A far more clinical Mayo saw off the challenge of Tipperary in the All Ireland quarter final in Tullamore on Bank Holiday Monday. Mayo took control of the game after some initial shadow boxing and never looked back. With Aidan Walsh pulling the strings in midfield and Fergal Durkin getting through a lot of work on the fringes of the midfield they had the perfect platform to attack from and full forward Cillian O'Connor was always a threat through out the contest. But the Mayo management team will know that they will have to make improvements ahead of the semi-final in four weeks time.
Tipperary hit the front in the tenth minute when Billy Hewitt landed a free from a tight angle on in the left corner as both sides were still trying to shape each other up. But the lead only lasted two minutes as Mayo hit back in emphatic style when Alex Corduff almost burst the net with powerful drive from close range. The big Ballina man got on the end of a move that stretched the length of the pitch. A Tipperary free dropped short into the arms of Michael Slingermann who had no choice but to drive the ball up field, Fergal Durkin showed great determination to win what looked like a hopeless cause out near the side line the far side of the field. Durkin's snap ball into Cillian O'Connor was quickly passed on to Corduff who powered the ball to the back of the net from close range. Mayo registered their first point of the game in the 14th minute when Ciaran Charlton found space to point from 35 yards out after good build up play involving Shane McDermott and Cillian O'Connor who had a hand in almost everything good Mayo did in the first half.
In a first half that saw three majors hit the back of the net, Tipperary came close to scoring their first just after the quarter of an hour mark when a Ross McGrath effort for a point dropped short and Johnny McMahon got a fist to the ball, but Slingermann was equal to the effort in the Mayo goal and put it past the post for a 45'.
Mayo doubled their tally in the goal column ten minutes before the break when a deft ball by Aidan Walsh from the middle of the park was collected by Alex Corduff who charged at goal drawing a defender to him creating space for Darren Coen to break into and the Hollymount man was able to skip past one man before crashing the ball to the back of the net from 21 yards, to put Mayo six clear. Corduff landed a point shortly after to as Mayo looked to have the game under control, but Tipperary weren't done yet and they got their reward for sticking with it when Eddie Kendrick hit a three pointer. Thomas Hill clipped the ball over the top of the Mayo defense, Kendrick and Johnny McMahon collided and almost lost the ball, but McMahon picked it up and broke for Slingermann goal, he played in Kendrick at the right time and he placed the ball low to the left hand corner of the net. Hewitt added another point for the Munster men from a free in a similar position he hit the opening score of the game to put only three before the sides with five minutes left in the half, but Mayo found their rhythm again before the end of the half and two points form Andrew Farrell send them in leading at the break by 2-4 to 1-2.
Mayo didn't waste much time getting back into the flow of things after the break with Jack McDonnell pointing inside a minute and half of the restart, which he followed up with two poor wides though. Cillian O'Connor got his first score of the day when he pointed a free three minutes in to put Mayo into a seven point lead. Two Johnny McMahon free's from more or less dead in front of the posts from 21 yards between the 9th and 11th minute of the second half closed that gap back to five points, as the game entered a messy period where neither side were able to hold on to the ball and put a constructive together. But that period was broken in dramatic style on 47 minutes. Jack McDonnell played in Aidan Walsh who drove the ball across the face of the goal where O'Connor picked up the ball and near the end line cut inside his man and flashed a brilliant drive to the back of net from a tight angle.
A minute later Walsh clipped over another Mayo score form a tight angle on the turn, then Daryl Herbert who had just been introduced added his name to the sheet for the day when he pointed after a neat move down the left flank which saw him play a quick one-two with Fergal Durkin before he pulled the trigger. Hewitt landed two frees for Tipp' to cut the gap, but the game was up at this stage for the beaten Munster champions.
Ciaran Charlton scored a sweet point three minutes before time when he was picked out by Aidan Walsh on the right wing and he bent the ball over the bar with the outside of his boot, both sides had ran their benches at this stage and Brian Walsh was only on the field a matter of seconds before he made his own dent in the scoreboard with a easy finish from a close range. Tipp' did get the last two scores of the game through a brace of free's from full forward Johnny McMahon but it was far to little to late as Ray Dempsey's men march on to the semi-final where they will await the winners of the Down and Dublin quarter final on August 30.
Mayo: M Slingermann; M Walsh, K Rodgers, D Gavin; M McCormack, S McDermott, C Charlton (0-2 ); D Kirby, A Walsh (0-1 ); D Coen (1-0 ), A Farrell (0-2 ), F Durkin; J McDonnell (0-1 ), C O'Connor (1-1, 1f ), A Corduff (1-1 ). Subs: D Herbert (0-1 ) for D Coen (40 mins ), J Donoghue for McDonnell (44 mins ), C Crowe for McCormack (50 mins ), B Walsh(0-1 ) for Durkin (57 mins ) , J Carney for Walsh (60 mins )
Tipperary: A Wall; P Dalton, J Ryan, G Quinn; L Murphy, G Mulhair, D Dwyer; A Matassa, E Kendrick (1-0 ); T Hill, B Hewitt (0-4, 4f ), R McGrath, R Peters, J McMahon (0-4, 4f ), S Fagan. Subs: L Tracy for Fagan (26 mins ), S Power for Peters (41 mins ), E Kent for Matassa (53 mins ), J Carroll for Quinn (56 mins ).
Ref: E Kinsella