THE Connaught FBD League might be saved from the scrap heap if it can produce more games like this one produced by Mayo and Galway at Elverys MacHale Park, Castlebar, this evening.
Despite heavy underfoot conditions, both teams contributed to a cracking game which saw Galway finish with 12 players, two sent off in a two-minute period midway through the second half when Galway were leading by 1-10 to 1-8.
Substitute Damien Comer saw red when he swung back the elbow after being tackled from behind by Adam Gallagher and two minutes later, Sean Mulkerrin was sent off on a black card followed by a second yellow.
A third Galway player, Sean Andy O’Ceallaigh, also saw a second yellow card in the last of four minutes of injury-time.
Peter Naughton fired home a brilliant goal five minutes into the second half to put Mayo - who led by 0-8 to 0-6 at the break - seemingly in control, but Padraic Cunningham scored a superb Galway goal to level the game at 1-8 apiece, and it was the Tribesmen who kicked two points clear, Comer scoring one of them before he saw red.
Mayo could only manage an injury-time free for Reape to add to that Naughton goal as Galway's greater hunger saw them inflict another defeat on their neighbours.
Mayo were good value for their interval lead of 0-8 to 0-6, Shane Nally, Kevin McLoughlin and Brian Reape landing some good long range points with the assistance of a strong wind, while Paul Conroy kicked the pick of the Galway points, the Tribesmen denied the best goal chance of the half when David Clarke got down at his near post to deny Padraic Cunningham.
Final score: Mayo 1-9, Galway 1-10
Galway: R. Lavelle, E. Kerin, S.A. O’Ceallaigh, S. Mulkerrin, C. Sweeney, S. Walsh, S. Kelly, P. Conroy (0-2), K. Duggan, E. Brannigan (0-1), P. Cooke, J. Duane, B. McHugh (0-3, 3f), P. Sweeney (1-1), P. Cunningham (0-2).
Subs used: D. Comer (0-1) for Duggan (46), C. Darcy for Cunningham (48), G. Bradhshaw for Brannigan (0-1), J. Heaney for Cooke (62), F. Burke for McHugh (67). D. Wynne for Sweeney (69).
Mayo: D. Clarke, S. Duffy, K. Keane, J. Oates, M. Plunkett, M. Hall, S. Akram, M. Ruane, J. Gibbons, S. Nally (0-2), A. Gallagher, K. McLoughlin (0-3, 1f), R. O'Donoghue, B. Reape (0-4, 3f), P. Naughton (1-0).
Subs used: D. O’Connor for Nally (45), G. McDonagh for Ruane (50), J. Stretton for Akram (60), F. McDonagh for Gallagher (67).
Referee: P. Neilan (Roscommon).