Friday 23 February 2018

Horan's Mayo made to work for share of spoils

Mayo 1-13 Down 3-7


Mayo never led in their opening Allianz League game at McHale Park last night, but it would have been an injustice had they been beaten.

James Horan's men undid a lot of good work by conceding three goals during the course of an entertaining encounter in front of a crowd of about 8,000. In the end, the accuracy of Andy Moran secured a draw for Mayo.

The visitors led by 2-5 to 1-4 at the break, having at one stage led by 2-4 to 0-3 after John Clarke fired to the net after 24 minutes.

Mayo were, at that stage, looking like they would be out of contention by the break in James Horan's first league match at McHale Park.

Down got a dream start when a '45' from Marty Clarke ended up in the back of the net as the Mayo defence failed to deal with the flight of the ball.

Mayo outscored Down by 0-3 to 0-1 in the opening ten minutes of the second-half, but then undid all their hard work when Benny Coulter opened their defence for Conor Maginn to finish to the net to make it 3-6 to 1-7.

But Mayo refused to be rattled and did not panic and, as Down tired, they clawed their way back into the game.

Andy Moran pointed a brace of frees and Alan Freeman and Kevin McLaughlin also found their range to reduce the margin to a point with seven minutes left.

Enda Varley then hit a superb equaliser from the right-wing, but Down responded and edged back in front with a point from sub Maginn.

Moran rescued Mayo in the final minute with an equalising point from distance.

Scorers -- Mayo: A Moran 0-6 (0-3f), A Freeman 1-1, M Ronaldson 0-3 (0-2f), A Dillon, E Varley, K McLaughlin 0-1 each Down: M Clarke 1-3, (1-0 '45', 0-2f), J Clarke, C Maginn 1-1 each, D Hughes 0-2

Mayo: K O'Malley; T Cunniffe, C Hallinan, K Higgins; R Feeney, G Cafferkey, K McLoughlin; R McGarrity, J Gibbons; A Moran, A O'Shea, A Dillon; E Varley, A Freeman, M Ronaldson. Subs: P Gardiner for Feeney (45), N Douglas for Ronaldson (45), T Parsons for Gibbons (56), C O'Connor for Freeman (63)

Down: B McVeigh; G McCartan, D Gordon, L Howard; A Brannigan, K McKernan, P McPolin; P Fitzpatrick, K King; D Hughes, M Poland, M Clarke; P McComiskey, J Clarke, B Coulter. Subs: C Maginn for King (47), R Murtagh for J Clarke (49), P Murney for McPolin (61)

Referee: C Reilly (Meath)

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