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Four-in-a-row for mighty Mayo with Connacht final win over Galway

Goals from Lee Keegan, Jason Doherty and Barry Moran gave James Horan’s men a seven-point win.

Mayo captain Andy Moran celebrates with the Nestor Cup. Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

Mayo 3-14

Galway 0-16

MAYO CELEBRATED A fantastic four this afternoon as they clinched their fourth straight Connacht Senior Football title in Castlebar.

Goals from Lee Keegan, Jason Doherty and Barry Moran gave James Horan’s men a seven-point win against Galway, and their first provincial four-in-a-row since 1951.

As a contest, this was far more competitive than the 17-point hiding Mayo handed out in Salthill last summer. Galway fought until the final whistle and, had Shane Walsh scored his second-half penalty, they could have been even closer.

But keeper Rob Hennelly got down smartly to tip the ball around the post and Mayo’s win never came under serious threat.

Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

They will return for the quarter-finals in a few weeks’ time while Galway’s young side head for the qualifiers with reasons for optimism.

They set out to defend in numbers and smother Mayo’s attacks but they never got enough of a foothold in midfield in the first half.

It gave Mayo plenty of possession to feed Cillian O’Connor who was in his usual sharp form and gave Donal O’Neill a torrid afternoon. He finished with eight points, including three from play, and was at the heart of Mayo’s opening goal when it arrived on 24 minutes.

O’Connor did brilliantly to engineer some space and then picked out Keegan who punched the ball past Manus Breathnach.

Cillian O'Connor celebrates Lee Keegan's (5) opening goal. Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Mayo led 1-9 to 0-5 at the break, helped in part by some wasteful shooting by Galway’s forwards.

But the Tribesmen roared out of the traps in the second half and scored four of the first five points to cut the gap to four.

That was as close as they got and moments after the crossbar denied Keegan his second goal of the afternoon, Kevin McLoughlin picked out Doherty and he coolly rolled the ball past Breathnach in the 48th minute.

Galway rallied again and cut the gap to six, 2-12 to 0-12, but any hopes of a comeback were doused when Moran fisted home Mayo’s third with 14 minutes to play.

Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO

 

Scorers for Mayo: Cillian O’Connor 0-8 (5f), Jason Doherty, Lee Keegan 1-1 each, Kevin McLoughlin 0-3, Barry Moran 1-0, Alan Dillon 0-1.

Scorers for Galway: Shane Walsh 0-7 (5f), Paul Conroy 0-4, Sean Armstrong 0-2, Michael Lundy, Danny Cummins, Gareth Bradshaw 0-1 each

MAYO

1. Robbie Hennelly (Breaffy)

2. Chris Barrett (Belmullet)
3. Ger Cafferkey (Ballina)
4. Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis)

5. Lee Keegan (Westport)
6. Colm Boyle (Davitts)
7. Donal Vaughan (Ballinrobe)

8. Seamus O’Shea (Breaffy)
9. Barry Moran (Castlebar Mitchels)

10. Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore)
11. Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy)
12. Jason Doherty (Burrishoole)

13. Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber)
14. Andy Moran (capt, Ballaghaderreen)
15. Alan Dillon (Ballintubber)

Subs: Mikey Conroy for Dillon (44), Alan Freeman for A Moran (52), Jason Gibbons for B Moran (black card, 58), Kevin Keane for Boyle (69), Diarmuid O’Connor for Doherty (69), Mikey Sweeney for A O’Shea (70).

GALWAY

1. Manus Breathnach

2. Donal O’Neill
3. Finian Hanley
17. Aonghus Tierney

5. Gareth Bradshaw
6. Gary O’Donnell
7. Paul Varley

8. Fiontan O’Curraoin
9. Tomas Flynn

10. Michael Lundy
11. Shane Walsh
12. Damien Comer

13. Paul Conroy
14. Eddie Hoare
15. Danny Cummins

Subs: James Kavanagh for Comer (23), Daithi Burke for Tierney (44), Sean Armstrong for Cummins (44), Greg Higgins for Hoare (55), John O’Brien for Lundy (58)

Referee: Rory Hickey (Clare)

Mayo secure back-to-back Connacht minor titles with win over Roscommon

About the author:

Niall Kelly

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