Super 8s: Donegal miss out on semi-finals after defeat by Mayo

Donegal defender Stephen McMenamin closes in on Mayo's James Carr in Castlebar
Donegal defender Stephen McMenamin closes in on Mayo's James Carr in Castlebar

Donegal failed to make the All-Ireland semi-finals as Mayo progressed with a 1-14 to 1-10 victory in the Super 8s encounter at a rainswept Castlebar.

The Ulster champions needed to avoid defeat to go through while it was a must-win game for the Connacht hosts.

Cillian O'Connor's goal helped a dominant Mayo team into a 1-7 to 0-4 lead at the break.

Michael Murphy scored a penalty as Donegal fought back to trail by a point but Mayo responded to take the win.

Mayo, who are in the semi-finals for the eighth time in nine years, finished second in Group One with Kerry topping the standings thanks to a 2-18 to 1-13 victory over Meath in Navan.

Tyrone and Dublin have already sealed semi-final spots from Group Two ahead of their Super 8s meeting in Omagh on Sunday.

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Bonner rues poor Donegal finishing in Castlebar defeat

Points from Paddy McBrearty and Niall O'Donnell gave Donegal the perfect start before Mayo seized control at MacHale Park.

The westerners reeled off three straight scores and Donegal keeper Shaun Patton produced a good save to deny Darren Coen before Mayo's Keith Higgins was black-carded and Murphy levelled from the resulting free.

A further three Mayo points were followed by their goal with O'Connor palming in when a Jason Doherty shot fell short.

Murphy's free halted the Mayo charge although the hosts notched up the final score of first half courtesy of a second point from captain Paddy Durcan.

O'Donnell reduced the gap to five on the restart but James Carr responded for Mayo before Murphy was hauled down by Lee Keegan for the penalty after 42 minutes.

Donegal captain converts from the penalty spot in the Super 8s game on Saturday
Donegal captain converts from the penalty spot in the Super 8s game on Saturday

Murphy supplied a cool finish and Mayo substitute Kevin McLoughlin banged over before Ciaran Thompson and McBrearty added momentum to Donegal's comeback.

Patton produced another excellent save, this time from an Andy Moran strike, before Murphy split the posts to make it a one-point game.

Mayo moved up a gear to pull clear with Durcan and O'Connor taking their lead out to three.

Donegal lost Paul Brennan to a black card but stayed in touch through a Daire O'Baoill point.

The final minutes belonged to Mayo veteran Moran - the substitute scored three of the final four points with the other coming from Donegal skipper Murphy.

It was deserved win for Mayo but Donegal will rue poor finishing in the second half as they missed out on a first semi-finals appearance in five years.

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