O'Neill cuts down Mayo
Wicklow 1-19 Mayo 1-17
Wicklow had to dig very deep to see off Mayo's stubborn challenge in this first-round clash in Castlebar on Saturday.
The Division 3A champions can thank goalkeeper Wayne O'Gorman, who made a dramatic save from his opposite number in the dying moments of a lively encounter.
The free-taking of Jonathan O'Neill played a key role in guiding the visitors over the first hurdle in the competition -- he scored nine points, including eight frees.
Mayo were dealt a severe blow when dual star Keith Higgins aggravated his hamstring, forcing him out of the game after nine minutes.
At that stage Mayo had gone two points clear and when Ronan Cullinane hit the net on 25 minutes, an upset appeared on the cards.
However, Wicklow recovered to lead 1-11 to 1-9 at half-time, a superb individual goal from their lively corner-forward Enan Glynn on 31 minutes followed by two frees on the bounce from the deadly O'Neill.
Wicklow went five clear at one stage in the second half, but Mayo narrowed the gap to two and came hunting for a goal they almost snatched at the death.
Man of the Match: Jonathan O'Neill (Wicklow)
SCORERS -- Wicklow: J O'Neill 0-9 (8f), E Glynn 1-2, S Kelly, D Hyland 0-2 each, E Kearns, A O'Brien, R Keady, L Glynn 0-1 each. Mayo: S Broderick 0-7 (5f), R Cullinane 1-1, N Murphy 0-3, E Madigan 0-2, G Henry, K Feeney, D Gallagher, K Higgins ('65') 0-1 each.
WICKLOW -- W O'Gorman 8; J Connors 7, G Keogh 9, W Collins 7; G Bermingham 7, L Kennedy 8, B Cuddihy7; E Kearns 8, S Kelly 9; R Keady 7, J O'Neill 9, L Glynn 6; E Glynn 8, D Hyland 7, A O'Brien 7. Subs: T Doyle 6 for Kelly (55), J Quirke 6 for Hyland (66), E O'Neill 7 for Connors (69).
MAYO -- D O'Brien 8; B Higgins 7, A Connolly 8, G Henry 8; S Morley 8, D McConn 7, M Morley 7; C Freeman 7, E Madigan 8; N Murphy 8, D McDonnell 7, K Higgins 7, R Cullinane 7, K Feeney 7, S Broderick 8. Subs: P O'Grady 6 for Higgins (9), D Gallagher 7 for O'Grady (h-t), S Connell 7 for Freeman (47).
REF -- C Browne (Galway).