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Mayo write their own Bronx Tale

The Connacht champions enjoyed a comfortable win in New York

Mayo took a sizable bite out of the Big Apple today.
Mayo took a sizable bite out of the Big Apple today.
Image: INPHO/Andy Marlin

Mayo 4-18
New York 0-8

MAYO BREEZED INTO the semi-final of the Connacht Football championship with a mauling of New York in the Bronx this afternoon.

The home side were no match for the Connacht champions who, thanks to four second half goals – two of them from Cillian O’Connor penalties – crushed the exiles’ challenge.

James Horan was able to give game time to Alan Dillon for the first time since the All-Ireland final, while Diarmuid O’Connor will remember his debut for the senior team after he bagged a goal and Conor O’Shea came on to join his brothers Aidan and Seamus on the pitch for a good half an hour of the contest.

The second half was a cake walk for Mayo thanks to O’Connor’s early goal.

His big brother Cillian kicked off his championship with 2-5, both of the goals coming from the penalty spot in the 20th and 27th minute of the second half, while Enda Varley put the icing on the cake with Mayo’s fourth goal injury time.

While there will be still lots of questions for Mayo to answer as the year goes on they will be happy to have got this win under their belt after the way they fell apart against Derry in the league semi-final three weeks earlier.

The game sprung into life right from the throw in with Vaughan pointing after 28 seconds.

That was quickly followed up by a Kevin McLoughlin score after he was played in by Andy Moran.

Mayo extended their lead again a minute later when Andy Moran pointed from close range after Jason Doherty forced Keith Scally to turn over the ball.

The home-side registered their first score five minutes in when Brendan Quigley kicked a huge effort from out beyond the 45m line. However, Mayo responded within seconds with Vaughan scoring his second of the afternoon.

Jason Kelly pointed a free for New York on the seven minute mark, but any thoughts that New York had of making a comeback was quickly quashed as Mayo went on to outscore them by 0-7 to no score over the next 28 minutes.

Andy Moran fisted over after the ball broke to him from rebound from an Aidan O’Shea goal attempt, the Breaffy man had a second goal chance on the ten minute mark but saw his shot crash back off the post.

Jason Gibbons drove the ball over the bar after linking up well with Seamus O’Shea down the Subway station side of the field. New York were struggling to get to grips with the Mayo midfield and half-foward line who were dominating the possession.

Cillian O’Connor kicked two points with Lee Keegan and Andy Moran also finding the target before the half time whistle.

There was one downside for Mayo with McLoughlin having to leave the game late in the half to be replace by Enda Varley following a tough challenge from Ronan McGinley which saw the New York man pick up a booking.

Scorers for Mayo: Cillian O’Connor 2-5 (2-0pens, 5f), Enda Varley 1-1, Diarmuid O’Connor 1-0, Andy Moran 0-3, Aidan O’Shea, Kevin McLoughlin and Donal Vaughan 0-2 each, Jason Gibbons, Lee Keegan and Darren Coen 0-1 each.
Scorers for New York: Jason Kelly 0-3 (3f)f, Brendan Quigley, Alan Raftery, Ross Wherity, Johnny McGeeney and Gary O’Driscoll 0-1 each.

Mayo:
Robbie Hennelly (Breaffy)
Tom Cunniffe (Castlebar)
Kevin Keane (Westport)
Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis)
Lee Keegan (Westport)
Colm Boyle (Davitts)
Donal Vaughan (Ballinrobe)
Jason Gibbons (Ballintubber)
Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy)
Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber)
Seamus O’Shea (Breaffy)
Jason Doherty (Burrishoole)
Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore)
Andy Moran(Ballaghaderreen)
Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber)

Subs: Enda Varley for K McLoughlin, Richie Feeney for Jason Doherty,Tom Parsons for Jason Gibbons Conor O’Shea for Andy Moran, Alan Dillon for Diarmuid O’Connor, Brendan Harrison for Keith Higgins, Darren Coen for Cillian O’Connor

New York:
Gavin Joyce (Cavan NY/Down)
Ronan McGinley (Cavan NY/Tyrone)
Gerard McCartan (Kerry NY/Down)
Kieran O’Connor (Kerry NY/Kerry)
Keith Scally (Westmeath NY/Westmeath)
Paul O’Connor (Cork NY/Clare)
Denis O’Sullivan (Cork NY/Cork)
Brendan Quigley (Donegal NY/Laois)
Alan Raftery (Cork NY/Galway)
Paddy Boyle (Donegal NY/Down)
Jason Kelly (Offaly NY/Offaly)
Ross Wherity (Kerry NY/Donegal)
John McGeeny (Armagh NY/Armagh)
Keith Quinn (Leitrim NY/Down)
Gary O’Driscoll (Kerry NY/Kerry)

Subs: H Curran for K O’Connor, N Farrell for P Boyle, L McGuire for K Scally J Huvane for D O’Sullivan S McNamee for N Farrell.

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Colm Gannon

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