Search Results for 'Andy Moran'
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Lee Keegan said that he “absolutely” meant to loop the ball over Paul Durcan’s head and into the top corner of the net three minutes into the second half. As soon as the green flag was raised by the umpires, Mayo were on their way to a fifth All Ireland semi-final in a row. That goal put seven points between the sides and it was a matter of seeing out the game from there on in.
Back when Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly took charge of the Mayo u21s for the first time in 2006, Keith Higgins was the man who they entrusted as their leader on the field. When the duo took the reins of the senior team this year it was the Ballyhaunis man they looked to again to be their battlefield commander. Higgins has been one of the finest defenders in the game over the best part of the last decade and he knows despite what others may say about the championship proper only beginning in August, it kicked off in earnest a long time ago. "If you're a Mayo player and you see the draw coming out and you see you've Galway in Salthill, that's where the championship starts no matter how good your record has been the last few years. That's championship stuff and that's what gets you going. You ask the Donegal boys and they'll say the same thing when they'd to play Tyrone in the first round at the end of May. They can't be thinking ahead to August. But August is where you want to be."
After blitzing their way through Connacht without much fuss the first test of Mayo's credentials from a side outside Connacht will come tomorrow when they square up against Donegal in Croke Park. Mayo joint managers, Noel Connelly and Pat Holmes, announced their starting 15 for the showdown on Tuesday this week, much earlier than they have done for their two other championship games, and the starting line-up showed no changes from the one that started against Sligo in the provincial decider.
With just a week to go before Mayo head into the All Ireland quarter-final in Croke Park their opponents are still unknown until this weekend's round of action in the qualifiers is completed on Saturday evening. Speaking ahead of the game, joint Mayo manager Noel Connelly said he hoped that Aidan O'Shea gets "fair play" from officials in the upcoming contest and they do award him frees when he is fouled and not let the infractions slide by just because of his size.
By the time Niall Murphy had put Sligo's first score on the board, just before the 10 minute mark, Mayo had their 46th Connacht title well under wraps, having scored 2-4 of their own. Mayo's frantic work rate and total domination of Sligo's own kick-out was the foundation to that start. They never gave Sligo an inch to breathe in the early exchanges and forced Aidan Devaney into a risky kick-out strategy that was ultimately fatal for the game. We take a look at where those scores came from below.
On the field of play, last weekend provided further evidence that Mayo are one of the teams to beat this year. They have a better balance up front with Aidan O'Shea in at full-forward, and they carry much more penetration in their inside forward line with the Breaffy man in there. What county defender can stop the Breaffy man in one-on-one combat?
I’m not sure if it’s the wisest thing I have ever done but I joined up with the 'Charlestown party bus' after Mayo’s drive for five became a reality last Sunday in Hyde Park. I felt it was important to celebrate such a milestone and such an emphatic victory in the Connacht final. I did suffer for it on Monday.
On Saturday week (August 1), the Round 4B qualifiers, between Galway and Donegal, and Sligo and Tyrone, have been fixed as a double header in Croke Park - with the Galway game due to throw in at 6pm.
Mayo used 21 players yesterday on the field in their historic win over Sligo as they picked up their fifth Connacht title on the bounce, we run our eye over the performance of all those 21 players.
Whatever lingering doubts there were at the start of the year of Mayo’s ability to retain their place at the top of the tree in Connacht, were put to bed with barely six minutes of this Connacht final elapsed on Padraig O’Sullivan’s stopwatch. At the end of the day Mayo had claimed their fifth Connacht tile on the bounce and dished out the kind of hammering to Sligo that will be of no use to either side as they move on to their respective next stages of the championship.