Hard work was at the heart of Mayo's victory but three men led the charge.
Analysis of Mayo’s performance
Robert Hennelly 7
The placing of kick-outs in the first half — straight down the middle — saw Mayo lose a few too many of their own. But he was solid under the high ball late on and kicked a vital ‘45.
Keith Higgins 8
Cork’s Paul Kerrigan started with intent but from Higgins’ heroic block onwards, the Nemo forward was marginalised. Drove forward and kicked a crucial, lead point.
Ger Cafferkey 7
A nightmare start. Gave away the penalty and looked to be one foul away from a second yellow too. But he stuck at it and atoned in the second half with a much more accomplished display.
Tom Cunniffe 8
Started on Fiachra Lynch before being sent in to tackle the problem that was Donncha O’Connor. Crucially turned Cork’s talisman from a huge influence into a peripheral figure.
Richie Feeney 7
Was on Fintan Goold from the start and kept the Cork wing-forward at bay in a quiet and efficient way. Used the ball well down the final stretch when Mayo needed cool heads..
Donal Vaughan 8
That Pearse O’Neill was of little influence is a credit to the Kanturk native who manned his patch with authority. Made a couple of key tackles late on and a vital block from a goal chance.
Trevor Mortimer 9
We know his best position now. Paddy Kelly was a player many worried about but Mortimer ended up making Cork’s playmaker worry about him with his regular raids forward. Immense..
Aidan O’Shea 7
While he gave away too much possession (including the one which led to Cork’s second goal), that he got on so much ball needs to be remembered too. Helped Mayo win the midfield battle..
Seamus O’Shea 9
Was the single biggest reason why Mayo were in the game at half-time with an inspired display of fielding and hard work. Kept the much-lauded Alan O’Connor quiet before going off injured.
Kevin McLoughlin 8
Gave away one sloppy early ball but grew from there. One big hit on Cadogan set the tone for Mayo, almost as much as his wonderful goal. Linked well and worked hard.
Alan Dillon 7
We make it 21 minutes before he touched the ball in a virtually anonymous first half, but he won a key free right on the half-time whistle and was more prominent and effective in the second half.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Andy Moran 9
Sunday was the day the seasoned campaigner really delivered in a big game. Ran Michael Shields ragged and was a constant outlet for ball when Mayo really needed him inside. A natural leader.
Enda Varley 6
Didn’t get on as much ball as he would have liked and took the wrong option a couple of times when in possession. To his credit, did kick a vital and far from straightforward free.
Alan Freeman 6
Is capable of better and will know that himself. He picked up a good free when he superbly fielded close to goal but wasn’t really in the game at full-forward or on the wing.
Cillian O’Connor 8
Solid and dependable with all the frees and was the very same in general play. Sought the ball and used it very well too. Played with a maturity that belied his nineteen years.
Jason Doherty 8
Looked shaky and bereft of confidence with his first couple of touches but settled, proved an invaluable outlet inside, and kicked a hugely important point.
Ronan McGarrity 7
Made an impact around the middle and got on plenty of ball and used it very well. A serious asset to have off the bench in a game like this.
Peadar Gardiner 6
Hadn’t a lot to do in his period on the field but did little wrong and brought a good energy to the middle of the field when needed.
Aidan Campbell 6
Again, not on the field long but did the few things he had to do well. Tough game to come onto but he got to the pace of it.
Not on long enough to be rated.
It might be argued that the two changes from the Connacht Final didn’t work terribly well, but they acted quickly to move Ger Cafferkey off Donncha O’Connor early on and most match-ups were spot-on. Moving Andy Moran to the full-forward line also paid dividends.
Subs all contributed and management ought to take credit too for Mayo’s fitness levels and tremendous work-rate.