Mayo captain Cathal Freeman.

Mayo hurlers claim league title

TWELVE points from Kenny Feeney, along with a super performance from Mayo dual player Keith Higgins and a solid game from Cathal Freeman, laid the foundations for a stunning win for Mayo over Down at Kingspan Breffni Park.

The sides had met in the final round of the league last week, a game Down won comfortably, but Mayo manager Derek Walsh was keeping his cards very close to his chest as he plotted a way back to Division 2A hurling next year.

It took Mayo a little time to find their rhythm as Down dominated the opening quarter, thanks largely to the attacking thrusts of talented corner-forward Paul Sheehan.

The Ulster side led by 0-5 to 0-2 after 15 minutes, but the balance of power swung Mayo’s way when Brian Morley struck for an opportunistic goal that edged his team a point ahead.

Down fought back to lead by the minimum at half-time, 0-9 to 1-5, but with the wind at their backs Mayo quickly took control in the second half.

Feeney caught fire to hit four unanswered points in a row, and that purple patch ultimately proved to be the key to their victory.

Down came hunting for a goal late on, but the Mayo defence hurled with great defiance to keep them out and seal a memorable win and a move up in grade next year.

Final score: Mayo 1-15, Down 0-14.