Colm Gannon reports from Dr Hyde Park
A TWO GOAL salvo at the three quarter-stage set Mayo on the way to claiming the first ever EirGrid Connacht U20 championship at Dr Hyde Park on Sunday afternoon
There were just three points between the sides when Paul Lambert burst down the the field and fed Conor Diskin who fired the ball home to put Mayo into a 2-8 to 1-5 lead.
Evan O’Brien fired over a brilliant point less than a minute later to push the lead out to four and Mayo did not have to wait long to put the game beyond doubt.
Tommy Conory was the man who did it when he drove down the left hand side and he hammered the ball high to the net from a tight angle.
That goal sealed the outcome of the contest as Mayo eased their way home with Ryan O’Donoghue, Stephen McGreal and Colm Moran kicking points to push Mayo even further in front with time ticking down along with a Stephen McGreal effort.
Roscommon did keep plugging away with Cian McKeown tagging a point from a free and David McManus coming close to getting a goal, but it was to little to late for Shane Curran’s side.
McKeown was shown a second yellow late on injury time as he followed Damien Duff in being sent off late on with Roscommon finishing with 13 men.
Roscommon started the game in flying form going into an early 0-2 to 0-0 lead inside the opening four minutes with Cian McKeon kicking two fine scores.
His first came two minutes in after Eddie Nolan won a mark from Aaron Brady’s kick-out and he fed the ball to McKeon who bisected the posts with a brilliant effort on the run.
The Boyle man doubled his sides lead from a free after he was fouled breaking for goal just outside the 21 meter line.
Mayo who were playing into the breeze got their first score of the day seven minutes in when Egan kicked over from close range after Mayo turned over Roscommon in the middle of the field.
The Aghamore man then kicked three pointed frees on the bounce over the next five minutes, his third free came after Mayo got in for a goal chance.
Egan worked his way into danger area and was fouled on the way, he played the ball across the face of the goal and Conor Diskin got a palm to the ball – but his effort was well saved by Brady in the Roscommon goal – however the play was called back for the initial foul on Egan.
With 17 minutes on the stop watch Mayo extended their lead to three points after Paul Lambert burst down the right-hand-side of the field before slotting the ball over the bar.
Roscommon cut the gap back to two not long after when McKeon landed his third of the day, from another free and two minutes later they hit the front again.
Wing back Aidan Dowd broke through three Mayo tackles before he shot low past Patrick O’Malley and put his side into a 1-3 to 0-5 lead.
Roscommon had a couple of chances to extend their lead, but fluffed their lines kicking two wides and three minutes from the break Mayo – hit their first goal.
The major came from the penalty spot when Ryan O’Donoghue jinked through the Roscommon defence only to be hauled to the ground by Lorcan Daly who was shown a black card for his efforts.
O’Donoghue stepped up and slotted it past Brady and sent Mayo in leading 1-5 to 1-3 at the short whistle.
The second half opened up with an exhibition of free taking from both sides goalkeepers, with Brady kicking a 45 and a long ranger into the breeze for the homeside and Patrick O’Malley chipping in with a 45 of his own for Mayo.
But the game swung on Mayo’s two quick fire goals later on and Mike Solan’s side march into the All-Ireland semi-final.
Elsewhere on Sunday, Offaly secured an impressive 2-16 to 1-7 Leinster U20 Football Championship victory against Louth.
Conor Dunne and Cian Farrell starred with goals before half-time at O’Connor Park, with Offaly recording a one-sided 12 point victory in Group 3.
1. Aaron Brady (Elphin)
2. Damien Duff (Clann na nGael)
3. Luke Mollahan (Elphin)
4. Lorcan Daly (Padraig Pearses)
5. Aidan Dowd (Western Gaels)
6. Evan Flynn (Tulsk)
7. Darren Nerney (St Faithleachs)
8. David McManus (Clann na nGael)
9. Eddie Nolan (St Brigids)
10. Keith Murphy (Strokestown)
11. Cian McKeon (Boyle)
12. Dylan Ruane (Michael Glaveys)
13. Paul Carey (Padraig Pearses)
14. Brian Derwin (St Brigids)
22. Gavin Byrne (St Brigids)
Subs: 15. Ciaran Sugrue (St Brigids) for Byrne, 17. Gerry Galvin (Tulsk) for Daly, 20. Cian Corcoran (Strokestown) for Ruane, 19. Michael Conroy (Castlerea St Kevins) for Nerney, 23. Callum Fahey (Tulsk) for Derwin.
1. Patrick O’Malley (Westport)
2. Johnny Maughan (Castlebar)
3. Brian O’Malley (Westport)
4. John Cunnane (Ballyhaunis)
5. Paul Lambert (Westport)
6. Oisin Mullin (Kilmaine)
7. Cathal Horan (Kilmovee)
8. Jordan Flynn (Crossmolina Deel Rovers)
9. Evan O’Brien (Ballinrobe)
10. Nathan Moran (Hollymount-Carramore)
11. Ryan O’Donoghue (Belmullet)
12. Oisin McLaughlin (Westport)
24. Conor Diskin (Claremorris)
14. Ross Egan (Aghamore)
15. Tommy Conroy (The Neale)
Subs: 21. Colm Moran (Westport) for McLaughlin, 19. Joe Dawson (Louisburgh) for Mullin, 22. Stephen McGreal (Claremorris) for Diskin, 13. John Gallagher (Mayo Gaels) for Conroy, 20. Sean Og Tigue (Aghamore) for O’Brien, 18. Brian O’Neill (Ballyhaunis) for Cunnane.
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