Mayo make it four in a row
MAYO weathered an early second half storm from Galway to bag their fourth Connaught senior football title in a row at sun-kissed MacHale Park, Castlebar, this afternoon before a crowd close to 28,000.
There was never any fear of the champions being dethroned as goals from Lee Keegan, Jason Doherty and Barry Moran put the seal on an emphatic victory for James Horan’s men. Mayo’s physical edge, particularly around the middle of the field and in the half-back line, meant Galway were always chasing this game for most of the 70 minutes.
The home side led by 1-9 to 0-5 at the interval, the first of Mayo’s three goals worthy of a World Cup soccer move as Cillian O’Connor flashed an inviting pass into the path of Lee Keegan, who deflected it to the net.
Galway hit the ground running in the second half with three points on the bounce and they could have had a goal but for the woodwork, which denied their top man, Shane Walsh, whose drive came back to him off the crossbar. They slashed the lead to four points but the game was effectively killed with 20 minutes remaining when Jason Doherty fired low to the net, and 13 minutes from the end, Barry Moran tapped-in from close range for his team’s third goal.
Mayo goalkeeper Robert Hennelly also saved a late penalty from Shane Walsh after Barry Moran was black-carded for his foul on Paul Conroy but there was really only going to be one winner in this final from a long way out.
The final score: Mayo 3-14, Galway 0-16.
Scorers for Mayo: C. O’Connor 0-8 (5f), J. Doherty and L. Keegan 1-1 each, B. Moran 1-0, K. McLoughlin 0-3, A. Dillon 0-1.
Scorers for Galway: S. Walsh 0-7 (5f), P. Conroy 0-4, S. Armstrong 0-2, D. Cummins, M. Lundy and G. Bradshaw 0-1 each.