Allianz FL D1: Mayo edge out Galway

Allianz Football League Division One Final

Mayo 0-14 Galway 0-11

By Cian O’Connell at Croke Park

This was a satisfactory afternoon at GAA headquarters for Mayo, who collected the Allianz Football League Division One title.

Under Kevin McStay’s stewardship belief and momentum is being generated with the green and red supporters enjoying another triumph over neighbours Galway.

The hard earned manner of the win augurs well ahead of what promises to be a keenly contested Connacht Senior Football Championship.

Galway will reflect on a string of missed goalscoring opportunities with Mayo custodian Colm Reape an influential figure.

Knockmore clubman Reape also nailed three points for Mayo from two long range frees and a 45.

Ultimately that was the difference between the teams with the Mayo faithful in the 45, 041 crowd saluting the victory with a throaty roar at the end of a tight game.

The opening quarter provided plenty of encouraging evidence for Mayo, who face Roscommon in the Connacht SFC next Sunday.

During that effective Mayo burst Kevin McStay’s outfit accumulated a 0-6 to 0-1 advantage.

Paddy Durcan was thundering forward impressively; Diarmuid O’Connor and Jordan Flynn craved involvement; Ryan O’Donoghue carried a threat inside.

At the opposite end of the field Mayo were restricting Galway, forcing a couple of turovers.

When Flynn rifled over a sweet 16th minute effort Mayo led by five, but Galway summoned a brave response.

Shane Walsh converted a couple of frees before landing a delcious score from play and then John Maher squeezed over a point from an acute angle in stoppage time.

Mayo, though, replied as O’Donoghue and goalkeeper Colm Reape thumped over frees to ensure Mayo led 0-8 to 0-5 at the turnaround.

Within five minutes of the restart, though, Galway had the margin back to the minimum following two points from Rob Finnerty.

From then until the finish it was a real battle with Reape making fine saves from Matthew Tierney, Damien Comer, and Peter Cooke.

Two O’Donoghue frees steered Mayo 0-11 to 0-8 ahead, but again Galway replied.

Walsh and Cooke clipped points, but then Mayo reeled off three in a row to seal the deal.

O’Donoghue thumped over two frees and the excellent Jack Coyne contributed a critical point. It was Mayo’s first score from play since Flynn’s 16th minute effort. It still was enough to edge Mayo over the line.

Galway, trailing by four, required a goal, but could only muster a point from substitute Tomo Culhane. Mayo held on.

Roscommon are next on the agenda in Castlebar. Another challenge to embrace.

Scorers for Mayo: Ryan O’Donoghue 0-7 (5fs, 2ms), Colm Reape 0-3 (2fs, 1 45) Jack Coyne, Paddy Durcan, James Carr, and Jordan Flynn 0-1 each.

Scorers for Galway: Shane Walsh 0-5 (2fs, 145), Rob Finnerty 0-2 (1m), Seán Kelly, John Maher, Peter Cooke, and Tomo Culhane 0-1 each.

Mayo: Colm Reape; David McBrien, Jack Coyne, Sam Callinan; Stephen Coen, Conor Loftus, Paddy Durcan; Mattie Ruane, Diarmuid O’Connor; Fionn McDonagh, Jack Carney, Jordan Flynn; Aidan O’Shea, James Carr, Ryan O’Donoghue.

Subs: Eoghan McLaughlin for McBrien (HT), Tommy Conroy for Carr (52), Darren McHale for McDonagh (66), Bob Tuohy for Ruane (70), Pádraig O’Hora for Coyne (70+2).

Galway: Connor Gleeson; Johnny McGrath, Seán Fitzgerald, Seán Kelly; Dylan McHugh, John Daly, Cian Hernon; Paul Conroy, John Maher; Matthew Tierney, Johnny Heaney, Peter Cooke; Cathal Sweeney, Rob Finnerty, Shane Walsh.

Subs: Damien Comer for Heaney (33), Jack Glynn for Hernon (HT), Tomo Culhane for Finnerty (62), Daniel O’Flaherty for Sweeney (65), Dessie Conneely for Conroy (70+2).

Referee: Brendan Cawley (Kildare).