GAA: Mayo forced to extra time by Derry before winning
Last Updated: 02/07/17 6:58am
Mayo produced a superb display in extra-time to keep their 2017 championship hopes alive as they pulled away to send Derry crashing out by 2-21 to 1-13 at MacHale Park in Castlebar.
But behind that scoreline lies a big escape for a Mayo side who shot 17 wides in regular time and were in serious danger of bowing out of the title race.
However, Derry were just unable to keep up the extent of their challenge and managed to score just one point in extra-time as their battle fizzled out.
Substitutes Conor Loftus and Jason Doherty scored goals for Mayo in a game where Aidan O'Shea made his first start and impressed throughout.
His display and the quality of the performances produced by the bench will be among the positives Stephen Rochford will take into the next round.
But Mayo will need to be more clinical in front of goal if they are to repeat last season's feat of reaching the All-Ireland final through the back door.
Mayo had the breeze in the opening half but trailed by 0-8 to 0-7 at the break, shooting eight wides in the process.
The All-Ireland finalists got a perfect start with a pointed free from Cillian O'Connor after less than a minute, but they found themselves 0-4 to 0-2 behind after 17 minutes as Derry took the game to them.
Andy Moran slotted a point after eight minutes but he was the only Mayo forward to score from play in the opening half.
Ryan Bell was a threat throughout for Derry and he kicked two excellent points, with Niall Loughlin excellent on frees.
The crowd of 11,465 were treated to an exciting second-half with Mayo drawing level at 0-10 each going into the final quarter.
Loughlin and James Kielt opened up a two-point lead for Derry but Paddy Durcan sparked a Mayo revival when he went forward to score three minutes from time.
Then a good move involving Seamus O'Shea and Cillian O'Connor set up Conor Loftus for a smashing goal, with the sub from Crossmolina following quickly with a point to put Mayo 1-12 to 0-12 in front going into stoppage time.
But Derry never gave up and forced the game to extra-time when Mark Lynch fisted home a delivery from McWilliams.
Mayo got on top in the first period of extra-time with Jason Doherty shooting a goal, while at the other end David Clarke saved a penalty from Kielt to lead by 2-17 to 1-13 at the interval, although they lost Durcan to a red card following an off the ball incident.
Cillian O'Connor again finished as top scorer for Mayo with a dozen points and while they will want to rectify the wayward shooting, they will take great hope from the way they outscored Derry by 1-9 to 0-1 in extra-time.
Mayo: D Clarke; B Harrison, G Cafferkey, C Barrett; C Boyle, L Keegan (0-1), P Durcan (0-1); D Vaughan, T Parsons; F Boland, A O'Shea (0-1), S Coen; K McLoughlin (0-1), C O'Connor (0-12, 0-9f), A Moran (0-2).
Subs: D O'Connor (0-1) for O'Shea (24-25, temp) & for Boland (h-t), S O'Shea for Vaughan (55), J Doherty (1-1) for Coen (55), C Loftus (1-1) for Moran (59), D Drake for Harrison (64), C Crowe for Barrett (81), S Nally for Keegan (85), D Kirby for McLoughlin (87).
Derry: B McKinless; N Keenan, B Rogers, K McKaigue; C McFaul, C McKaigue, C McWilliams; C McAtamney, D Heavron (0-1); R Bell (0-3), N Loughlin (0-6, 0-5f), E Lynn; D Tallon, M McEvoy, B Heron (0-1).
Subs: E McGuckin for McAtamney (35, black card), M Lynch (1-1) for Tallon (46), J Kielt (0-1f) for Bell (58), S McGuigan for Lynn (68), C Nevin for McEvoy (75), G O'Neill for Loughlin (85), C Doherty for Heron (87).
Referee: Maurice Deegan (Laois)