Mayo advance as ref enrages Cork

Mayo's Aidan O'Shea celebrates scoring a goal past Cork goalkeeper Ken O'Halloran

Mayo 1-19 Cork 2-15

Mayo held on in a gripping finish to deny Cork and book an All-Ireland SFC semi-final date with Kerry.

A thrilling encounter had 37,886 spectators at Croke Park enthralled from start to finish, as the Rebels refused to submit the pre-match favourites.

Cork were incensed that a handful of late decisions by referee Cormac Reilly went against them, as they lost out by the narrowest of margins

Three goals in the space of four minutes late in the game saw the game explode into spectacular action, with the Rebels hitting the net twice to come back from six points behind.

But Mayo’s experience carried them through in the end, with the O’Shea brothers driving their challenge, and defenders Donal Vaughan and Lee Keegan hitting the late scores that carried them through.

Mayo's Jason Doherty and Andy Moran with Eoin Cadogan Brian OÕDriscoll of Cork

Jason Doherty and Brian Hurley traded scores in the early stages, with both sides set up with defensive set-ups, Tom Cunniffe providing cover to his full back line, while Cork had half forwards Mark Collins and Colm O’Driscoll channelling back to help out at the back.

A speculative shot from wide on the right by Jason Doherty almost caught out goalkeeper Ken O’Halloran, who reacted late to deflect the ball away for a ’45 with his toe.

Mayo eased ahead through Cillian O’Connor in the seventh minute, but Cork looked dangerous each time they attacked, and Fintan Goold and Hurley both split the posts as they eased into a 0-4 to 0-2 lead by the 13th minute.

Hurley’s return to form was a major boost to Cork’s ambitions, and when he rounded marker Ger Cafferkey to land his fourth point in the 16th minute, the Rebels lead by three.

Mayo countered again, with the O’Shea brothers, Aidan and Seamus, stepping it up in the middle of the park.

Mayo's Keith Higgins and Aidan Walsh of Cork

Seamus O’Shea and O’Connor (2) fired over points to bring them level by the 20th minute, and Cork lost centre back Tomas Clancy to a black card.

O’Shea fisted over his second to ease the Connacht champions back in front in the 21st minute.

Colm O’Neill and Aidan Walsh, from a long range free, had the Rebels back in front, but O’Connor once again found the target from distance to level again.

They were deadlocked on six occasions during that first half, and went in at the break inseparable on eight points each.

With Seamus and Aidan O’Shea in inspirational form at midfield, they hit seven points, with just one in reply, to go six ahead by the 48th minute.

Moran and Dillon claimed two each, with Vaughan and Kevin McLaughlin also on target, as Cork’s brave challenge began to falter.

Cork players surround referee Cormac Reilly after the final whistle

But Donncha O’Connor came off the bench to add a new spark to the Rebel attack, and they managed to stem the tide and turn the game back in their favour.

Goold and O’Connor rifled over points, and when O’Neill tapped over a free, just three points separated the sides.

And in the 63rd minute, James Loughrey pushed forward to release Donncha O’Connor for a superb goal, and the sides were level.

And anther couple of incredible twists saw both sides grab goals in the space of a minute.

Vaughan carved the opening for Aidan O’Shea to round ‘keeper O’Halloran and plant the ball in the net, but almost immediately, Hurley smashed home a bullet at the other end.

Cork's Eoin Cadogan dejected at the end of the game

But Mayo held firm, and managed to get the crucial scores from Keegan and Vaughan to win see it out with little to spare..

MAYO: R Hennelly, C Barrett, G Cafferkey, K Higgins, L Keegan (0-1), C Boyle, D Vaughan (0-2), T Cunniffe, S O’Shea (0-2), K McLoughlin (0-1), A O’Shea (1-0), J Doherty (0-2), C O’Connor (0-6, 3f), A Moran (0-2), A Dillon (0-3).

Subs: K Keane for Boyle (BC), E Varley for Moran, B Harrison for Barrett, A Freeman for O’Connor, J Gibbons for A O’Shea

CORK: K O’Halloran, J Loughrey, E Cadogan, N Galvin, M Shields, T Clancy, B O’Driscoll, I Maguire, A Walsh (0-1, f), P Kerrigan, M Collins, C O’Driscoll, C O’Neill (0-6, 4f), B Hurley (1-4, 0-1f), F Goold (0-2).

Subs: D Cahalane for Clancy (BC), P Kelly for C O’Driscoll, D O’Connor (1-2, 0-1f)for Collins, J O’Rourke for O’Driscoll, D Goulding for Maguire,

Referee: C Reilly (Meath)

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