Looking like heading to Division 2 midway towards the end of the first half, Mayo produced a fantastic fightback to beat Cork by a point on a scoreline 0-10 to 0-11 and earn themselves a place in the semi finals next weekend. Mayo will take on Dublin for yet another encounter between the two, a pairing that has produced some exciting and memorable games in recent years.
It is no surprise that there were no goals in the game, Cork had gone three games without a goal, Mayo only scoring two in six games.
Mayo twice trailed by 6 points in the first half but fought back at the end of the half to trail by only 3 at the break after playing against a stiff breeze.
Mayo’s much vaunted defence only allowed Cork score twice in the second half. Daniel Goulding scored Cork’s last point eleven minutes from time to give them a one point lead. Cillian O Connor equalized before kicking a free from an acute angle to give Mayo the lead that they did not relinquish.
This is a performance and result that will give Mayo plenty of confidence but it does raise the question of Mayo not performing for the full seventy minutes. No team can expect to be on top for the whole game but Mayo seem to leak scores when they have apparently switched off or not yet switched on. Teams seem to get a run of scores on Mayo that either give Mayo a gap to close or closes the gap on the lead they have built. There are numerous examples of this from the league campaign, every game bar Kerry and Donegal, and added to the opening of last year’s All Ireland final and the last twenty minutes of the All Ireland semi final and James Horan still has to address this. There is also Mayo paltry goals return, two goals in seven games is not going to have too many defences worried. There are still issues that James Horan needs to look at and remedy.
He will do so with a place in the semi final secured and at least one more competitive game ahead of the opening round of the Connacht Championship against Galway on May 19.