Mayo secured their place in the All-Ireland semi-final following a merited four-point win over Donegal at a wet McHale Park, Castlebar this evening (Saturday).
Mayo were composed throughout and led by 1-7 to 0-04 at the interval with the decisive score of the opening 35 minutes coming from Cillian O’Connor in the 27th minute.
The winners showed the greater appetite from the throw-in and despite defender Keith Higgins black card in the opening quarter Mayo were resolute and fully deserved their six-point interval lead.
Donegal were given a life-line early in the second half when referee David Goff awarded the Ulster champions a penalty after Michael Murphy was fouled by Lee Keegan.
Murphy duly dusted himself down and despatched the ball past Robert Hennelly to bring it back to a 3-point game (1-08 to 1-05).
Mayo were dealt a further blow after Jason Doherty was stretched off but a Kevin McLoughlin point edged Mayo into a 4-point advantage.
A brace of Donegal points kept Donegal very much in touch with 20 minutes remaining.
Donegal continued to press and Michael Murphy’s point left just a single score between the sides (1-09 to 1-08).
However, Paddy Durcan’s 52nd minute point was inspiring and a Cillian O’Connor free with 12 minutes remaining gave Mayo a 3 point lead.
Donegal - who registered 15 wides in total - tried to get back into contention but two points in quick succession by substitute Andy Moran in the dying minutes secured the win and gives the Mayo supporters another date at GAA headquarters next weekend in the All-Ireland semi-finals against the winners of Dublin and Tyrone.