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Mayo win the battle in Limerick

All-Ireland SFC Round 4 Qualifier

MAYO 2-13 GALWAY 1-13

By Declan Rooney at LIT Gaelic Grounds

James Carr hit two goals in the first-half as Mayo ended Galway’s championship hopes and secured their place in the All-Ireland SFC Quarter-Final series following a pulsating Round 4 clash at LIT Gaelic Grounds.

Carr’s goals in the sixth and ninth minutes came when Mayo were most dominant, and although Galway stayed in touch thanks largely to Peter Cooke, Liam Silke saw his second-half penalty saved and Cillian O’Connor finished the job for Mayo in his first start of the year.

Shane Walsh cracked a late goal from a free, while Galway finished with 12 players when Ian Burke was sent off for a second yellow card offence and both John and Michael Daly was black carded in the final action. Mayo progress to the All-Ireland quarter-finals where they will face Kerry, Donegal and either Meath or Clare.

For the second game in a row Kevin Walsh revealed a late change at goalkeeper with Bernard Power getting the start ahead of Ruairí Lavelle, and further out the field Sean Andy Ó Ceallaigh, Tom Flynn and Antaine Ó Laoi were left out. In came Declan Kyne for his first appearance since the FBD League, Sean Kelly and Eamonn Brannigan, both of whom have recently comeback back from lengthy injury lay-offs.

The alterations didn’t work early on though, and by the time Ó Ceallaigh was called from the bench in the 27th minute Galway were 2-6 to 0-4 in arrears following Mayo’s blistering start.

It was a whirlwind opening from Mayo, and their run was started following a free from O’Connor in the second minute. With Galway providing little protection to their full back line, O’Connor, Darren Coen and James Carr were well on top, and in the sixth minute Carr bagged the first goal for his side. It came from a Darren Coen shot that dropped short, but Power fumbled and Carr hammered home the rebound.

Galway were terrible in that opening 25 minutes. They were out-muscled by Mayo in the tackle, stood off their markers and were unable to create ample opportunities at the other end.

Finally they got off the mark in the eight minute when Gary O’Donnell pointed from an acute angle when the move looked to have petered out, and a minute later the excellent Peter Cooke kicked his first point of the half. He ended the first half with four points from open play and it was his efforts that spurred Galway on to an improved end to the half.

But before that Mayo ran riot. Their second goal came in the ninth minute when Paddy Durcan picked up a David Clarke kick-out on the right. The ball was claimed by Carr on the right wing, and after a 50-metre run without hardly being touched by a Galway player, he cracked the top corner of Power’s net with a super strike.

With O’Connor perfect from frees Mayo were in cruise control, but once Galway tightened up at the back when John Daly dropped deep, Kevin Walsh’s side began to improve. Cillian McDaid pointed well from the left either side of excellent Cooke points, and had Shane Walsh’s free in added-time not hit the post and bounced clear Galway would have been happy to only trail by five. Instead Mayo led 2-7 to 0-7 at the break.

Damien Comer was introduce off the bench for the second half to a rousing reception from the Galway followers in the 19,183 in attendance, and straight away he got stuck in when he added a fist to a dropping ball, only for it to crash off the post.

Mayo’s response was to kick two points in a row through the Coen brothers, Darren and Stephen, but Galway lifted their challenge again with three of the next four scores, the pick of the bunch coming from Eamonn Brannigan on the right.

Twenty minutes from time Galway only trailed by six points when Ian Burke was upended in the large parallelogram. Liam Silke stepped up to take the kick, but David Clarke dived to his left and clawed it away at his ease.

But Galway were undeterred. Shane Walsh kicked the resulting 45 and Brannigan kicked his second point to close the gap to four, while Kieran Molloy scored with his first touch after his introduction to make it 2-10 to 0-13.

Mayo had gone 17 minutes without a score until Darren Coen converted, and when O’Connor drilled over a free from almost 50 metres that sealed it for James Horan’s side.

Scorers for Mayo: James Carr 2-0, Cillian O’Connor 0-6 (5f), Darren Coen 0-3, Kevin McLoughlin 0-1, Stephen Coen 0-1, Jason Doherty 0-1, Donal Vaughan 0-1

Scorers for Galway: Shane Walsh 1-3 (1-2f, 1 45), Peter Cooke 0-4, Eamonn Brannigan 0-2, Cillian McDaid 0-1, Gary O’Donnell 0-1, Michael Daly 0-1, Kieran Molloy 0-1

MAYO: David Clarke; Keith Higgins, Chris Barrett, Brendan Harrison; Colm Boyle, Patrick Durcan, Donal Vaughan; Stephen Coen, Aidan O’Shea; Fionn McDonagh, Kevin McLoughlin, Jason Doherty; James Carr, Darren Coen, Cillian O’Connor. Subs: Ciaran Treacy for McLoughlin (50), Evan Regan for Carr (55), Lee Keegan for O’Connor (62), Michael Plunkett for Doherty (69), Eoin O’Donoghue for Durcan (73), Seamie O’Shea for Vaughan (76).

GALWAY: Bernard Power; Eoghan Kerin, Declan Kyne, Liam Silke; Gary O’Donnell, John Daly, Seán Kelly; Cillian McDaid, Peter Cooke; Johnny Heaney, Shane Walsh, Michael Daly; Martin Farragher, Ian Burke, Eamonn Brannigan. Subs: Seán Andy Ó Ceallaigh for Kerin (27), Damien Comer for Kelly (half-time), Antaine Ó Laói for Farragher (43), Tom Flynn for McDaid (56), Kieran Molloy for Heaney (60), Adrian Varley for Brannigan (66).

Referee: Joe McQuillan (Cavan).

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