All-Ireland Final: Tyrone Dash Mayo Dreams With Inspired Performance

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Tyrone have won the 2021 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship after a fantastic performance proved too much for a Mayo side that had taken down the defending champions Dublin in the semi-final stage.

Goals from Tyrone’s Cathal McShane and Darren McCurry proved to be the killing blows on a day in which the Connacht champions failed to take numerous goal chances.

A penalty miss from Ryan O’Donoghue encapsulated the problems that had Mayo had on the day as hit golden opportunity found only the post.

Mayo had started out as the better side in the first minute in their second All-Ireland final in as many years with two quick-fire points acting as a strong attempt to give themselves an early foothold.

However, Tyrone awoke from their momentary slumber and soon took the driving seat in the game, with Mayo chasing them after the tenth minute when Tyrone scored their third point.

Tyrone goalkeeper Niall Morgan was phenomenal for his side after an early gaffe with a kickout.

His kicking was fantastic for the rest of the match and his decision-making was vital to the success of the Ulster champions on the big day.

Morgan’s ability to move up the field and act as a 15th outfield player for Dooher and Logan’s men helped to free up some space for Tyrone further up the pitch.

Tyrone looked to use the right flank often to create plays and scores from the likes of captain Padraig Hampsey and McCurry attest to that.

Mayo, on the other hand, struggled to score from anything other than a central position throughout the match.

James Horan’s men were repeatedly on the left side of the final third in the first half but never took any chances that they fashioned.

Rob Hennelly’s frees were an outlier on the day as Mayo failed to take gilt-edged chances.

Several goal chances came to nothing for the J.J. Nestor Cup holders as they went into their dressing room two points down at the break.

Enda Hession replaced Mayo corner-back Michael Plunkett on the right-hand side of the full-back line at the start of the second half.

Mayo had a huge chance to get into the drivers seat early in the second half when a Ryan O’Donoghue caused panic in the Tyrone square and led to a penalty after Frank Burns picked the ball up illegally.

However, O’Donoghue hit the post with his penalty attempt and chances still came Tyrone’s way and they began to attack the Hill end through the middle of the defence.

Their first attack of the half that went through the middle resulted in a goal for super-sub Cathal McShane, who got his second in two games for the Red Hand.

The side’s traded missed chances for a period of the second half before Stephen Coen found Kevin McLoughlin after a good run and the corner-forward put it between the sticks.

Yet, Tyrone responded as they had done to Rob Hennelly’s second point earlier in the second half as Darren McCurry put the result of the game beyond doubt when he palmed the ball into the net.

Mayo hit two points in quick succession but also shot their tenth wide and further folded as midfielder Matthew Ruane saw red for his part in a scuffle.

A Niall Morgan placed kick sealed the deal for the Ulster giants in the All-Ireland final who will bring home the Sam Maguire 13 years after its last journey to the O’Neill county.

Man of the Match: Niall Morgan (Tyrone)

Mayo: Rob Hennelly; Padraig O’Hora, Lee Keegan, Michael Plunkett; Paddy Durcan, Stephen Coen, Enda Hession; Matthew Ruane, Conor Loftus; Diarmuid O’Connor, Aidan O’Shea (C), Bryan Walsh; Kevin McLoughlin, Tommy Conroy, Ryan O’Donoghue.

Tyrone: Niall Morgan; Michael McKernan, Ronan McNamee, Padraig Hampsey (C); Frank Burns, Peter Harte, Kieran McGeary; Brian Kennedy, Conn Kilpatrick; Conor Meyler, Michael O’Neill, Niall Sludden; Darren McCurry, Mattie Donnelly, Conor McKenna.

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