Mayo win Kennedy Shield

MAYO were crowned Kennedy Shield champions today following a 5-3 victory over Longford in the final at the University of Limerick.

Cillian Heaney (two), Rossa McAllister, Paul Walsh and Kevin Kenneally scored the goals in what was an excellent performance watched by former Republic of Ireland Under 15 team manager Niall Harrison, now the Emerging Talent programme national coordinator.

“He told us he came to watch us specifically to play because we were the best footballing team,” said Michael Horan, part of the Mayo management set-up.

“We won so many plaudits for the style of football we played,” added Michael, who was joined on the management team by fellow Westport United men Joe Fahy and Stephen Duffy.

Mayo finished third on goal difference in their group, which included the South Dublin Football League, the North East Counties Schoolboys League, and the Kildare & District Schoolboys League. Not going through in the Cup competition was a bitter pill, Michael said, because Mayo were one of the top teams in the competition, but he was delighted with how the lads regrouped and won the Shield in style.

In the quarterfinal they beat a defensive Roscommon side by three goals to nil and accounted for South Tipperary four-one in the semi-final before the comprehensive win over Longford in the final, in which they were 3-0 up at half-time and led 5-1 at one point in the second half before their opponents made the scoreline respectable.

In total, Mayo played six games and won five, losing just once (to Kildare), with eight different scorers who racked up 16 goals between them.