Colm Gannon reports from Newbridge
JUST AS THE evenings start to get a stretch in them, Mayo have started to clean out the dirty diesel and move through the gears much more smoothly.
They ran out seven point winners and if they had taken a few of the second half goal chances they missed they could have won by a good bit more in Newbridge on Sunday.
Leading by five points at the break, they tagged on another ten points in the second half, while Kildare hit eight of their own in an open and entertaining encounter.
The game was done as a contest in reality when Andy Moran fisted over his third point of the day to put Mayo seven clear with 20 minutes left on the clock, after that it was all about seeing the game out for the visitors who added on another five points before he final whistle, with sub Conor Loftus getting two of those.
Kildare kept plugging away with the impressive Kevin Feely kicking three second half points for a personal tally of five for the afternoon.
The decisive score in this one was Aidan O’Shea’s goal late in the first half, which saw Mayo push themselves a comfortable distance ahead at the turnaround, despite Kildare putting in a hard working first half performance.
Mayo led by five at the break thanks to a injury time haul of 1-1, with Aidan O’Shea getting the goal – finishing off a great move that saw Andy Moran and Lee Keegan, do some great work in a tight corner to set up his one handed punch to the net.
That goal was quickly followed by a Diarmuid O’Connor effort – after he showed some great footwork to break through a challenge and sent Mayo in leading by 1-9 to 1-4 at the break.
Mayo had just hit the front a minute before than when Adam Gallagher sliced over his first point of the day after good work by Kevin McLoughlin to set him free.
Kildare had gone into the lead 21 minutes in when Daniel Flynn managed to run right across the face of the Mayo rearguard without a hand being laid on him and fire the ball to the back of the net.
That goal put his side into a 1-4 to 0-5 lead, Kildare reacted well from going behind by three points early on – but a slew of wides cost them on the scoreboard in the opening half.
Cillian O’Connor, Any Moran and Hennelly kicked the early scores for Mayo, with Kevin Feely and Kevin Flynn responding for the homeside inside the first 12 minutes.
It was unlucky 13th minute for Niall Kelly, who really should have found the back of the net after he was found inside the cover by Daniel Flynn, but his effort was well saved by Hennelly.
The O’Connor brothers both kicked points for Mayo not long after to take their tally to five for the day, before Feely and Paddy Brophy brought it back to a one point game, just before Flynn’s goal.
Mayo missed a couple of chances to close the gap shortly afterwards with Moran and Lee Keegan dropping efforts short and O’Connor missing a close rage free. He made up for that miss with a monster effort from out past the 45 and another from a free to pull the game level with
Adam Gallagher kicked Mayo back into the lead with a nicely taken score are Kevin McLoughlin sent him clear – but they were still to hit their big scores that set them well up for victory and the two vital league points.
Scores for Kildare: Kevin Feely (0-5, 4f), Daniel Flynn (1-0), Kevin Flynn (0-2), Paddy Brophy (0-1), Fergal Conway (0-1), Niall Kelly (0-1), Ben McCormack (0-1), Fionn Dowling (0-1)
Scores for Mayo: Cillian O’Connor (0-4, 3f), Aidan O’Shea (1-1), Andy Moran (0-3) Diarmuid O’Connor (0-2), Adam Gallagher (0-2), Rob Hennelly (0-2), Conor Loftus (0-2, 1f), Eoin O’Donoghue (0-1), Kevin McLoughlin (0-1), Jason Doherty (0-1)
1. Mark Donnellan (Maynooth)
2. Peter Kelly (Two Mile House)
3. David Hyland (Athy)
4. Mick O’Grday (Celbridge)
5. Cian O’Donoghue (Clane)
6. Eoin Doyle (Nass)
18. Kevin Flynn (Celbridge)
8. Kevin Feely (Athy)
9. Tommy Moolick (Leixlip)
10. Fergal Conawy (Celbridge)
11. Niall Kelly (Athy)
19. Keith Cribbin (Johnstownbridge)
13. David Slattery (Confey)
14. Daniel Flynn (Johnstownbridge)
15. Paddy Brophy (Celbridge)
17. Ben McCormack (Sarsfields) for Slattery
7. Johnny Byrne (Allenwood) for Cribbin
12. Paul Cribbin (Johnstownbridge) for Brophy
23. Fionn Dowling (Suncroft) for Moolick
20. Chris Healy (Two Mile House) for Conway
21. Jimmy Hyland (Ballyteague) for Flynn
1. Rob Hennelly (Breaffy)
2. Caolan Crowe (Garrymore)
3. Ger Cafferkey (Ballina Stephenites)
4. Eoin O’Donoghue (Belmullet)
5. Colm Boyle (Davitts)
6. Lee Keegan (Westport)
8. Stephen Coen (Hollymount/Carramore)
19. Tom Parsons (Charlestown)
11. Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy)
10. Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore)
21. Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber)
12. Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber)
13. Jason Doherty (Burrishoole)
14. Andy Moran (Ballaghaderreen)
15. Adam Gallagher (Mayo Gaels)
9. Seamus O’Shea (Breaffy) for Parsons
25. Conor Loftus (Crossmolina Deel Rovers) for Gallagher
24. Fergal Boland (Aghamore) for Doherty
17. David Drake (Ballaghaderreen) for D O’Connor
23. Barry Moran (Castlebar Mitchels) for C O’Connor
20. Shane Nally (Garrymore) for Boyle