By Mike Fitzpatrick
Mayo 2-8, Cork 1-9
This senior football Div. II game produced one of the most exciting finishes at Gaelic Park for some time with Mayo overcoming Cork by 2-8 to 1-9.
Cork, out to capture their second consecutive victory of the season in their run to get back to the top division, crashed in the final two minutes to this exciting Mayo side, which has its 100 percent record intact.
Cork seemed to be the safe bet, leading the tie for much of the afternoon, thanks to the scoring efforts from Brian Flood, John Mahoney and Alan Barry.
It was Mahoney’s peculiar goal, however, that separated the sides at half time. Seemingly aiming for a point, Mahoney’s effort somehow crept over Gary Staunton in the Mayo goal and into the back of the net.
Follow us on social media
Keep up to date with the latest news with The Irish Echo
Piaras O’Reilly’s fine play in the Mayo forward line continued to threaten the Cork defense and his first half tally of three points brought Mayo to within a goal of catching up with their Munster rivals.
Leading by 1-6 to 0-6 at half time, the Cork bench was delighted to witness Alan Barry and Flood notch further efforts for the Munster side.
Mayo slipped further behind when Flood banged another over for Cork, but something was brewing in the minds of the Mayo forwards, as they began bombarding their way through the Cork defense.
A great goal from Johnny Curtin brought Mayo right back into the tie. Trailing by three points with 12 minutes to go, Kevin Tuohy hit a crucial effort for Mayo, meaning that they needed a goal to win the tie.
Staunton made a crucial save in the Mayo box, and immediately punted the ball forward. With time slipping by, a little tussling in midfield gave Mayo a free and the chance to move forward and score. Johnny Curtin linked on to some fabulous work on the half forward line, and slammed the ball in past the outstretched arms of Paddy O’Sullivan.
The celebrations at the end of the game by the Mayo players suggested that they had clinched promotion. A sign of things to come perhaps?
Mayo: Gary Staunton, Niall McMahon, David Hyland, Denis Curtin, Michael Reddington, Michael MacDonncha, Eamonn McEvoy, Kevin Tuohy (0-2), John Browne, Mickey McGahon (0-1), Piaras O’Reilly (0-4), Gerry Kelly, Johnny Curtin (2-1), Alan Ryan, Ollie Flynn. Sub: Christy Fallon
Cork: Paddy O’Sullivan, Joe O’Sullivan, Morgan Burns, Ken Delanty, Liam Hanley, CJ Doherty, Philip O’Neill, Ian Smith, Teddy Mulvihill, Brian Flood (0-4), Alan Barry (0-2), Brendan Wylie, John Mahoney (1-1), Denis Kiley, Jeremy Holland (0-2). Sub: Denis Mahoney.
Man of the Match: Mickey McGahon (Mayo)