Mayo wrap up quarter-final spot ahead of Dublin date

Passing it on: Fiona McHale passes the ball on for Mayo against Cavan last weekend. Photo: Sportsfile.

Passing it on: Fiona McHale passes the ball on for Mayo against Cavan last weekend. Photo: Sportsfile.

Mayo made it two from two in the group stages of the LGFA All Ireland senior football championship last weekend after a hard fought 0-16 to 2-9 win over Cavan in Longford.

That win combined with their victory over Tipperary the week before sees Mayo head into the last eight before their final group game against Dublin this weekend. They have joined the side who beat them in the Connacht final - Galway, defending All Ireland champions Meath and their opponents this weekend in the last eight, with one round of group action left to play.

Speaking after the match, Mayo manager Michael Moyles said: "It was a really good battle and it’s something that will stand to us. We have a very young panel, a new panel and we’re getting experience all the time. But we know what’s ahead of us against Dublin and that’s a great game there that will bring us on leaps and bounds."

Tomorrow evening Moyles' side will be hitting the road again - this time to Portlaoise to take on Mick Bohan's Dubs' at 7.15pm in a game that will be live on TG4 also. They will do so without defensive duo Éilis Ronyane and Saoirse Lally, who had to leave the action against Cavan early after colliding while trying to gather possession.

But Mayo were able to hold off the Ulster side's fightback thanks to Tara Needham’s excellent last-ditch point after Cavan, had staged a great comeback after being eight points down at the start of the second half in Glennon Brothers Pearse Park. The Ulster side had levelled minutes from time through the superb Aisling Gilsenan but Needham struck at the end.

Mayo opened the scoring with a neat point from Shauna Howley in the second minute. Sinéad Greene got up in the eighth minute to score Cavan’s first point to close the gap to one, before Mayo replied with three in a row.

The gap was two, in the 22nd minute, when Gilsenan hit over a fine point. Mayo’s forwards put pressure on the Cavan kick-out and were able to stretch the Cavan defence.

Points from Sinead Walsh, Needham, Sarah Mulvihill and an excellent effort from Lisa Cafferky saw Mayo extend their lead to six in the 27th minute. Lauren McVeety scored a point from a free for Cavan but a fisted effort from Lisa Cafferky just before half-time restored Mayo’s six-point advantage.

The lead was eight in the 34th minute when Lisa Cafferky kicked over a free but within six minutes Cavan were back in the game. McVeety scored, then Gilsenan added a terrific point and one minute later set up Ally Cahill, and the Killygarry star scored a powerful shot to the net to cut the deficit to three points.

Mulvihill got a much-needed point for Mayo before Cavan grabbed their second goal; Gilsenan and Cahill combining again, with Cahill firing low to the net.

The lead was now just one point. Three minutes later Gilsenan scored another lovely point to draw Cavan level for the first time. A Lisa Cafferky free edged Mayo back in front but Gilsenan drew her side level again. However, right at the end Needham scored to give Mayo a narrow win.


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