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Dublin: 6 °C Friday 14 December, 2018
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Mayo hammer Sligo by 26 points to complete Connacht five-in-a-row

Aidan O’Shea was untouchable, claiming a hat-trick in the provincial decider rout.

Mayo 6 – 25

Sligo 2 – 11

ANY LINGERING DOUBTS over whether Mayo would claim their 46th Connacht Senior Football Championship title were washed away within around five minutes as Mayo wasted no time in finding their goal-scoring rhythm.

The trouncing of Sligo is Mayo’s fifth in succession and sixth in the seven years since Galway’s 44th and most recent Nestor Cup.

Aidan O'Shea celebrates scoring his sides third goal Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

Aidan O’Shea dominated the area around the square and claimed a hat-trick, Cillian O’Connor scored 1 -6 in the rout, including the first green flag of the day with a beautiful left foot drive beyond Aidan Devaney to give his side a 1-1 to no score lead.

Seamus O’Shea hammered in a second goal within minutes and The Yeats County were 10 points adrift before Niall Murphy’s point got them on the board.

O’Shea’s subdued celebration after netting Mayo’s third – the first of his personal tally of three – told a tale. The centre forward making the act of catching and finishing appear unnervingly easy for the Sligo defence, and not for the only time in this game.

Sligo’s best moment of the game came in the 25th minute when, after points from Mark Breheny and Adrian Marren, Brendan Egan raced in behind the green and red defence and blasted a finish in to the top corner.

3 – 7 to 1 – 4 soon became 4 – 8 to 1- 4 as O’Shea bagged his second after Sligo dared to poke the bear. And the half-time score could have been even wider than the 4-9 to 1 -6 chasm had Devaney not managed to tip a rasping O’Connor shot over the bar.

Slump

The second half bore little resemblance to a provincial decider at the height of summer as the 12-point difference forced Sligo shoulders to slump while Mayo continued running up the score while thinking of tougher days to come.

Pat Hughes blasted in a second goal to rouse the Sligo support in Dr Hyde Park, but by that 55th minute score, O’Shea had completed his hat-trick and continued to inflict willful destruction on the Sligo defence before playing the ball across to O’Connor allowed Lee Keegan get in on the goal-scoring by fisting the ball in to the gaping goal.

Cillian O'Connor celebrates scoring his side's first goal Source: Donall Farmer/INPHO

All that, and there were still 20 minutes left to endure for Sligo, time enough for the kings of Connacht to rack up eight more points before the final merciful whistle.

Scorers for Mayo 

Aidan O’Shea 3-4, Cillian O’Connor 1-6 (0-4f, 0-1 ’45), Diarmuid O’Connor 0-4, Lee Keegan, Seamus O’Shea 1-0 each, Mark Ronaldson, Donal Vaughan, Alan Dillon, Jason Doherty 0-2 each, Patrick Durkin, Chris Barrett, Barry Moran 0-1 each.

Scorers for Sligo

Mark Breheny 0-4 (0-1f), Adrian Marren 0-3, Brendan Egan, Pat Hughes 1-0 each, Niall Murphy, Cian Breheny, Eoin McHugh, Niall Ewing 0-1 each.

Teams

Mayo

1.  David Clarke (Ballina Stephenites)

2. Ger Cafferkey (Ballina Stephenites)
3. Donal Vaughan (Ballinrobe)
4. Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis) (Capt.)

5. Lee Keegan (Westport)
6. Tom Cunniffe (Castlebar Mitchels)
7. Colm Boyle (Davitts)

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

10. Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber)
11. Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy)
12. Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore)

13. Andy Moran (Ballaghaderreen)
14. Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber)
15. Jason Doherty (Burrishoole)

Subs

Barry Moran (Castlebar Mitchels) for Seamus O’Shea (inj) (24)
Alan Dillon (Ballintubber) for Andy Moran (half-time)
Brendan Harrison (Aghamore) for Cafferkey (43)
Mark Ronaldson (Shrule-Glencorrib) for McLoughlin (51)
Patrick Durkin (Castlebar Mitchels) for Keegan (53)
Chris Barrett (Belmullet) for Boyle (59)

Sligo

1. Aidan Devaney (Calry/St.Joseph’s)

2. Ross Donavan (Eastern Harps)
3. Kevin McDonnell (Castleconnor)
4. Daniel Maye (Tubbercurry)

5. Keelan Cawley (Coolera Standhill)
6. Brendan Egan (St.Vincent’s – Dublin)
7. Eoin Flanagan (St.John’s)

8. Cian Breheny (St.Mary’s)
9. Niall Murphy (Coolera Standhill)

10. Brian Curran (Tubbercurry)
11. Mark Breheny (St.Mary’s) – Captain
12. Neil Ewing (Drumcliffe Rosses Point)

13. David Kelly (Tubbercurry )
14. Pat Hughes (Geevagh)
15. Adrian Marren (Curry)

Subs

Stephen Gilmartin (Tubbercurry) for Murphy (44)
Criostoir Davey (Coolaney/Mullinabreena) for Ewing (50)
Eoin McHugh (St James) for Egan (black card) (56)
James Hynes (St Farnan’s) for Cawley (59)
Luke Bree (Coolera/Strandhill) for McDonnell (65)

Referee: Padraig O’Sullivan (Kerry)

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About the author:

Sean Farrell

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