THEIR SUPPORTERS ENDURED another nervy finish, but Mayo eventually prevailed by three points against rivals Galway to seal their progression into the Super 8s.
Two goals inside the opening 10 mins put Mayo in control of this contest from early on and they never really looked like losing it.
Galway to their credit fought back and even after Liam Silke missed a 53rd minute penalty, some quality shooting left them within three points heading into the final 10 minutes.
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Mayo looked to be using all their experience to close the game out and then Shane Walsh somehow beat a wall of defenders on the line with a 14m free in the 76th minute, but it arrived too late for the losing team.
Galway finished with 12 men after the Daly brothers, Michael and John (both blacks), and Ian Burke (black and a yellow) were sent-off in stoppage-time.
Galway sprang Damien Comer off the bench at half-time in a desperate attempt to add a goal threat inside, but the presence of Colm Boyle as a spare man in front of him and Brendan Harrison’s tenacity quelled his threat.
James Carr, making his second ever championship start, raised both of their green flags, while Cillian O’Connor marked his first competitive start in 12 months with a haul of six points.
Ian Burke is fouled by Chris Barrett to win a penalty.
Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO
Mayo’s full-forward line of Carr, O’Connor and Darren Coen scored an impressive 2-9 between them as they ended a run of seven straight defeats to their neighbours in all competitions.
James Horan has successfully navigated his first trip through the qualifiers and they’ll have little chance to recover ahead of a showdown with Kerry in Killarney next weekend.
Galway tried to clog up Mayo’s middle channel yet it was Mayo who had more success in forcing their opponents to shoot from tricky angles.
Galway played with John Daly in a sweeping role, which left Boyle free at the far end and he had a far greater influence on the game. Patrick Durcan tagged Shane Walsh and prevented him from causing too much harm from open play.
Corofin stopper Bernard Power, recalled by Walsh in place of Ruairi Lavelle, failed to deal with Darren Coen’s effort that dropped into the square just six minutes into the game. Carr, a late replacement in the Mayo side, pounced on the rebound and smashed it home.
Source: Ryan Byrne/INPHO
That gave Mayo a 1-2 to no score lead after just six minutes. Galway pulled back a couple of scores before Carr struck for his second goal. A brilliant run that started from outside the 45, he skinned Liam Silke and drilled a beauty into the top corner of Power’s goal.
Trailing by six points after 10 minutes, Cooke was to the fore as Galway managed to haul themselves back into contention. He took Aidan O’Shea for four first-half points in the first period, to leave the Tribesmen trailing by 2-7 to 0-7 at the interval.
Comer came in for Kelly and immediately looked dangerous at full-forward when he fisted a long delivery off the post. Mayo were eight ahead by the 46th minute but then went 15 minutes without a score.
Galway missed a golden opportunity after Colm Boyle gave away a penalty for a foot block on Ian Burke. Despite Liam Silke’s penalty miss, which was well-saved by David Clarke, Michael Daly and Walsh continued to drive Galway forward.
When substitute Kieran Molloy curled over a fine effort moments after his introduction, it left his side trailing by 2-10 to 0-13. Mayo finished the stronger as Coen, O’Connor (free) and Donie Vaughan added efforts. Walsh squeezed in a close-range free to reduce the gap to three before time ran out on their season.
Scorers for Mayo: James Carr 2-0, Cillian O’Connor 0-6 (0-5f), Darren Coen 0-3, Stephen Coen, Kevin McLoughlin, Jason Doherty and Donie Vaughan 0-1 each.
Scorers for Galway: Shane Walsh 1-3 (1-2f, 0-1 45), Peter Cooke 0-4, Eamonn Brannigan 0-2, Gary O’Donnell, Cillian McDaid, Michael Daly and Kieran Molloy 0-1 each.
1. David Clarke (Ballina Stephenites)
of the team
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2. Chris Barrett (Belmullet)
3. Brendan Harrison (Aghamore)
6. Colm Boyle (Davitts)
4. Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis)
8. Stephen Coen (Hollymount/Carramore)
5. Patrick Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels – captain)
21. Donal Vaughan (Castlebar Mitchels)
9. Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy)
10. Fionn McDonagh (Westport)
15. Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore)
11. Jason Doherty (Burrishoole)
20. James Carr (Ardagh)
13. Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber)
14. Darren Coen (Hollymount/Carramore)
12. Ciaran Treacy (Ballina Stephenites) for McLoughlin (50)
22. Evan Regan (Ballina Stephenites) for Carr (54)
26. Lee Keegan (Westport) for McDonagh (63)
7. Michael Plunkett (Ballintubber) for Doherty (70)
17. Eoin O’Donoghue (Belmullet) for Durcan (74)
23. Seamus O’Shea (Breaffy) for Vaughan (76)
16. Bernard Power (Corofin)
4. Liam Silke (Corofin)
24. Declan Kyne (Clonbur)
2. Eoghan Kerin (Annaghdown)
7. John Daly (Mountbellew-Moylough)
12. Johnny Heaney (Killannin)
5. Gary O’Donnell (Moycullen)
23. Sean Kelly (Moycullen)
6. Cillian McDaid (Monivea-Abbey)
10. Peter Cooke (Moycullen)
11. Shane Walsh (Kilkerrin-Clonberne)
9. Michael Daly (Mountbellew-Moylough)
17. Eamonn Brannigan (St Michaels)
14. Martin Farragher (Corofin)
15. Ian Burke (Corofin)
3. Seán Andy Ó Ceallaigh (Leitir Mór) for Kerins (27)
19. Damien Comer (Annaghdown) for Kelly (ht)
13. Antaine O’Laoi (An Spideal) for Farragher (43)
8. Tomas Flynn (Athenry) for McDaid (56)
25. Kieran Molloy (Corofin) for Heaney (61)
26. Adrian Varley (Cortoon Shamrocks) for Brannigan (66)
Referee: Joe McQuillan (Cavan)
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