Mallee makes net gains as Mayo edge thriller
Mayo 1-11 Galway 0-12
Mayo scored three points without reply in the closing minutes to edge out Galway in a competitive encounter at Páirc Seán MacDiarmada.
Following a slow start, the first score came after eight minutes, a converted '45 by Galway 'keeper Brendan Power.
Mayo's Darren Coen opening their account with a pointed free three minutes later.
The defending champions dominated play in the second quarter with three pointed frees by Coen and an Andrew Farrell point from play as Galway failed to score for 15 minutes.
Then two stoppage-time points from play brought Galway back into the game and left Mayo just ahead at the break, 0-5 to 0-4.
Two Galway points in quick succession immediately on the resumption gave them a slender lead but a well-worked Mayo goal in the 42nd minute, finished to the net by Ronan Mallee, handed the champions the advantage again.
However, Galway rallied with points by Antaine Ó Laoi and Sean Kelly to level matters going into the final quarter.
As both sides fought for dominance, an Eric Lee point from play in the 53rd minute edged Galway ahead.
However, it was to be their final score as in an exciting climax Mayo finished the stronger with points by Coen (2) and Ronan Mallee to secure victory.
Scorers - Mayo: D Coen 0-7 (6f); R Mallee 1-1; M Forde, G Keane, A Farrell 0-1 each. Galway: A Ó Laoi 0-4 (2f); M Reddington (1f) 0-4; E Lee 0-2; S Kelly, B Power ('45) 0-1 each.
Mayo: S Nallen; E O'Donoghue, N Freeman, S Gaughan; C Reape, P Feerick, J Kelly; P Collins, G Keane; M Togher, M Forde, S Kelly; R Mallee, A Farrell, D Coen. Subs: K Gibbons for S Kelly (40), R Holian for P Collins (52), A Gallagher for G Keane (52),T Carmody for M Togher (57).
Galway: B Power; C Reilly, T Comer, A Claffey; W Finnerty, A Kyne, D Wynne ; A Molloy, P Walsh; F Cooney, M Reddington, S Kelly; E Lee, A Ó Laoi, N Lee. Subs: L Ó Ceallaigh for T Comer (11), A Ó hIarnáin for N Lee (39).
Ref: B Judge (Sligo).