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Late goal sees Mayo's title safe | Print |  Email
Monday, 06 October 2003
Mayo 1-4 Dublin 0-5

Mayo retained their All-Ireland senior football crown, but only just, as it took a last-gasp goal by corner forward Diane O'Hora to settle the contest. It was a low-scoring game, with a greater wides tally for each side than score tally, but it meant there was never much between the two sides. Dublin had never reached a senior final before, but it didn't prevent them from providing the defending champions with a stern test. Points from Karen Hopkins and Mary Nevin put them in the driving seat early on, but Mayo's greater experience helped them recover and move into a two-point lead by half time, 0-4 to 0-2. Dublin might have been in front at the break but for some dreadful shooting, however they clawed their way back into the game in the second half. Angie McNally pointed a free over the bar before Sinéad Ahern levelled the scores with a superb solo effort. But with only minutes to go, Gemma Fay put Dublin into the lead and it looked as though the debutantes might have done enough. Mayo's quest for an equaliser was frustrated by some great goalkeeping by Cliona O'Connor, but eventually the chance came for the Westerners. A free kick fell on the edge of the square, O'Hora gathered and kicked to the net to put the holders two points clear. The final whistle sounded less than a minute later and Mayo's title was safe.

The victory was a particularly emotional once for Mayo as one of last year's winning squad, Aisling McGing, was killed in a road accident near Castlebar in July. Aisling's two sisters Sharon and Michelle were overcome as they collected their medals, this time without their sister.

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