Mayo's Aidan O'Shea in action against Westmeath. Mike Shaughnessy
green and red

Cillian O'Connor returns as Mayo see off Westmeath in Mullingar

James Horan’s side enjoyed a successful trip to Mullingar.

Mayo 2-17
Westmeath 3-9

MAYO DID IT the hard way in Mullingar this afternoon but eventually came out with a precious win to keep their Allianz League title hopes alive.

James Horan’s side stormed out of the traps and moved into a whopping nine-point lead with just 10 minutes on the clock. But they blew it all in the space of 30 minutes and dramatically fell two behind early in the second-half.

Kieran Martin and James Dolan both netted for hosts Westmeath in front of 6,600 supporters at Cusack Park to haul them back. But Paul Bealin’s rock bottom outfit couldn’t hold on and were reeled in throughout the second-half as Mayo came roaring back into the game.

Alan Freeman impressed with five points while subs Brian Gallagher, Cillian O’Connor and David Drake were all on the mark in a nine-point scoring burst. It helped Mayo turn around a 2-8 to 2-7 half-time deficit to lead comfortably approaching the final few minutes.

Westmeath missed a number of chances in the second-half as the game hung in the balance. They did score a third goal in the 70th minute when Dolan struck his second of the afternoon. But Gallagher’s second point for Mayo in injury-time sealed a deserved five-point win.

Mickey Sweeney celebrates scoring a goal Mikey Sweeney celebrates scoring a goal. Mike Shaughnessy Mike Shaughnessy

Scorers for Mayo: Lee Keegan 1-2, Alan Freeman 0-5 (0-3f), Michael Sweeney 1-0, Kevin McLoughlin 0-3 (0-1f), Aidan O’Shea, Brian Gallagher 0-2 each, Enda Varley, David Drake, Cillian O’Connor (0-1f) 0-1 each.
Scorers for Westmeath: James Dolan 2-2, John Heslin 0-5 (0-5f), Kieran Martin 1-1, Des Dolan 0-1.

MAYO: Robert Hennelly; Kevin Keane, Brendan Harrison, Ger Cafferkey; Lee Keegan, Donal Vaughan, Colm Boyle; Aidan O’Shea, Jason Gibbons; Keith Higgins, Kevin McLoughlin, Jason Doherty; Enda Varley, Alan Freeman, Michael Sweeney.

Subs: David Drake for Keane h/t, Cillian O’Connor for Varley 45, Seamus O’Shea for Gibbons 52, Michael Conroy for Sweeney 57, Brian Gallagher for Doherty 60, Cathal Carolan for Higgins 67.

WESTMEATH: Darren Quinn; Steven Gilmore, Kieran Gavin, Kevin Maguire; Paul Sharry, John Gilligan, Jamie Gonoud; David Duffy, John Heslin; Kieran Martin, Ger Egan, Doran Harte; Denis Glennon, James Dolan, Des Dolan.

Subs: David McCormack for Harte 49, Gavin Hoey for Glennon 53, Denis Corroon for Duffy 60.

Referee: Eddie Kinsella (Laois).

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