Laszlo Geczo/INPHO Mayo's David McBrien and Damien Comer of Galway reaching for the ball.
# Division 1
O'Donoghue scores late equaliser to ensure Mayo share spoils with Galway
The Connacht rivals played out an absorbing clash in front 13,654 spectators at MacHale Park.

Mayo 1-11

Galway 2-8

Colm Gannon reports from Hastings Insurance MacHale Park

A LAST GASP point from Ryan O’Donoghue saw Mayo share the spoils with Galway on the opening night of the National Football League in front of 13,654 spectators in Castlebar.

Both sides will feel they could have won this game, but will ultimately be happy with getting a point of the board to kick start their campaigns.

A James Carr thunderbolt of a goal illuminated the opening stages of the game, the Ardagh man giving Conor Gleeson no chance as he let fly with a powerful drive from the 21 meter line.

That score put Mayo into a 1-1 to 0-2 lead, with Damien Comer and Cillian McDaid pointing for Galway and O’Donoghue for Mayo before that.

The crowd didn’t have to wait long for the next major of the night, with Galway having the ball in the back of the Mayo net two minutes later. Matthew Tierney found himself isolated in a miss match with Mayo forward Aidan Orme in front of the Mayo goal, and he rose high to flick the ball to the back of the net after Johnny Heaney sent in a probing ball.

Galway were able to hold on to a two point lead until the half time break thanks to points from Robert Finnerty and a mark from Comer. Mayo hit points from O’Donoghue and Orme – but will have been disappointed to only register a single point in a ten minute period they had a man advantage after Eoghan Kelly was black-carded.

Quick fire points from Matthew Ruane and O’Donoghue had Mayo level not long after the resumption of play and when Diarmuid O’Connor saw his effort just scrape over the bar on 42 minutes they were leading for the first time since their goal.

The lead didn’t last long as Galway plundered their second goal on 45 minutes when Seán Kelly found himself well up the field and in open country after he was picked out by a Cillian McDaid pass and he made no mistake stroking the ball to the back of the net.

Paul Conroy landed a point from distance not long after and Galway were 2-6 to 1-6 up with 20 minutes left on the clock. O’Donoghue and Bob Tuohy cut the gap back to a single point, but Mayo were left shorted handed for the next ten minutes after Matthew Ruane was shown a black card.

McDaid joined him in the sin bin not long after and it was all square thanks to a O’Donoghue free, but Galway edged back in front thanks to a super long range free from Peter Cooke. But there was time for plenty more drama, Cillian O’Connor fisted over a leveller after some good inter-play with O’Donoghue a minute into injury time.

Galway looked to have won it, when Damien Comer held his nerve to tap over a close range free four minutes into added time. There was still time for one more Mayo attack, they won a sideline 35 meters out on the MacHale Road side of the ground, O’Donoghue took a crack at it – the ball dropped short but was only cleared back out as far as him and he made no mistake the second time around to the delight of the home support.

Scores for Mayo: Ryan O’Donoghue (0-6, 4f), James Carr (1-0), Jordan Flynn (0-1), Diarmuid O’Connor (0-1), Matthew Ruane (0-1), Cillian O’Connor (0-1), Bob Tuohy (0-1)

Scorers for Galway: Matthew Tierney (1-0), Damien Comer (0-3, 1f, 1m), Seán Kelly (1-0), Paul Kelly (0-1), Paul Conroy (0-1), Cillian McDaid (0-1), Robert Finnerty (0-1), Peter Cooke (0-1, 1f)


1. Colm Reape (Knockmore)

2. Jack Coyne (Ballyhaunis)

19. David McBrien (Ballaghaderreen)

3. Rory Brickenden (Westport)

4. Enda Hession (Garrymore)

5. Stephen Coen (Hollymount-Carramore)

6. Conor Loftus (Crossmolina Deel Rovers)

8. Matthew Ruane (Breaffy)

9. Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber)

11. Jack Carney (Kilmeena)

26. Bob Touhy (Castlebar Mitchels)

12. Jordan Flynn (Crossmolina Deel Rovers)

15. Ryan O’Donoghue (Belmullet)

14. James Carr (Ardagh)

13. Aiden Orme (Knockmore)

Subs: 24. Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy) for Orme, 21. Eoghan McLaughlin (Westport) for Diarmuid O’Connor, 23. Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber) for Carr, 10. Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore) for Carney, 25. Paul Towey (Charlestown) for Touhy


1. Connor Gleeson (Dunmore MacHales)

3. Seán Kelly (Maigh Cuilin)

17. Neil Mulcahy (Maigh Cuilinn)

2. Eoghan Kelly (Maigh Cuilin)

5. Dylan McHugh (Corofin)

6. John Daly (Mountbellew-Moylough)

7. Daniel O’Flaherty (Salthill-Knocknacarra)

8. Paul Conroy (St James’)

9. Cillian McDaid (Monivea Abbey)

10. Paul Kelly (Maigh Cuilin)

11. Matthew Tierney (Oughterard)

12. Johnny Heaney (Killannin)

13. Robert Finnerty (Salthill-Knocknacrra)

14. Damien Comer (Annaghdown)

15. Dessie Conneely (Maigh Cuilinn)

Subs: 22. Peter Cooke (Maigh Cuilin) for Finnerty , 18. Cathal Sweeney (Salthill-Knocknacara) for Paul Kelly, 25. Eoin Finnerty (Mountbellew-Moylough) for Conneely, 4. Jack Glynn (Claregalway) for O’Flaherty, 23. Gerard Davoren (Maigh Cuilin) for Tierney

Referee: Joe McQuillan (Cavan)

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