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Last Updated: Sunday, 27 August 2006, 16:52 GMT 17:52 UK
Dublin 2-12 1-16 Mayo
Mayo boss Mickey Moran
Mickey Moran's side came back from seven points down to win
Mayo produced an amazing comeback to beat Dublin in an enthralling All-Ireland Football semi-final.

The fired-up Mayo men hit the opening four points but Conal Keaney's goal got Dublin back into the match although Mayo led 0-9 to 1-5 at half-time.

Dublin, with Jason Sherlock goaling, hit 1-4 without reply after the break and were looking set for victory.

But Andy Moran's goal got Mayo back into it and Kieran McDonald hit the winning score with two minutes left.

The win earns Mayo a final meeting with Kerry on 17 September.

Any suggestion that Mayo might be intimidated by the occasion, watched by 82,148 spectators, was quickly dispelled by the Westerners start.

There was action even before the throw-in with the Mayo players operating to have their pre-match routine at the Hill 16 end - much to the consternation of the Dubs fans.

When Dublin did came out, they formed their own version of a rolling maul as they moved purposely in unison to claim their territory - although no physical contact with made with the provocative Mayo men.

The physical contact was performed by fired-up Dubs boss Paul Caffrey who, for some unknown reason, decided that a clumsy shoulder charge on Mayo assistant John Morrison was in order.

When the game did start, Conor Mortimer swung over a fine opening score in the fourth minute to show Mayo's intent.

Kieran McDonald showed his sublime skills at Croke Park
Kieran McDonald (left) hit Mayo's winning score

The gifted McDonald repeated the dose with a gorgeous effort with the outside of his boot and by the 15 minutes, Mayo were four point to nil ahead.

Conal Keaney finally opened Dublin's account in the 17th minute and while Ger Brady did reply for Mayo, Dublin had shaken off their early nerves by the the 23rd minute.

The outstanding Alan Brogan's shot squirmed out of David Clarke's grasp and Keaney was able to stab the ball home to bring the sides level.

When Ray Cosgrove gave the Dubs an undeserved lead a minute later, Mayo looked in trouble.

By that stage, Ciaran Whelan should have been off the pitch after a dreadful high challenge on Ronan McGarrity which later forced the influential Mayo midfielder to depart the fray.

However, Mayo regrouped to stay with the Dubs during the remainder of the half and Mortimer's superb point in injury-time meant the Connacht champions led 0-9 to 1-5 at the break.

Within five minutes of the restart, the game seemed to be over with the Dubs forging a 2-9 to 0-9 lead.

Brogan had levelled before Sherlock finished off a basketball-like move by palming to the net with the Mayo defence marked absent.

This win today was all about having faith in ourselves

Mayo boss Mickey Moran

Conor Mortimer's 43rd minute point to cut Dublin's lead to five was a badly-needed score but the Dubs hit the next two scores from Kevin Bonner and Keaney to lead by seven.

However, Ger Brady's second score of the day and the superb Alan Dillon's third point of the game gave Mayo a glimmer of hope which then was amplified when sub Andy Moran slotted a goal in the 51st minute.

Kevin O'Neill, on as a sub before half-time, continued his second coming with his second score of the match and when Dillon pointed in the 54th minute Mayo were level.

Mortimer's 56th minute meant 1-5 without reply for Mayo but more crucially, they were ahead.

Mayo had further chance to add to their lead over the next eight minutes including missed Mortimer free.

When Dublin counter-attacked and Brogan levelled, a draw looked on the cards but Mayo won possession again and McDonald somehow squeezed over a point from a seemingly impossible angle to put Mickey Moran's side ahead again.

Dublin still had chances to level and it appeared as though Mayo keeper David Clarke actually leaped above his own crossbar to prevent sub Mark Vaughan's '45 from going over.

Vaughan had a further long-range opportunity but he pushed his effort wide off the post.

There was still time for more frenetic action but it was Mayo's day.

Dublin: S Cluxton, D Henry, B Cahill, P Griffin, P Casey, B Cullen, C Goggins, C Whelan, S Ryan, C Keaney (1-3), A Brogan (0-4), R Cosgrove (0-2), J Sherlock (1-0), K Bonner (0-1), T Quinn (0-2). Subs: D Lally, D McGee, C Whelan, S Connell, M Vaughan, C Moran

Mayo: D Clarke, D Geraghty, D Heaney, K Higgins, A Higgins (0-1), J Nallen, P Gardiner, R McGarrity, P Harte, BJ Padden, G Brady (0-2), A Dillon (0-4), M Conroy, C Mortimer (0-5), C McDonald (0-2). Subs: B Moran, K O'Neill (0-2), D Brady, A Kilcoyne, A Moran (1-0)








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