Mayo through to All-Ireland semi-finals after Horan's men prevail in thriller against Donegal

James Horan’s side came out on top by four points in a tense affair in Castlebar.

Donegal’s Ryan McHugh and Stephen McMenamin with Cillian O'Connor.
Donegal’s Ryan McHugh and Stephen McMenamin with Cillian O'Connor.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

Mayo 1-14

Donegal 1-10

Colm Gannon reports from Castlebar

THEIR BACKS WERE against the wall and not for the first time, Mayo came game good against the odds.

In a game that both sides did their best to kick away, Mayo held on to book their place in the All-Ireland semi-final next weekend, grinding out a four-point win on the back of a ferociously hard working performance.

James Horan’s men led by six at the break on a scoreline of 1-7 to 0-4, with their goal coming just before the half-hour mark when Cillian O’Connor chased in on effort from Jason Doherty that dropped short and palming it home past Shaun Patton.

Mayo matched up Lee Keegan on Michael Murphy and Paddy Durcan on Ryan McHugh and both men had more than the measure of their men in the first 35 minutes with Durcan kicking two points for Mayo.

Aidan O'Shea celebrates Aidan O'Shea celebrates with supporters at MacHale Park. Source: James Crombie/INPHO

The second half started with a bang with Donegal hitting the back of the net six minutes in through a Michael Murphy penalty — the Donegal captain got himself isolated on Keegan in the penalty area and the Westport man was adjudged to have fouled him off the ball.

That left the score at 1-8 to 1-5 as Donegal began to take control of the game; and they will feel they left this one behind them, kicking 10 second-half wides many of them from very scoreable positions.

Declan Bonner’s men closed the gap to a single point with 20 minutes to go through a Muprhy point — but that was as close as they got with Mayo keeping them at arms length. Two injury time points from Andy Moran saw them four points clear at the death in front of the sell-out crowd.

However, the win did come at a cost with Jason Doherty stretchered off early in the second half to add to their injury problems.

Scorers for Mayo: Cillian O’Connor (1-4, 0-4f), Paddy Durcan (0-3), James Carr (0-2), Andy Moran (0-2), Jason Doherty (0-1), Chris Barrett (0-1), Kevin McLoughlin (0-1)

Scorers for Donegal: Michael Murphy (1-4, 2f 1-0 pen) Paddy McBrearty (0-2), Niall O’Donnell (0-2), Daire O’Baoill (0-2)


1. Robert Hennelly (Breaffy)

2. Chris Barrett (Belmullet)
3. Brendan Harrision (Aghamore)
17. Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis)

5. Lee Keegan (Westport)
6. Colm Boyle (Davitts)
7. Stephen Coen (Hollymount- Carramore) 

8. Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy)
9. Seamus O’Shea (Breaffy)

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10. Fionn McDonagh (Westport)
11. Jason Doherty (Burrishoole)
25. Patrick Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels) 

13. Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber)
14. Darren Coen (Hollymount-Carramore)
15. James Carr (Ardagh)


4. Eoin O’Donoghue (Belmullet) for Higgins (BC)
24. Andy Moran (Ballaghaderreen) for Coen
22. Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore) for Doherty
12. Fergal Boland (Aghamore) for Carr
21. Matthew Ruane (Breaffy) for Seamus O’Shea
26. James Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels) for O’Connor


1. Shaun Patton (Naomh Adhamhnain)

2. Paddy McGrath (Ard an Ratha)
20. Eamon Doherty (Naomh Adhamhnain)
4. Stephen McMenamin (Aodh Rua – Cuil Mhic gCuirrdin)

5. Ryan McHugh (Cill Chartha)
6. Daire O’Baoill (Gaoth Dobhair)
7. Odhran McFadden Ferry (Gaoth Dobhair)

8. Hugh McFadden (Na Cealla Beaga)
9. Jason McGee (Cloch Cheann Fhaola) 

10. Ciaran Thompson (Naomh Conaill)
11. Niall O’Donnell (Naomh Adhamhnain)
12. Jamie Brennan (Realt na Mara – Bun Dobhrain)

13. Patrick McBrearty (Cill Cheartha)
14. Michael Murphy (Gleann tSuili)
15. Michael Langan (Naomh Micheal) 


18. Leo McLoone (Naomh Conail) for McGee
21. Paul Brennan (Realt na Marra – Bundobhrain) for Doherty
23. Caolan Ward (Naomh Adhamhnain) for McGrath
22. Oisin Gallen (Sean Mac Cumhaill) for Thompson
25. Eoin McGettigan (Naomh Conaill) for Langan
19. Eoin McHugh (Cill Chartha) for Brennan (BC)

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About the author:

Colm Gannon

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