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Mayo strike four goals in Castlebar to end Cork's unbeaten league record

Alan Freeman, Jason Doherty, Cillian O’Connor and Jason Gibbons all raised green flags for James Horan’s team.

Cillian O'Connor celebrates scoring a goal for Mayo.
Cillian O'Connor celebrates scoring a goal for Mayo.
Image: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Mayo 4-12
Cork 2-14

FOUR GOAL MAYO looked in red-hot form as they blasted Cork’s unbeaten record apart at MacHale Park today.

Goals from Jason Doherty, Jason Gibbons, Alan Freeman and Cillian O’Connor clinched victory for Mayo as late Cork goals from John O’Rourke and Brian Hurley put a different slant on the scoreboard.

With a very strong wind at their backs in the first-half Cork set about building up a decent lead in the opening ten minutes.

Full-forward Brian Hurley was untouchable in the opening action. After three minutes he kicked a lovely point off the outside of his boot and two minutes later he was left all alone again and added his second.

And a minute later Hurley hit his third point from way out on the sideline to give Cork a 0-3 to 0-0 lead.

Mayo should have hit the first score of the game on a couple of occasions, Alan Freeman was denied a certain goal by Michael Shields block on the line, before Cillian O’Connor missed with the resultant 45.

But Cork continued to destroy the Mayo inside backs and after Donncha O’Connor pointed from 30m, he doubled his tally in the 12th minute after Colm O’Neill was fouled.

Mayo got off the mark in the 13th minute through Jason Gibbons’ good score from distance and they went on to hit the next five points as well as their dominance at the middle of the park cut out the supply to the Cork forwards.

But while they were tagging on the points, Mayo were also guilt of fluffing good goal chances. Keith Higgins, Mikey Sweeney, O’Connor and Freeman all missed goal chances and Mayo should have been well ahead by the time O’Neill kicked a 45 to level the game at 0-6 each.

But Mayo turned on the style again and two points from Jason Doherty and a free from O’Connor was added to by Doherty’s goal in added time to give Mayo a 1-9 to 0-6 lead at half-time.

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The home side kept paces with their victors in the opening stages of the second-half but when Freeman rattled the net for Mayo in the 48th minute the result was put beyond doubt.

Alan Freeman score's his side's second goal Alan Freeman fires to the net for Mayo. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Two minutes later Gibbons hit Mayo’s third goal to give them a 3-12 to 0-9 lead as they finally began to take their chances.

John O’Rourke briefly raised the Cork flag with a 57th minute goal, but O’Connor’s goal and Mayo’s fourth nine minutes from time sealed Mayo’s third win of the competition.

Scorers for Mayo: Jason Doherty 1-3, Cillian O’Connor 1-2 (0-2f), Kevin McLoughlin 0-4 (0-1f), Jason Gibbons 1-1, Alan Freeman 1-0, Aidan O’Shea, Lee Keegan 0-1 eahc.Scorers for Cork: Brian Hurley 1-5 (0-1f), John O’Rourke 1-0, Donncha O’Connor 0-3 (0-2f), Aidan Walsh 0-3, Colm O’Neill 0-1 (0-1 ’45), John Hayes (0-1f), Barry O’Driscoll 0-1 each.

MAYO: Rob Hennelly; Brendan Harrison, Ger Cafferkey, Shane McHale; Lee Keegan, Donal Vaughan, Colm Boyle; Aidan O’Shea, Jason Gibbons; Kevin McLoughlin, Jason Doherty, Keith Higgins; Mickey Sweeney, Alan Freeman, Cillian O’Connor.

Subs: David Drake for Boyle (8-15 blood), Darren Coen for Freeman (54), Tom Parsons for Gibbons (60), Enda Varley for Sweeney (74).

CORK Ken O’Halloran; Michael Shields, Eoin Cadogan, Kevin Crowley; Conor Dorman, Tom Clancy, Alan Cronin; Andrew O’Sullivan, Aidan Walsh; Colm O’Driscoll, Paul Kerrigan, Tom Clancy; Colm O’Neill, Brian Hurley, Donncha O’Connor.

Subs: John O’Rourke for Clancy (Fermoy) (halt-time), Mark Collins for O’Neill (half-time), James Loughrey for Crowley (40), Fintan Goold for O’Connor (44), Barry O’Driscoll for Cadogan (47), John Hayes for Goold (59 BC).

Referee: Rory Hickey (Clare).

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Declan Rooney

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