Flying Feeney fires Mayo to Christy Ring promotion
Mayo 1-21 Derry 1-14
It has been a season to remember for Mayo hurling. The Westerners backed up their historic Nicky Rackard Cup win last week to qualify for next season's Christy Ring competition thanks to a seven-point win over Derry.
Kenny Feeney was the top scorer for JP Coen's side with 11 points, while Joe McManus hit four points from play in the second half as Mayo finally snuffed out what was a limited, albeit valitnat, Derry challenge.
If Mayo were missing All-Star footballer Keith Higgins it didn't show as they took an early grip in this play-off encounter to lead by 1-6 to 0-2 after the opening quarter. Darren McTigue's fourth-minute goal got them off to a great start and they went on to establish a 1-9 to 0-9 half-time lead.
Derry briefly rallied and took a surprise lead when Shane Farren converted a 43rd-minute penalty. Talisman Ruairi Convery was converting some monster frees as Tom McLean's side briefly threatened to find their first win of the season.
However, a confident Mayo side stepped up to the challenge. And with St Jude's man Joe McManus superb in the second 35 minutes, and Feeney's final total just short of the 1-9 he scored at Croke Park against Armagh, Mayo ran out convincing winners and condemn Derry to the Nicky Rackard Cup next season.
The winners play Roscommon in the Connacht Championship this weekend, while Derry must raise themselves once again to lock horns with favourites Antrim in the Ulster Championship.
SCORERS - Mayo: K Feeney 0-11 (8fs), J McManus 0-4, D McTigue 1-0, K McDermott 0-1, C Freeman 0-1, D Kenny 0-1, S Regan 0-1, C Charlton 0-1, J Cotter 0-1. Derry: R Convery 0-8 (5fs), S Farren 1-3, A Grant 0-2, M McGrath 0-1.
MAYO - D O'Brien 7; B Hunt 8, G McManus 8, E Collins 7; C Freeman 8, D Kenny 8, P Connell 7; K McDermott 8, C Charlton 8; J McManus 8, C Scahill 7, S Regan 7; D McTigue 8, K Feeney 9, F Boland 7. Subs: G Nolan for McDermott 12, A Connolly for Schall 54, J Cotter for Nolan 63, S Mulroy for McTigue 68.
DERRY - D McDermott 7; D McCloskey 7, C Quinn 7, E McGuckin 8; S McCullagh 8, P Kelly 7, B Óg McGilligan 6; M McGrath 6, O McCloskey 6; M McGuigan 7, M Conway 6, R Convery 8; A Grant 7, S Farren 6, S F Quinn 6. Subs: T McCloskey for McGilligan 46, C McSorley for Conway 46, G O'Kane for Quinn 51, B Quigley for McGrath 55.
REF - J Keane (Galway).