Mayo's Andy Moran celebrates his late goal with Cillian O'Connor. INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Mayo crush Galway by 17 points in Connacht quarter-final

Andy Moran fired home Mayo’s fourth goal of the game in injury-time.

Mayo 4-16
Galway 0-11

IT was an eagerly-awaited showdown between the two Connacht championship giants but today’s battle in Pearse Stadium transpired to be a damp squib as Mayo were far too strong for a poor Galway side.

James Horan’s team issued a significant statement of intent as they equalled the county’s record championship win against the Tribesmen and enjoyed their biggest victory margin since 1907.

Mayo ultimately had 17 points to spare before a crowd of 16,243 at the Salthill venue against a Galway team who finished with 13 men after Gareth Bradshaw and Niall Coleman were both shown red cards in the second-half.

Their success was crowned by the sight of Andy Moran – who came on as a substitute for his first appearance since tearing his cruciate ligament against Down in last August’s All-Ireland quarter-final – firing home their fourth goal of the game in injury-time.

Mayo were boosted by the inclusion of Alan Dillon before the match with Tom Cunniffe also handed a starting berth as Darren Coen and Kevin Keane made way from the starting fifteen that was announced during the week.

Last year’s All-Ireland finalists began brightly to go 0-5 to 0-2 clear by the 10th minute but Michael Meehan did his best to keep Galway in touch with his accuracy from placed balls. However Mayo got through for the first goal of the game in the 15th minute when Cathal Carolan barged through and bundled the ball to the net past Galway debutant Manus Breathnach.

Matters got worse for Galway before the break as Enda Varley fired home Mayo’s second goal in the 32nd minute and then Donal Vaughan raised their third green flag soon after. By the interval Mayo were 3-9 to 0-6 ahead and had essentially put the game to bed.

Young Mayo fan Michael McDonnell celebates.
Pic: INPHO/James Crombie

Galway reeled off the opening three points of the second-half but were hit by the setback of seeing Bradshaw dismissed just after the interval after he was involved in an off-the-ball incident with Kevin McLoughlin.

It was not long before Niall Coleman was also shown a red card when he was in an altercation with Alan Dillon and Mayo strolled to victory from there. Varley and Cillian O’Connor lead the way in the scoring stakes and their joy was complete when Moran came off the bench and smashed home a left-footed shot to the net.

They now advance to face Roscommon in the Connacht semi-final on June 16th while Galway must prepare for the All-Ireland qualifiers after this heavy defeat.

A dejected Galway manager Alan Mulholland.
Pic: INPHO/Cathal Noonan

Scorers for Mayo: Enda Varley 1-3, Cillian O’Connor 0-6 (0-4f), Donal Vaughan 1-1, Cathal Carolan, Andy Moran 1-0 each, Alan Dillon 0-2, Alan Freeman, Lee Keegan, Richie Feeney, Darren Coen 0-1 each.
Scorers for Galway: Michael Meehan 0-5 (0-3f, 0-1 ’45), Danny Cummins, Sean Armstrong (0-1f) 0-2 each, Paul Conroy, Shane Walsh (0-1f) 0-1 each.

MAYO: David Clarke (Ballina Stephenites); Tom Cunniffe (Castlebar Mitchells), Ger Cafferkey (Ballina Stephenites), Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis); Lee Keegan (Westport), Donal Vaughan (Ballinrobe), Colm Boyle (Davitts); Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy), Seamus O’Shea (Breaffy); Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore), Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber), Cathal Carolan (Crossmolina); Enda Varley (Garrymore), Alan Freeman (Aghamore), Alan Dillon (Ballintubber).

Subs: Shane McHale (Knockmore) for Cafferkey (half-time), Darren Coen (Hollymount-Carramore) for Dillon (59), James Burke (Ballymun Kickhams) for Keegan (59), Andy Moran (Ballaghaderreen) for Carolan (64).

GALWAY: Maghnus Breathnach (An Spideal); Johnny Duane (St James’), Colin Forde (Killererin), Gary Sweeney (Mountbellew-Moylough); Gareth Bradshaw (Moycullen), Keith Kelly (Ballinasloe), Gary Sice (Corofin); Niall Coleman (Annaghdown), Fiontan O’Curraoin (Micheal Breathnach); Tom Flynn (Athenry), Paul Conroy (St James’), Conor Doherty (Tuam Stars); Sean Armstrong (Salthill-Knocknacarra), Michael Meehan (Caltra), Danny Cummins (Claregalway).

Subs: Shane Walsh (Kilkerrin-Clonberne) for Doherty (24), Joss Moore (Mountbellew-Moylough) for Sweeney (half-time), Gary O’Donnell (Tuam Stars) for Armstrong (58), Eoin Concannon (St James) for Meehan (64), Michael Martin (Milltown) for Sice (64).

Referee: Martin Duffy (Sligo)

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