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Mayo withstand Down rally to finish their league campaign with a win

Mayo finished their campaign with a three-point win over already relegated Down.

Image: Andrew Paton/INPHO

Mayo 1-19

Down 1-16

Colm Gannon reports from MacHale Park

TWO MINUTES INTO injury time in this game Barry O’Hagan got through on goal and had his effort expertly blocked by David Clarke in the Mayo goal and the home faithful thought that they had escaped a big scare.

But less than 20 seconds later the ball was in the back of the Mayo net and Down were only one point behind Mayo and word was filtering through that Monaghan were about to overtake Donegal in Castleblayney.

But when Mayo needed and experienced head up popped Andy Moran who scooped the ball over the bar from a tight angle two minutes later to push the gap back out to two points and when Evan Regan nailed his ninth point of the afternoon from a free in the fifth minute of injury time, Mayo could breath a sigh of relief as their long stay in division one was secured for at least another year.

Mayo started the game brilliantly and were 0-5 to 0-1 up inside the opening five miuntes, with Regan deadly from placed balls and causing havoc in open play. But Mayo took their foot off the gas and let Down back into the game and with 17 minutes on the clock the score was 0-7 to 0-4.

Just before the 20 minute mark Regan was tripped as he went of goal and Joe McQuillian awarded a penalty that was expertly converted by Cillian O’Connor. But Down would not go away with Donal O’Hare in brilliant form from placed balls, they trailed by only two at the break on a score of 1-9 to 0-10.

Mayo started the second half in similarly quick style and  by the 50th minute they were seven points to the good with O’Connor and Regan kicking three points each in a fine run of scores, but Down kept plugging away with O’Hare, Sean Dornan and Paul Devlin all raising the white flag.

However it still looked like it was Mayo’s game to win all they had to do was see it out, but the Mourne men kept coming and when O’Hare hit the back of the net with time almost up, it was squeaky bum time for Mayo, but when they needed composure they found it from one of their old heads when Moran split the posts late on.

Scores for Mayo: Evan Regan (0-9, 7f), Cillian O’Connor (1-4, 1 pen, 4f), Aland Freeman (0-2), Aidan O’Shea (0-1), J Doherty (0-1), Chris Barrett (0-1), Andy Moran (0-1)

Scorers for Down: Donal O’Hare (1-5, 5f), Michael Cunningham (0-2, 2f), Sean Dornan (0-2), Darragh O’Hanlon (0-1), Mark Polan (0-1), Ryan Mallon (0-1), Paul Devlin (0-1), David McKibbin (0-1), Kevin McKernan (0-1), Peter Tully (0-1)

Mayo

1.   David Clarke (Ballina Stephenites)

2.   Brendan Harrison (Aghamore)
3.   Kevin Keane (Westport)
4.   Chris Barrett (Belmullet)

5.   Lee Keegan (Westport)
6.   Colm Boyle (Davitts)
7.   Shane Nally (Garrymore)

8.   Tom Parsons (Charlestown)
9.   Seamus O’Shea (Breaffy)

10. Conor O’Shea (Breaffy)
11. Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy)
12. Jason Doherty (Burrishoole)

13. Evan Regan (Ballina Stephenites)
14. Alan Freeman (Aghamore)
15. Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber)

Subs: 17. Patrick Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels) for Barrett (27), 22. Alan Dillon (Ballintubber) for Freeman (55), 20. Barry Moran (Castlebar Mitchels) for Seamus O’Shea (55), 24. Cathal Carolan (Crossmolina) for Conor O’Shea (62), 23. Andy Moran (Ballaghaderreen) for O’Connor (65)

Down

1. Michael Cunningham (Caislean na Mhuillin)

2. Gerard Collins (RGU Dún Phádraig)
3. Gerard McGovern (Boireann)
4. Darren O’Hagan (Clauain Daimh)

23. David McKibbin (Ath Bhriain)
6. Aidan Carr (Cluain Daimh)
7. Darragh O’Hanlon (Cill Chua)

8. Peter Turley (RGU Dún Phádraig)
17. Henry Brown (Cluain Daimh)

20. Mark Poland (Cloch Fhadh)
11. Kevin McKernan (Boireann)
18. Ryan Mallon (Cumann Pheadair Naofa)

13. Conaill McGovern (Boireann)
14. Donal O’Hare (Boireann)
24. Sean Dornan (Caislean Uidhilin)

Subs: 22. Paul Devlin (Cill Chua) for Mallon (40), 10. Conor Maginn (Ath Bhriain) for  Browne (43), 26. Damien Turley (Cnoc na Mí) for O’Hanlon (53), 15. Barry O’Hagan (Cluain Daimh) for Poland,(62), 12. Joe Murphy (Baile Colmain) for Carr (71)

Referee: Joe McQuillian ( Cavan)

Great day for Meath as they stay up while Laois are relegated

Colin Walshe’s late winner against Donegal secures Monaghan’s survival

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