Tyrone bridges eight-year gap to beat Mayo in the league and allay Division 1 relegation fears
All-Ireland champion Tyrone allayed his Allianz NFL Division 1 relegation worries by defeating Mayo for the first time in the league since 2014.
Our weeks before defending their Ulster title against Fermanagh, Tyrone was recovering from last weekend’s mauling against Dublin and repeating his All-Ireland Final win over the Connacht side.
Spurred on by Peter Harte, Tyrone dominated the first half and was not the least bit flattered by the five-point lead.
Though they scored just three points in the second half, Mayo’s lack of penetrating power – her starting forwards made it 0-1 from the game – meant the visitors’ comeback ultimately fell short
Tyrone’s fate in the top flight is once again in her own hands – although it remains a major challenge. Essentially, Kerry needs to bat at Killarney next Sunday to secure Division 1 football in 2023. Otherwise, they depend on other outcomes to survive.
Although this was Mayo’s second loss on a spin, they could still reach the final if they beat Kildare in their final round-robin group game next Sunday at Carrick-on-Shannon.
Goaltender Rob Hennelly retired from the Mayo team late – Rory Byrne took his place – meaning the visitors had just six survivors from their All-Ireland team. In contrast, Tyrone fielded 12 of his last team, reflecting how dire their need for league points was compared to their opponents.
Although Aidan O’Shea was listed as a central defender in the starting line-up, he went to midfield for a throw-in and then acted as a sweeper – but had no effect.
Despite a 3-0 loss to Kerry, Fergal Boland was put into defence.
After an underperforming performance against Dublin, it was noticeable how much more focused the home side seemed from the start.
Mayo’s reserve goalkeeper Byrne struggled with his restarts as Tyrone’s All Ireland final in midfield with Conn Kilpatrick and Brian Kennedy dominating the changes and the home side leading 4-0 to 0-0 after ten minutes.
Darragh Canavan was prominent in the early exchange, setting up a point for his brother-in-law Peter Harte before hitting a point from a marker. Such was his influence that Mayo Oisin persuaded Mullin to tag him.
Mayo, on the other hand, seemed listless – it was only in the 16th minute that the first shot on goal came. Before that, an attempted short free-kick went astray and ended in a quick counter-attack and Tyrone’s fifth point from Rory Brennan.
Jason Doherty had a half chance but delayed his attempt and Paul Towey’s shot attempt was blocked by Brian Kennedy and the center forward also missed a 45.
Traditionally, Mayo has always found it difficult to break through Tyrone’s extensive defense, which featured 15 men behind the ball. Although they had more possession, they made absolutely no progress. The poverty of their attack was underscored by the fact that they didn’t score their first outside shot until the 16th minute.
They finally opened their account in the 22nd minute with a Ryan O’Donoghue free-kick after the referee ruled that Fergal Boland had been fouled.
Conor Meyler struck his second and Tyrone’s sixth before Mayo finally showed some company in attack, breaking through Tyrone’s defense with a double between David McBrien and Jordan Flynn before the midfielder scored Mayo’s first point and wasn’t out until the 22nd minute was.
Six minutes later it should have been a three-point game. But after doing well, he claimed Paul Towey’s weak shot was easily blocked by Niall Morgan.
Mayo certainly finished the half better than they started. But it was Tyrone who proved more sober as the superb Peter Harte sped past Mayo full-back David O’Brien before scoring his second point. And to compound Mayo’s problems, Harte added his third after another turn-over.
O’Donoghue added his second free-kick after a foul on Matthew Ruane just before the break to give Tyrone, who had the wind advantage, an 8-0 lead at the break. 0-3 The poverty of the Mayo attack was highlighted by the failure of one of their forwards to score from open play in the first half, while at the other end Peter Harte oozed class.
Tyrone substitute Mattie Donnelly and Matthew Ruane traded points early in the second half before Ryan O’Donoghue pulled off a monster result. It was the first time the visitors had scored points in a row.
It was a three-pointer after just 42 minutes when Tyrone botched a short free-kick and was turned over and after Aidan O’Shea carried the ball off defense Jordan Flynn lobbed over a long point. Now it was up to the Mayo blanket defense to frustrate Tyrone as they were flipped over as they made contact with the ball.
Mayo was a converted team and points from substitute Jack Carney and a free-kick from O’Donoghue after Tyrone botched their restart left a point between the sides in the 50th minute.
With 15 minutes scoreless, Darren McCurry had Tyrone’s second point of the half but it was Mayo who dominated but they struggled to convert possession into points. Ryan O’Donoghue’s fourth free point made it a one-point game again with eleven minutes remaining.
The level of play dropped alarmingly as Tyrone was guilty of a series of unforced errors, but Mayo’s lack of punch was also significant.
Almost 15 minutes of goalless action was finally punctuated with a classy point from Darragh Canavan in the 67th minute and they looked relatively relaxed for the remaining nine minutes.
Kevin McLoughlin was black-carded for a foul on Niall Morgan and Mayo had one last chance when a ball went loose in Tyrone’s goal mouth, but Jack Carney’s shot went wide of team-mate Jordan Flynn and went wide. So Tyrone just held on to his second win of the campaign.
Goalscorers: Tyrone – P Harte 0-3, C Meyler, D Canavan 0-2 (1m) 0-2 each, F Burns, R Brennan, M Donnelly D McCurry 0-1 each. Mayo – R. O’Donoghue 0-5 (4f), J. Flynn 0-2, M. Ruane J. Carney 0-1 each.
Tyrone: NMorgan; M McKernan, P Hampsey, F Burns; Meyer C, Brennan R, McNamee R; C Kilpatrick, B Kennedy; Harte P, Sludden N, McGeary K; D McCurry, C McShane, D Canavan. Substitutes: R Donnelly for Kennedy (ht), M Donnelly for McShane (ht), N Donnelly for Sludden (56), L Rafferty for Brennan (62), B McDonnell for McCurry (70 +1).
Mayo: R Byrne; L Keegan, D McBrien, D McHugh; O Mullin, A O’Shea, S Coen; J Flynn, M Ruane; F McDonagh, P Towey, F Boland; A Orme, J Doherty, R O’Donoghue. Substitutes: J Carney for McDonagh (35+2), E Hession for McHugh (ht), K McLoughlin for Towey (ht), D Coen for Doherty (57), C Loftus for Boland (67).
Referee: Maurice Deegan (Laois).
https://www.independent.ie/sport/gaelic-games/gaelic-football/tyrone-bridge-eight-year-gap-to-beat-mayo-in-league-and-ease-division-1-relegation-fears-41466231.html Tyrone bridges eight-year gap to beat Mayo in the league and allay Division 1 relegation fears