Mayo’s 1-14 to 1-10 win over Donegal at McHale Park in Castlebar on Saturday evening secured their spot in the All Ireland semi-final next Saturday where either Dublin or Tyrone lies in wait.
In fact, such has been Mayo’s competitiveness over the last decade, this will be their eight All Ireland semi-final in nine seasons.
The green and red were written off before yesterday’s final Super 8s clash with Declan Bonner’s side with the humbling at the hands of Kerry very much in the mind of fans and pundits alike.
However, when their backs are against the wall, time and time again Mayo produce the goods and the clash in Castlebar last night adds yet another chapter to their illustrious history of marching to the final four.
One man who epitomised Mayo’s fighting spirit was Aidan O’Shea and it was the Breaffy man who picked up the man-of-the-match award after he put in a typically dogged display which disrupted any momentum which Donegal attempted to generate.
O’Shea, speaking to Sky Sports after the game, said that the panel knew a lot of people had written them off before the match.
“Coming into the game, a lot of people didn’t give us a chance,” O’Shea said.
“But we knew, with the crowd in MacHale Park, we’d get a huge support. We knew we had a performance in us. We were stumbling along the last couple of weeks, but building up nice momentum, despite a bad loss down in Kerry.
“We knew we just had to get the win today to put ourselves into a semi-final and treated it like a quarter-final at home. What an opportunity to take and we did it.”
Referencing his side’s work-rate throughout, O’Shea says that it’s a pre-requisite for any man who takes to the field in a green and red shirt.
“[Work rate] is something we pride ourselves on, conditions probably lent themselves to getting tackles in and balls slipping out of fellas’ hands. We capitalised on it today.
“It’s what our make-up is about. If you don’t have the basics of hard work and work rate, then you’re going nowhere. We did that today and we got the result.”