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Dogged Mayo through to final

Austin O'Malley knocks over a point for Mayo despite the close attentions of Fermanagh's Niall Bogue
Saturday, August 28 2004 9:57

Fermanagh's championship fairytale came to an end at Croke Park today as Trevor Mortimer and substitute Austin O'Malley scored the clinching points in Mayo's 0-13 to 1-8 win over the Erne men.

Mayo boss John Maughan, in his sixth semi-final appearance with Mayo, has guided the Connacht champions to their first All-Ireland final since 1997.

Conor Mortimer and Kieran McDonald combined to put the Westerners 0-5 to 0-1 in front after 20 minutes, and they looked to be cruising.

Mortimer hit over his fourth point of the half in the 26th minute, but two minutes later saw his goal chance brilliantly blocked out by Fermanagh 'keeper Niall Tinney.

Mayo paid the price as the Ulster side got back to within two at the break, 1-3 to 0-8 down, thanks to substitute James Sherry's 31st minute goal. Eamonn Maguire secured the possession and Sherry stabbed a low-angled shot through Mayo net minder Peter Burke's legs to level the game.

Sherry and Stephen Maguire brought Charlie Mulgrew's men back level within two minutes of the restart, and, incredibly, Fermanagh hit the front on 42 minutes as Colm Bradley stroked over a beautiful point.

It was tit-for-tat from then on, as the sides were brought to parity for a sixth time when Mayo full-back David Heaney's run forward concluded with Conor Mortimer pointing a free for 0-11 to 1-8.

His brother Trevor fisted Mayo in front on 68 minutes, and O'Malley, a star in the league for the Division One side, had the final say with 25 seconds remaining.

Afterwards, Maughan said he was "absolutely relieved." "We were a little bit better than they were at the finish and that proved crucial," he said. 

"We refused to die," Maughan added, before being engulfed in a sea of green and red.

Mayo team unchanged for semi-final, Aug 27 2004
McGarrity and Mortimer boost for Mayo, Aug 24 2004
Mayo and Fermanagh must do it all again, Aug 22 2004
Maughan drops captain for semi, Aug 19 2004
Mayo captain dropped for semi-final, Aug 18 2004
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