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Kilcoyne's goal key as Mayo pull away to retain title

MAYO retained their title following their well-deserved win over NUIG in McHale Park, Castlebar, last night.

After a very even opening half where the sides finished level, Mayo took control on the resumption and in the end were fully worth their six-point victory.

It was the students who started brightly and they led by 0-5 to 0-2 after 12 minutes.

Peadar Gardiner, Stephen Gilmartin, Denis Coroon, Aidan Mullin and Jason Doherty were their point-scorers in an excellent opening.

Mayo, who had early points from Aidan Kilcoyne and Mark Ronaldson, got back on level terms after 20 minutes following three unanswered points from Andy Moran, with two, and one from Ronaldson.

The half ended with points exchanged on two occasions. Enda Varley and Ronaldson knocked over for Mayo, with Doherty converting two frees for NUIG to leave the sides tied on 0-7 points apiece at the interval.

After Ronaldson and Kilcoyne had put Mayo two points clear after 10 minutes of the second half, the crucial score of the game arrived on 42 minutes.

A fantastic run by the impressive midfielder Jason Gibbons ended with him picking out Aidan Kilcoyne, who brilliantly found the back of the net.

It was plain sailing for Mayo after that and they added further points from Andrew Farrell, Ronaldson (2), Kilcoyne and wing-forward Aidan Campbell.

The students could only add four points to their tally in the second half, with three from Doherty and one from Gardiner.

Scorers -- Mayo: A Kilcoyne 1-3 (0-1 '45', 0-1f), M Ronaldson 0-6 (4f), A Moran 0-2, E Varley, A Farrell, A Campbell 0-1 each. NUI: J Doherty 0-6 (6f), P Gardiner 0-2, S Gilmartin, D Coroon, A Mullin 0-1 each.

Mayo -- R Hennelly; C Hallinan, D Killeen, C Barrett; L Keegan, K Higgins, R O'Connor; B Moran, T Parsons; A Campbell, A Moran, A Farrell; E Varley, A Kilcoyne, M Ronaldson. Subs: C Freeman for Varley, J Burke for Hallinan, A Feeney for O'Connor, R Feeney for Keegan.

NUI -- N King; C McDonald, K O'Connor, R Rochford; P Gardiner, C Conroy, J Moore; S Gilmartin, D Coroon; M McHugh, A Dillon, A Mullin; N Douglas, G Higgins, J Doherty. Subs: S McHale for O'Connor, F Deasmhunhaigh for McHugh, K Conlan for Higgins, K Conlon for Conroy, G McDonagh for Mullin.

Ref -- O Kelly (Roscommon).

Irish Independent