Medtronic have been crowned Connacht champions for the first time with an emphatic 11-point victory over the Mayo Garda in the Connacht junior final in Corofin on Monday night.
Medtronic, with their greater teamwork, were the better side on the night. Two first-half goals from Mike Lundy set them on the road to victory as the Garda fullback line were given a torrid time from the rampant Medtronic forwards.
From the throw in Lundy fired over a fine point before John Devane replied with a free moments later for the Garda. However the Tribesmen gained control and grabbed a nine-point lead with two points from Cathal Kenny and two goals in a three minute spell from Mike Lundy.
Both were well taken efforts. The first came at the midway point of the first half when Kenny tore through the heart of the Garda defence before feeding Kevin Kilroy who placed the ball in the path of the inrushing Lundy who made no mistake.
Lundy followed this up with a point from a tight angle before stroking home his side’s second goal from a David Hogan pass. Were it not for a fine double save from the Garda custodian Ronan O’Grady moments later, Medtronic would have been out of sight.
The Garda side battled back well in the final 10 minutes of the half. A John Devane free was followed by three quick-fire points from David Bramley, Declan Sweeney and Russell Gibbons to reduce the gap before Mike Lundy pointed to leave the winners six clear at the interval, 2 - 5 to 0 - 5.
The Galway side continued where they had left off, and seven unanswered points in the third quarter meant no way back for the Mayo boys.
Cathal Kenny, with a speculative effort in the opening minute, stretched Medtronic’s advantage. On top at midfield, Medtronic had points from David Morris, David Hogan, Mike McNamara, Kevin Kilroy and the deadly accurate Mike Lundy as the match entered the final quarter.
A Russell Gibbons goal failed to ignite a comeback for the Mayo boys as David Morris replied with another point for the winners, and although the Garda tacked on further scores from Rory Brennan, John Flannery and Donal Rafferty, Medtronic finished with a late flourish. Substitute Eoghan O Conghaile fired home his side’s third goal before an effort from Cathal Kenny wrapped up the scoring.
Medtronic now play the Munster champions in the All Ireland semi-final.
Medtronic: C Clarke, K Dooher, R McDermott, D McHugh, R Rogers, T Crowe, M Grimes, R Holian, D Hogan (0-1 ), T Prendergast, M McNamara (0-1 ), K Furey, M Lundy (2-4 ), C Kenny (0-4 ), K Kilroy (0-1 ). Subs, D Morris (0-2 ), B O’Donovan, J Keane, D Mullen, E O Conghaile (1-0 ).
Garda (Mayo ): R O’Grady, N O’Malley, A Brennan, J Flannery (0-1 ), B Henley, D Sweeney (0-1 ), K Lavelle, R Brennan (0-1 ), P Barrett, I Coyne, J Keane, D Bramley (0-1 ), D McDonagh, J Devane (0-2 ), R Gibbons (1-1 ). Subs, B Walsh, D Rafferty (0-1 ), P Ruane, B McGuire.
Referee: Brendan Kinnevey.