0-1, R Feeney 0-1, S O’Shea 0-1

Dublin: S Cluxton; M Fitzsimons, R O’Carroll, C O’Sullivan; J McCarthy, G Brennan, K Nolan; E Fennell, D Bastick; P Flynn, MD Macauley, B Cullen; C Kilkenny, D Connolly, B Brogan. Subs: P McMahon for Fitzsimons, A Brogan for Cullen (both HT), E O’Gara for Bastick (49), K McManamon for A Brogan (53), C Dias for Fennell (73).

Mayo: D Clarke; K Keane, G Cafferkey, K Higgins; L Keegan, D Vaughan, C Barrett; B Moran, A O’Shea; K McLoughlin, J Doherty, A Dillon; E Varley, C O’Connor, M Conroy. Subs: R Feeney for L Keegan (17), A Freeman for Varley (42), C Boyle for McLoughlin (55), J Gibbons for Feeney (61), S McHale for K Keane (65), McLoughlin for J Doherty (69), S O’Shea for A O’Shea (71), P Gardiner for Freeman (76).

Watch RTE’s post-match analysis of the semi-final below:

YouTube credit: 

Sunday, September 23: All-Ireland, final – Donegal ?-?? MAYO ?-??

All-Ireland SFC 2012: Donegal’s route to the final

About the author:

Ben Blake

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