Mayo beat Tyrone by the narrowest of margins

TYRONE 1-11 MAYO 1-12


Joe McMahon was sent-off in injury-time as Tyrone's National League woes continued with a one-point home loss to Mayo.

McMahon was flashed a straight red card in Omagh as Tyrone, already with three players suspended, suffered their second Division 1 defeat.

Tyrone, already with the suspended trio of Justin McMahon, Martin Penrose and Conor Gormley, suffered their second Division 1 defeat despite scoring the game's final three points.

Mayo hung on to make it back-to-back wins, with top scorer Mark Ronaldson (1-6) and Tyrone newcomer Eoin McCusker swapping first half goals.

Eoin McCusker, a nephew of Tyrone great Peter Canavan, and Ronan McNabb were among the players brought into the Red Hands side after last weekend's reversal in Derry.

Mayo manager John O'Mahony made one enforced change to the side that beat Galway by seven points in their league opener.

Alan Freeman deputised for suspended captain Trevor Mortimer in the attack.

Andy Moran and Aidan Cassidy exchanged early points as the sides settled, and Tyrone edged ahead when Tommy McGuigan pointed and newcomer McCusker broke through for a 15th minute goal.

It was a terrific five-man move that unlocked the Mayo defence, with Kyle Coney, Cassidy and Sean O'Neill all involved before Brian McGuigan set McCusker up for a fisted finish to the net.

But Ronaldson punished Tyrone goalkeeper Pascal McConnell for an illegal handpass and the Mayo corner forward added his second point soon after as the Connacht side recovered well.

McCusker was worked through for a second goal-scoring opportunity, but Keith Higgins got across to deny him.

The excellent Ronaldson was carrying the fight at the other end of the pitch and he stepped up to plant a 27th minute penalty beyond the reach of McConnell.

Referee White awarded a penalty after Tyrone's captain for the day, Ryan McMenamin, was adjudged to have fouled the advancing Freeman.

Tommy McGuigan notched a point before the break and Ronaldson failed to convert his third successful free as Mayo took a 1-6 to 1-5 lead into the second half.

McGuigan's third point of the game saw the home side square things up, and Tyrone moved ahead thanks to efforts from Cassidy and McCusker.

Then came a crucial push from Mayo as they hit six points on the bounce to move 1-12 to 1-8 ahead by the hour mark.

Free-taker Enda Varley converted a couple of chances, midfielder Tom Parson also picked off a point and Ronaldson and Moran added to their tallies from the first half.

Tyrone boss Mickey Harte introduced Colm McCullagh and Peter Harte for the closing stages and the latter ended a 23-minute scoreless spell for the hosts with a well-struck free.

Further scores from McCullagh and Kevin Hughes set up a nail-biting climax, but tempers flared as the 70th minute approached and McMahon paid the price as Mayo deservedly held on.

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