Monaghan's dream crushed
Monaghan 1-12 Mayo 3-19: A slicker, sharper and infinitely more accurate Mayo side brought an abrupt end to what had been a memorable season for Monaghan in emphatic fashion.
An All-Ireland minor football semi-final that initially promised much ultimately produced a rather one-sided contest in which Mayo appeared capable of scoring at will and indeed should have won by considerably more given the ration of chances which they scorned.
Monaghan, who won both the Ulster Minor League and Championship, had no answer to the pace and penetration of Mayo, who attacked almost relentlessly from all areas of the park and boasted 10 scorers at the finish.
By the end of the first quarter Mayo had built up a handsome 0-7 to 0-2 lead with Michael Hall, Liam Irwin and Stephen Coen losing no time in stamping their imprint on the proceedings.
David McAllister's free-taking kept Monaghan afloat and when Conor McCarthy slalomed in for a 22nd minute goal they appeared to have discovered their fluency.
That score was negated within 60 seconds, thanks to a fine individual goal from Conor Loftus that thrust Mayo into a 1-7 to 1-4 lead, a position from which they never looked back.
By half-time they were ahead by 1-10 to 1-6 and they turned the screw even more after the re-start when Michael Plunkett swept in their second goal.
From then until the end, Mayo were in cruise control, maintaining an incessant blitz that Monaghan were unable to counter.
Tommy Conroy emphasised Mayo's dominance in the closing stages when he slammed in their third goal and with their full quota of substitutes in action by then, Mayo simply glided down the home straight.
For Monaghan manager Frank Brady, this was a particularly bitter pill to swallow. His team had entered the game boosted by their Ulster final win over Tyrone and that fine All-Ireland quarter-final victory over Tipperary, but the wheels came off the wagon in spectacular fashion yesterday.