Masters title for Mayo
September 19, 2006
Last weekend started so brightly for Mayo supporters as they claimed the All-Ireland Masters football title following an enthralling encounter against Dublin at Cusack Park, Mullingar.
The match was played as passionate as any and if anyone had any thoughts that this final didn't mean much to the players, then all they had to do was look at both camps following the final whistle.
Mayo players were ecstatic and cried tears of joy, while the Dubs looked disconsolate after they had given it their all over the course of the hour.
When the sides met earlier in the year, Dublin came out on top and were favourites to defend their title, but Mayo should great character and determination to win by a comfortable eight points.
The match itself saw Mayo get off to a great start when the impressive Noel Stagg pointed from play inside the first minute. Dublin immediately responded through Jack Sheedy, Brendan Mulhere and Mick Deegan to take the lead after ten minutes.
Mayo replied through Ger Butler and then goalkeeper Pat Reape made amends for dropping the ball to Dublin corner forward Kevin O'Brien by excellently saving the resultant shot.
Stagg soon shot over his second point of the day and the same player followed that up with a goal after good work by defender Padraig Flannery.
Jack Sheedy responded for the Dubs with two frees, but Mayo took control for the remainder of the half and scored five unanswered points to lead at the break by 1-9 to 0-5.
Man-of-the-match Stagg put the game beyond doubt just two minutes in the second half when once again he raced through the Dublin defence and fired an unstoppable shot into the net.
Dublin showed great character to stage a comeback as Sheedy, O'Brien (2) and Deegan helped close the gap to six with 13 minutes of the match remaining, but Mayo responded through substitute Paul McStay and Stagg to record a memorable victory.
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