Mayo defeated Tipperary to claim a place in this year’s All-Ireland final. Here, we take a look at the top five performers from this weekend’s Gaelic football action.
Keith Higgins (Mayo)
Higgins was deservedly voted RTÉ‘s man-of-the-match after yesterday’s game. Higgins has been a mainstay in the Mayo defence for years and the Ballyhaunis man once again illustrated his importance to his county’s side during yesterday’s win. Although operating from corner-back, it was Higgins who drove Mayo on and assisted with their first goal, scored by Jason Doherty. It was Doherty’s goal that yielded a purple patch for Mayo in the period leading up to half-time, which ultimately was the winning of the game. Once again, Higgins was as good going forward as he was defending.
Aidan O’Shea (Mayo)
O’Shea caused numerous problems for the Tipperary defence. The Breaffy man’s physical stature and raw power were traits that the Tipperary defence struggled to deal with. O’Shea managed a point from play but it was his overall work-rate and presence in the half-forward line and midfield sectors that impressed the most. Mayo will look for another big performance from the big man in next month’s All-Ireland final.
Jimmy Feehan (Tipperary)
Young Jimmy Feehan was superb for Tipperary yesterday. Their half-back line of Bill Maher, Robbie Kiely and Feehan had been a key weapon in Liam Kearns’ men’s armour on their journey to yesterday’s clash. The Premier side were dealt a massive blow after the early black card given to Robbie Kiely but Feehan stepped up to the plate superbly. The Killenaule man, who was still eligible for the u21 grade this year, has a huge future ahead of him.
Andy Moran (Mayo)
Moran may not have the pace that other marquee forwards possess but his clever, timely runs pose a threat to any defender. The Ballaghaderreen full-forward gave an exhibition of top-class forward play in the first half of yesterday’s game. The 33 year-old managed four points from play in an awesome display of accuracy. Moran was quieter in the second-half but never stopped making clever runs and creating space.
Michael Quinlivan (Tipperary)
Quinlivan didn’t score from play yesterday but the Clonmel Commercials’ man still managed to give a seriously impressive performance. The 22 year-old won numerous frees for the Premier county, which he converted himself, scoring seven frees in total. Quinlivan caused Lee Keegan various problems throughout the game, resulting in the Westport man’s willingness to foul at every possible occasion.
Seán Ó Murchú, Pundit Arena