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Wednesday 8 February 2023 Dublin: 4°C
INPHO/Morgan Treacy Mayo's Cillian O'Connor celebrates scoring his third goal.
# Hat-trick Hero
Mayo rout Donegal to set up Tyrone clash
There were goals galore in Croke Park as Mayo cruised to a 16 point win.

Mayo 4-17

Donegal 1-10

DONEGAL’S REIGN AS All Ireland champions is over after a 16 point annihilation by Mayo in Croke Park on Sunday.

It was sweet revenge for a Mayo team who were made to pay by Donegal for not turning up in the early stages of last year’s All Ireland final and the Connacht champions made sure not to make the same mistake this time, opening the scoring through a Cillian O’Connor point in the first minute.

Three minutes later, O’Connor slotted home the first of his three goals after Donegal’s Eamonn McGee was stripped of possession and Kevin McLoughlin played him in to give Mayo a 1-2 to no score lead.

It would take seven minutes for Donegal to finally get on the scoreboard when a long ball punted in by Michael Murphy bounced on the ground and went over the bar.

Despite a second Donegal point, Mayo were by far the better team and scored their second goal of the game after 13 minutes, again capitalising on a Donegal mistake.

After Jim McGuinness’ men lost possession, Keith Higgins fisted it in to Donal Vaughan who had stolen inside. Vaughan got to the ball ahead of Donegal’s Paul Durcan, before rounding the ‘keeper and drilling the ball into the empty net.

A run of unanswered points from Mayo, including a beautiful Alan Dillon effort after 20 minutes, gave them a remarkable 2-10 to 0-4 half time lead that looked insurmountable.

Mayo’s Alan Freeman celebrates scoring
Image: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

So it would prove as Mayo started the second half in style when they added a third goal just four minutes in.

Once again, O’Connor was the scorer and five minutes later he had his second hat-trick in two games when, after Andy Moran’s effort was blocked by Durcan, he hammered home the rebound.

Despite taking their foot off the gas in the last 15 minutes, and Donegal adding an unanswered goal and three points, Mayo were still able to cruise to a 16 point win and will now face Tyrone in the All Ireland semi final.

Indeed, the only regret Mayo will have is the needless second yellow received by Man-of-the-Match Aidan O’Shea late in the game.

However, having scored 13-65 in their last four games, few would bet against them going all the way this year.

Scorers for Mayo: Cillian O’Connor 3-4 (0-2f, 0-1 ’45), Donal Vaughan 1-0, Alan Freeman, Alan Dillon 0-2 each, Keith Higgins, Colm Boyle, Chris Barrett, Seamus O’Shea, Kevin McLoughlin, Richie Feeney, Kevin Keane, Enda Varley, Andy Moran 0-1 each.

Scorers for Donegal: Michael Murphy 0-6 (0-4f), Colm McFadden 1-0, Mark McHugh 0-2, Karl Lacey, David Walsh 0-1 each.

MAYO: Robert Hennelly; Chris Barrett, Ger Cafferkey, Tom Cunniffe; Lee Keegan, Donal Vaughan, Colm Boyle; Aidan O’Shea, Seamus O’Shea; Kevin McLoughlin, Alan Dillon, Keith Higgins; Cillian O’Connor, Alan Freeman, Andy Moran.

Subs: Cathal Carolan for Cunniffe (26), Richie Feeney for Dillon (46), Enda Varley for Moran (48), Darren Coen for O’Connor (53), Kevin Keane for Boyle (57).

DONEGAL: Paul Durcan; Paddy McGrath, Neil McGee, Eamonn McGee; Declan Walsh, Anthony Thompson, Frank McGlynn; Neil Gallagher, Rory Kavanagh; Mark McHugh, Ryan Bradley, Ryan McHugh; Patrick McBrearty, Michael Murphy, Colm McFadden.

Subs: Karl Lacey for Thompson (24), Martin McElhinney for Neil McGee (half-time), Declan Walsh for Bradley (half-time), Leo McLoone for Kavanagh (44), Marty Boyle for McGrath (60).

Mayo to face Tyrone and Dubs to play Kerry in All-Ireland semi-final ties

As it happened: Mayo v Donegal, All-Ireland SFC quarter-final

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