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Thursday 26 January 2023 Dublin: 6°C
INPHO/Cathal Noonan Alan Freeman celebrates scoring the opening goal.
# Champions
Mayo put 5 goals past London to claim Connacht crown
Cillian O’Connor got a hat-trick for the two-time defending champions.

Mayo 5-11

London 0-10

A peculiar Connacht final saw Mayo take the silverware again even if it is London’s western adventure that will always be remembered in future years.

James Horan steered Mayo to a third provincial success on the spin as the favourites were sufficiently crafty to deal with the underdogs’ bite and bark.

Mayo dictated the opening period, but worryingly for the hosts they weren’t as clinical as they would have wished.

From 20 opportunities Mayo only hit 2-6 with Alan Freeman influential and instrumental as a target man full-forward.

Freeman’s sharp sixth minute goal dented any small hope London might have carried into this battle , but Paul Coggins’ side remained defiant.

Damien Dunleavy was busy while Lorcan Mulvey kicked the frees well, but they leaked a second goal in the 23rdminute.

It was all about Freeman’s initial incision which allowed Richie Feeney locate Darren Coen, who confidently slammed past London custodian Declan Traynor.

Mulvey responded with three frees for the visitors ensuring that Mayo’s half-time advantage was merely 2-6 to 0-5.

But Mayo were clinical and classy after the restart with substitute Cillian O’Connor announcing his arrival with two splendid goals.

In the 41st minute Aidan O’Shea loaded the bullet for O’Connor to pull the trigger as Mayo were in cruise control.

Seven minutes later Andy Moran’s skill vexed the London rearguard with O’Connor slotting home Mayo’s fourth goal.

O’Connor completed his hat-trick with a 56th minute penalty following a Cathal Og Greene foul on Tom Cunniffe.

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London were in damage limitation mode and they were defiant until the end as Mayo booked a place in the All Ireland quarter-finals. Coggins’ London outfit face a fourth round qualifier with Cavan next weekend.

Scorers for Mayo: Cillian O’Connor 3-3 (1-0 pen, 3fs), Alan Freeman 1-2, Darren Coen 1-0, Lee Keegan 0-2, Kevin McLoughlin 0-2 (1f), Andy Moran 0-1, Richie Feeney 0-1
Scorers for London: Lorcan Mulvey 0-7 (6fs), Damien Dunleavy 0-1, Sean Kelly 0-1, Padraig McGoldrick 0-1

Mayo: Rob Hennelly; Tom Cunniffe, Ger Cafferkey, Chris Barrett; Lee Keegan, Keith Higgins, Colm Boyle; Aidan O’Shea, Seamus O’Shea; Kevin McLoughlin, Alan Dillon, Richie Feeney; Andy Moran, Alan Freeman, Darren Coen

Subs: Cillian O’Connor for Coen (36 mins), Michael Conroy for Freeman (46 mins), Donal Vaughan for Feeney (48 mins), Enda Varley for Moran (55 mins), Shane McHale for Cafferkey (60 mins)

London: Declan Traynor; Philip Butler, Stephen Curran, David McGreevy; Seamus Hannon, Shane Mulligan, Tony Gaughan; Caolon Boyle, Paul Geraghty; Greg Crowley, Damien Dunleavy, Ciaran McCallion; Eoin O’Neill, Lorcan Mulvey, Cathal Magee

Subs: Cathal Og Greene for Gaughan (25 mins), Colin Daly for Doyle (29 mins), Sean Kelly for O’Neill (46 mins), Barry Mitchell for McCallion (56 mins), Padraig McGoldrick for Dunleavy (66 mins)

Referee: C Lane (Cork)

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