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Marvellous Mayo dethrone Tyrone

Mayo manager John Maughan celebrates at the final whistle
Saturday, August 07 2004 7:28

Mayo completed an afternoon of shocks at Croke Park as they dethroned All-Ireland champions Tyrone on a 0-16 to 1-9 scoreline today to reach the semi-final of the Bank of Ireland Senior Football Championship.

Not even the great Peter Canavan, who was introduced to the fray in the first half, and a second half Stephen O'Neill goal could prevent the Connacht champions advancing.

Alan Dillon, the star attacker on show with a personal tally of six points, Kieran McDonald, David Brady and the Mortimer brothers all produced sparkling displays to disprove the widely-held theory that Mayo's attacking flair would be smothered by Tyrone's swarm-like defending.

Mayo started well as the marshalling Of Tyrone lynchpin midfielder Sean Cavanagh and the use of David Heaney as a valued sweeper paid dividends. Just two points, both frees, from the champions in the opening twenty minutes told it's own tale.

Mickey Harte's side were dealt a double blow with the sidelining of influential attacker Brian McGuigan before the throw-in and centre-back Conor Gormley forced off with injury on 16 minutes.

Trevor Mortimer and David Brady hit Mayo into a two-point lead, with Dillon and Conor Mortimer adding further points.

Owen Mulligan had pointed Tyrone's sole score from a free, but another from the forward and a first for Mark Harte, from the right wing, saw the champions back within two.

Mayo maintained that two-point advantage at the interval, bolstered by points from Dillon (0-02), Kieran McDonald, Conor Mortimer and rangy midfielder Ronan McGarrity.

The introduction of Peter Canavan on 23 minutes stoked the Red Hand fires, but their supporters had to wait until after the restart for parity.

Tyrone's forwards did hit the upright on four occasions in the second half, but credit to Mayo, they were never headed despite conceding a rocket of a goal from O'Neill on 45 minutes.

The goal, following on from O'Neill and Cavanagh points, drew the champions back level at 1-09 to 0-12.

A Trevor Mortimer fisted point, another Dillon free and closing scores from David Brady and Dillon proved the difference between the sides as Maughan masterminded another historic day for the county's footballers. 

Earlier today, Fermanagh upset the odds to beat the 2002 All-Ireland champions and many people's favourites for the title this year, Armagh.


 



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