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Red Hands rue their wastefulness

Tyrone 0-12 Mayo 1-10

By Declan Bogue

The chance of making a league final is still alive for Tyrone, but they will require snookers in next week's final round of league games.

After this bruising defeat to Mayo, they need Dublin to beat Monaghan - probable.

And Mayo to beat Donegal - possible. And, and this is the tricky one, for themselves to go down to Killarney and floor Kerry. Hmm.

And so to sun-splashed Healy Park and the first game of the summertime and two teams that have little regard for each other.

With 15 wides and three efforts dropped short, Tyrone stood in stark contrast to Mayo's proficiency, who in hitting four points in the second half, accrued only two wides.

Having mined 1-10 from 17 efforts, the games' only goal proved the difference for Mayo. Shortly after Lee Keegan had been black carded for a foul on Ronan McNabb, Cillian O'Connor found Andy Moran inside with Tom Parsons coming steaming off his shoulder. He collected the pass and placed it in the bottom corner beyond Niall Morgan.

It provided the cushion for Tyrone's first home league defeat since two years ago against Cork on Easter Sunday.

On their wastefulness, Tyrone manager Mickey Harte wasn't for throwing his players under the bus.

"It tells it's tale on the scoreboard," he said obviously deflated.

"Again, I can't fault the effort of the boys, they worked hard, particularly in the second half against the breeze. There's no doubt we created enough chances to get something out of the game but if the ball doesn't go between the posts, it doesn't work. So there's learning in that for us."

In private, you expect it could be a different story. It was a case of the same old failings when they come up against top-class opposition.

After going in at half-time 1-6 to 0-8 down, Tyrone had a chance to go ahead in the opening minutes of the second half when Conor Meyler - on as a black card replacement for Niall Sludden in another baffling interpretation of the rule - trapped a spilled ball and was presented with a soccer-style shot on David Clarke, that was fluffed.

That was after another chance of a major score in the first half when a high ball sent in by Kieran McGeary was not cut out by Keegan.

The bobble presented itself to Tiernan McCann who couldn't clear the crossbar from close range.

Nobody likes digesting too many statistics, but this is Tyrone's sixth league game and they only have a solitary goal - Aidan McCrory against Dublin - to show for it.

Yet they have practically everything else in the game going for them.

Once they equalised on 58 minutes, Lane may as well have called next score the winner, both sides as punch-drunk as the other.

For some reason, McCann found himself playing target man and he fed a ball to Mark Bradley on the loop around and the outstanding young attacker made it his third of the afternoon to go level for the eighth time.

From then on the game turned sloppy. Players that had been on all the match were sloppy, while the newcomers couldn't get to the pitch of it.

Bradley was fouled for a scoreable free that Peter Harte dropped short. Darren McCurry's effort sliced wide, as did McGeary's.

Colm Cavanagh made a drive forward and wriggled through two Mayo defenders for a clear sight on goal but his effort dropped short to Clarke.

Cillian O'Connor hit a tired effort from range that never looked like going over.

In the end, Mattie Donnelly took the initiative and went on a drive towards the heart of the Mayo defence. He was held up, his jersey was clearly pulled, but not for the first time in the afternoon referee Conor Lane proved unpopular among the home support as he gave a free out.

The Mayo attack flew down the field and Kevin McLoughlin escaped Cathal McCarron to secure possession, turn back infield and land a final haymaker, from distance and off the left to kick the final point in the 72nd minute.

Even at that, there was still time for Tyrone corner-back Padraig Hampsey to advance and kick a poor shot that landed well short. It was just the latest example of a failing that has hurt Tyrone in the final reckoning of recent Championship defeats - they haven't enough scorers.

TYRONE: N Morgan 0-1f; P Hampsey, R McNamee, C McCarron; R McNabb, A McCrory, T McCann 0-1; C Cavanagh, M Donnelly; K McGeary 0-2, N Sludden 0-1, P Harte; M Bradley 0-3, S Cavanagh 0-2, 1f, D McCurry 0-2

Subs: C McShane for McNamee (53), H Loughran for McNabb (56), J Munroe for McCrory (69)

Yellow card: McCarron (69), Loughran (76)

Black card: Sludden (15, replaced by C Meyler),

Red cards: 0

MAYO: D Clarke; B Harrison, K Higgins, C Barrett; C Boyle, L Keegan, P Durcan 0-2; T Parsons 1-0, D Kirby; F Boland, C O'Connor 0-5, 3f 1x'45', S Nally 0-1; K McLoughlin 0-2, A Moran, D Drake

Subs: D O'Connor for Boland (45), A O'Shea for Moran (55), J Doherty for Drake (64), C O'Shea for Nally (69)

Yellow card: Drake (1), Durcan (9), Moran (19)

Black card: Keegan (27 - replaced by S Coen), Kirby (51 - replaced by D Vaughan)

Red cards: 0

Referee: Conor Lane (Cork)

Attendance: 7,850

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