All Ireland SFC Round 4A Qualifier
Cillian O’Connor’s 87th minute point, his 11th on a dramatic evening at the Gaelic Grounds, secured a remarkable win for Mayo, with Healy then informing his players that his tenure as manager was over.
Healy’s eventful two-year reign saw the Rebels relegated from Division 1 in 2016 and go out of the Munster Championship at the semi-final stage to Tipperary. This year they suffered an 11-point defeat to Kerry in the Munster final, and failed to gain promotion from Division 2.
O’Connor was Mayo’s star man on the evening, as they reached the All Ireland quarter-finals for a seventh consecutive year. His late 45, which proved to be the match-winning score, capped a stand out individual display which saw him finish with 0-11 (4f, 1×45).
Mayo led 0-10 to 0-7 at half-time and should have secured a more comfortable passage into the last eight, but instead they put their supporters through it, as they surrendered a seven-point lead with just over 20 minutes of normal time remaining.
Goals from Sean Powter and Luke Connolly pegged back last year’s beaten All Ireland finalists, with a last-gasp Donncha O’Connor free forcing extra-time, as Cork simply refused to throw in the towel.
The Rebels took their strong second half finish into extra-time and led by two at the end of the first additional period, but four late Mayo points saw them over the line and ended Cork’s year, and Healy’s reign as manager.
Mayo’s quest for Sam lives to fight another day.
Scorers for Mayo: Cillian O’Connor 0-11 (4fs, 1×45), Andy Moran 0-4, Aidan O’Shea 0-3, Patrick Durcan 0-2, Conor Loftus 0-2, Diarmuid O’Connor 0-1, Jason Doherty 0-1, Lee Keegan 0-1, Tom Parsons 0-1, Keith Higgins 0-1.
Scorers for Cork: Donncha O’Connor 0-6 (4fs), Sean Powter 1-0, Luke Connolly 1-1 (1f), Paul Kerrigan 0-3, John O’Rourke 0-3, Colm O’Neill 0-3 (1f), Michael Hurley 0-2, Barry O’Driscoll 0-1, Tom Clancy 0-1.
MAYO: David Clarke; Brendan Harrison, Ger Cafferkey, Chris Barrett; Leeroy Keegan, Keith Higgins, Colm Boyle; Seamus O’Shea, Tom Parsons; Kevin McLoughlin, Aidan O’Shea, Diarmuid O’Connor; Jason Doherty, Cillian O’Connor, Andy Moran.
Subs: Patrick Durcan for Barrett (44), Stephen Coen for Seamus O’Shea (49), Donal Vaughan for Boyle (53), David Drake for Keegan (59, black card), Conor Loftus for Moran (63). Caolan Crowe for Cafferkey (80+3), Evan Regan for McLoughlin (HT ET), Boyle for Doherty (HT ET), Alan Dillon for Diarmuid O’Connor (87).
CORK: Ryan Price; James Loughrey, Jamie O’Sullivan, Michael Shields; Tomas Clancy, Eoin Cadogan, Colm O’Driscoll; Aidan Walsh, Ian Maguire; Mark Collins, Sean Powter, John O’Rourke; Barry O’Driscoll, Paul Kerrigan, Donncha O’Connor.
Subs: Kevin Crowley for Loughrey (20), Stephen Cronin for O’Sullivan (35+1, black card), Ruairi Deane for Walsh (37), Colm O’Neill for Shields (46), Luke Connolly for Barry O’Driscoll (54), Michael Hurley for O’Connor (62). Sean White for O’Rourke (E/T), Kevin O’Driscoll for Maguire (E/T), Alan O’Connor for Colm O’Driscoll (E/T), Conor Dorman for Crowley (76), Kevin O’Driscoll for Powter (80+3), Shields for Cronin (87).