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Four goals help Mayo win in Connacht U21FC as Leitrim player suffers serious neck injury

The home side won out in Castlebar tonight while Derry beat Down in Ulster.

Diarmuid O'Connor is a key player for Mayo tomorrow night.
Diarmuid O'Connor is a key player for Mayo tomorrow night.
Image: Cathal Noonan/INPHO

Mayo 4-7
Leitrim 0-8

MAYO SET UP a Connacht U21 football semi-final meeting with Galway next week as they disposed of Leitrim at Elverys McHale Park tonight in a game overshadowed by a serious injury to Leitrim defender Gary Butler.

In the build-up to Mayo’s second goal from Diarmuid O’Connor at the three-quarter mark, Butler suffered a serious neck injury which caused a lengthy delay. An ambulance was required to take Butler to hospital while both teams returned to the dressing-rooms for a spell.

Ultimately Mayo ran out victors with goals in either half from minor All-Ireland winners Michael Hall and O’Connor proving crucial as Leitrim lost key middle-man Donal Wynn to a black card early in the second half.

Leitrim were 0-4 to 0-2 ahead thanks to Conor Gaffney’s trio of points before Hall found the net ten minutes before the break as Stephen Coen and Darren McHale stretched their lead to 1-5 to 0-4 at the break.

After the restart Hall and Michael Gallagher pointed early on as DCU Sigerson Cup winner Wynne was shown black just five minutes in for a deliberate shoulder to give Leitrim a real mountain to climb.

Mayo keeper Matthew Flanagan then sailed over his second 45 of the night as Gaffney opened Leitrim’s account for the half before O’Connor slotted in a second Mayo goal and then Butler’s serious injury occurred.

When the game resumed Matthew Ruane fisted in Mayo’s third, and as both sides emptied the bench Mark Plunkett scored Leitrim’s first point from play in the second half.

But Mayo were not finished as skipper Adam Gallagher lashed in Mayo’s fourth goal at the other end to seal the win in style and Nicholas Moore’s late score was Leitrim’s late consolation in a forgettable night for the 2014 Connacht finalists.

Scorers for Mayo: Adam Gallagher and Michael Hall 1-1 each, Diarmuid O’Connor and Matthew Ruane 1-0 each, Matthew Flanagan 0-2 (0-2 45), James Durcan, Darren McHale, and Stephen Coen 0-1 each. 

Scorers for Leitrim: Conor Gaffney 0-4 (0-3f), Nicholas Moore, Donal Wynn, Gary Plunkett and Mark Plunkett 0-1 each.


1. Matthew Flanagan – Balla

2. Michael Hall – Breaffy
3. David Kenny – Aghamore
4. James Stretton – Claremorris

5. Sean Regan – Ballina Stephenites
6. Stephen Coen – Hollymount/Carramore
7. Patrick Durcan – Castlebar Mitchels

8. Diarmuid O’Connor – Ballintubber
9. T.J. Byrne – Kiltimagh

10. Val Roughneen – Balla
11. Adam Gallagher – Mayo Gaels (Capt.)
12. Darren McHale – Knockmore

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13. Cian Burke – Ballymun Kickhams
14. Brian Reape – Bohola Moy Davitts
15. James Durcan – Castlebar Mitchels

22. Conor Loftus (Crossmolina) for Reape (40)
20. Matthew Ruane (Breaffy) for Byrne (43)
23. Michael Plunkett (Ballintubber) for McHale (51)
21. Morgan Lyons (Ballyhaunis) for O’Connor (52)
17. Kevin Lynch (Mayo Gaels) for P Durcan (54)
24. Stephen Conroy (The Neale) for J Durcan (60)


1. Brendan Flynn (St. Mary’s Kiltoghert)

2. James Mitchell (Mohill)
3. Gary Butler (Fenagh-St. Caillin’s)
4. Keelan McHugh (Ballinamore-Sean O Heslin’s)

5. Oisin Madden (Mohill)
6. Nicholas Moore (Allen Gaels)
7. Jack De Lacy (St. Mary’s Kiltoghert)

8. Donal Wrynn (Fenagh-St. Caillin’s)
9. Felim McHugh (Drumkeerin)

10. James Rooney (Glencar/Manorhamilton)
11. Mark Plunkett (Aughawillan)
12. Daire Farrell (St. Mary’s Kiltoghert)

13. Gary Plunkett (Aughawillan)
14. Dean McGovern (Ballinamore-Sean O Heslin’s)
15. Conor Gaffney (Drumreilly)

22. Niall Brady (Glencar/Manorhamilton) for Wynn (Black card) (36)
21. Kenny Cox (Annaduff) for McGovern (39)
17. Michael Clancy (St. Patrick’s Dromahair) for Butler (49)
20. Kevin Shanley (Bornacoola) for Madden (50)
23. Declan Daly (Drumkeerin) for Farrell (53)

Referee: John Gilmartin (Sligo)


Derry 2-12
Down 1-11

MEANWHILE IN Ulster, Derry enjoyed a victory at home in Celtic Park with a preliminary round success over Down.

This article was originally published on 10 March at 8.32pm

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Jason Byrne

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