Mayo saw off Tyrone with ease in Carrick-on-Shannon on Saturday afternoon to set up a winner takes all clash with Armagh next weekend for a place in the Ladies Gaelic football Association All Ireland Senior Football Championship semi-finals.
Peter Leahy’s side had been without a competitive game since March when the league was pulled due to Covid-19, while their opponents were out in championship action last weekend against Armagh - a game they lost 6-13 to 3-13.
Mayo’s 25 point win in the Leitrim venue will have them in fine fettle for when the shape up against the Orchard County.
Things couldn’t have started any better for Mayo when Tamara O’Connor rattle the ball to the back of the net from close range inside the opening minutes. O’Connor moved smartly to intercept a short kick-out from Tyrone keeper’ Laura Keane and she finished with ease to get Mayo up and running.
Mayo dominated the game right from the start but it took them some time to get their shooting boots working as the kicked a number of wides early on and dropped a number of other efforts short of the target - they also used three different free takers in the opening half as they tried to get their radar working correctly.
Mayo led 1-2 to 0-1 at the first water break with a brace of points from Sarah Rowe tagged on after O’Connor’s opening goal their other scores in the opening quarter.
Rowe proved to be the main player on the scoreboard bagging 2-9 over the hour and will be once again one of their key players in their assault on the All Ireland title. But overall this was as excellent team performance with the likes of Ella Brennan, Roisin Durkan, Aileen Gilroy, Clodagh McManamon along with subs Deirdre and Fiona Doherty all pitting in good shifts for Mayo.
Mayo led 2-5 to 0-1 at the half-time whistle with Rowe’s first goal coming 23 minutes in, the Kilmoremoy attacker finished off a flowing move that involved Gilroy, Rachel Kearns and captain Sinead Cafferkey in the build up before Rowe finished to the net.
Grace Kelly kicked two fine points in quick succession with Rowe adding her third point of the day before half-time - but despite dominating the game Mayo manager Peter Leahy knows that his attacking unit will have to be more clinical if they are to have a serious craic at some of the tougher sides in the competition.
The second half was a bit of a procession for Mayo with Leahy running the bench and getting game time into as many legs as he could, but the work rate was kept up right until the end of the game by his charges.
They tagged on eight points from the restart to the second water break with Rowe getting five of those points to lead 2-13 to 0-2 at the final resumption of hostilities in the contest.
Mayo tagged on two goals in the final quarter with Rowe getting her second of the day five minutes from time after being played in by Fiona Doherty after another poor Tyrone kick-out was intercepted by the Moy Davitts attacker before she played in Rowe for the chance.
The fourth goal came along two minutes later when Deirdre Doherty smashed in a close range free to the roof of the net to put the full stop on an impressive win by Mayo.
They move on to the final group game next weekend with a place in the All Ireland semi-final up for grabs against another Ulster side.
Mayo: S Rowe 2-9 (4f ), D Doherty 1-2, G Kelly 0-3, T O’Connor 1-0, A Gilroy 0-1, F Doherty 0-1, Clodagh McManamon 0-1
Tyrone: E Brennan 0-2, N O’Neill 0-1, G Rafferty 0-1 (1f ).
Mayo: L Brennan; S Lally, R Durkin, Ciara McManamon; É Ronayne, D Finn, E Brennan; A Gilroy, Clodagh McManamon; G Kelly, S Cafferky (c ), S Rowe; M Reilly, R Kearns, T O’Connor.
Subs: F Doherty for O’Connor (h-t ), D Doherty for Kearns (36 ), D Caldwell for Lally (43 ), C Whyte for Reilly (47 ), Kathryn Sullivan for Ronayne (48 ).
Tyrone: L Kane; C Hunter, J Barrett, C Conway; T McLaughlin, N Woods (c ), N McGirr; M Mallon, A McHugh; E Hegarty, E Brennan, D Gallagher; N O’Neill, G Rafferty, C McCaffrey.
Subs: E Mulgrew for Hegarty (h-t ), C Kelly for Gallagher (40 ), S Sherrin for Rafferty (40 ), S Byrne for Brennan (51 ), C Munroe for Barrett (51 ).
Referee: Shane Curley (Galway ).