Mayo make final with ease

Connacht Minor Football Championship semi-final

Mayo 2-13


Mayo booked their place in the Connacht minor final in a fortnight's time with a comprehensive destruction of Galway in Sligo on Sunday. Ray Dempsey's side were commanding in all areas of the field with Burrishoole Shane McDermott picking up the man of the match award from his centre half back position. But Mayo's dominance on the field was most clearly shown with the fact that Galway replaced their sides centre half back, centre half forward and midfield pairing before the games end.

Danny Kirby and Alex Corduff were dominant in the middle of the park winning the physical battle for the ball easily, while McDermott and Ciarán Charlton were dominant in the half back line with captain Aidan Walsh leading the line well in the forward division.

Mayo led the gam by 0-7 to 0-4 at half time but should have been further ahead kicking nine wides in the opening 30 minutes leaving Galway thinking there was something to fight for in the second half of the game. Walsh was denied an early goal for Mayo at the start of the second half when his flick on form Danny Kirby's long ball in was cleared off the line. Galway cut the gap to two points a minute into the terminal half through Patrick Sweeney but from there on in Mayo turned on the style. McDermott charged up the field and clipped over a point, Andrew Farrell scored a peach on the turn and five minutes into the half the killer score arrived in style. McDermott won the ball in the middle of the park, swung the ball towards Killeen O'Connor , who showed deft control the slip inside his man and break towards goal before blasting it past Manus Breathnach in the Galway goal, to put Mayo 1-9 to 0-5 in front.

Walsh dropped over a 45 into the wind a few minutes later as Mayo kept up the pressure, scores from Brian Ruttledge and Jack McDonnell were bisected by a Galway point from Patrick Sweeney. The Tribesmen were thrown a lifeline of sorts with 11 minutes left on the stop watch when Ronan Steede picked up the ball from Conor O'Halloran, he held off two challenges before he drove the ball with the outside of the boot to the right hand corner of the net for a fantastic score to cut the gap to six points, but it was to little to late for Galway as Mayo were in no mood to let them back into the game.

Mayo replacement John Carney followed up to very bad wides with the final say on the game five minutes before the end when he collected the ball from O'Connor and flashed the ball to the back of the net from 14 yards out with a powerful finish.

Mayo started the game in determined fashion with Walsh finishing off a neat move after only two minutes, but the wides kept racking up and Galway should have been further behind at the interval. Patrick Sweeney replied for Galway four minutes, but points from Darren Coen and Ruttledge kept Mayo ticking over. Eric Monahan got Galway's second point of the game at the midway point in the half. The Mayo scoring in the half was rounded off by a double from captain Walsh and another Coen point, with two minors from John Ross Bodkin keeping his side in touch at the break. But that was as good as it got for Galway as Mayo powered home.

Mayo: Michael Slingermann; Michael Walsh, Keith Rodgers, David Gavin; Keelan Crowe, Shane McDermott (0-1 ), Ciarán Charlton; Danny Kirby, Alex Corduff; Andrew Farrell (0-1 ), Darren Coen (0-2 ), Fergal Durkin; Brian Ruttledge (0-2 ), Aidan Walsh ( 0-6, 3f, 1 45' ), Killeen O'Connor. (1-0 ) Subs: Jack McDonnell (0-1 ) for Durkin (ht ), John Carney (1-0 ) for Coen (50 mins ), Jonathan Donoghue for Ruttledge (57 mins ), Danny Geraghty for Gavin (59 mins )

Galway: Manus Breathnach; Shane Coughlan, Jonathan, Duane, Gary Sweeney; Shane Bohan, Brian Flaherty, Conor O'Halloran; Ronan O'Connell, Fintán Ó Corraoin; Thomas Flynn, John Ross Bodkin (0-2, 1f ), David Wynne; Ronan Steede (1-0 ), Eric Monahan (1-0 ), Patrick Sweeney (0-3 ). Padraic Cunningham for Ó Corraoin (27 mins ), Eanna Langan for Flaherty (34 mins ), Cathal Sweeney for O'Connell (38 mins ), Peadar Ó'Gríofa for Wynne (47 mins ), Fiach Ó'Beara for Bodkin (57 mins )

Ref: D Hunt


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