Friday 20 April 2018

O'Connor fires brace as Mayo avoid Big Apple banana skin

Mayo 4-18 New York 0-8

Gerard McCartan, New York, in action against Kevin McLoughlin, Mayo
Gerard McCartan, New York, in action against Kevin McLoughlin, Mayo
Colm Byrne, Mayo, in action against Jason Kelly, New York
Aidan O'Shea, Mayo, in action against Gary O'Driscoll, New York
Niall Farrell, New York, in action against Keith Higgins, Mayo
Oisin Madders, from New York, takes a 'selfie' with Mayo's Aidan O'Shea after the game

Coilin Duffy

Cillian O'Connor fired 2-5, including two goals from the penalty spot, as Mayo cruised to a 22-point win in New York.

Mayo were well matched by the hosts in the opening 10 minutes, but never trailed, and kicked on in the second quarter.

Donal Vaughan, shining in his attacking wing-back role, fired the opening score after 22 seconds. Kevin McLoughlin and Andy Moran pushed Mayo 0-3 to 0-0 ahead by the fourth minute, and although Brendan Quigley and Jason Kelly replied, New York failed to score from the seventh minute until the 41st minute.

A Jason Gibbons point handed Mayo a 0-6 to 0-2 lead at the end of the opening quarter.

Quick-fire scores from Cillian O'Connor and McLaughlin, and a further point from Andy Moran, made it 0-9 to 0-2 lead on 23 minutes in the Big Apple.

However, Mayo failed to score again for another 10 minutes as defences got on top, with Denis O'Sullivan, Ronan McGinley, Keith Scally, and 'keeper Gavin Joyce impressing in the home defence.


Mayo were also guilty of poor shooting during this period, with three of their six wides amassed in an eight-minute spell.

The scoring deadlock was broken by Lee Keegan, with a further score from O'Connor giving the visitors a 0-11 to 0-2 lead at the break.

Within 15 seconds of the restart, debutant Diarmuid O'Connor bagged the opening goal. Mayo moved 13 points clear with Moran's third point, and although New York kept in touch with scores, the visitors kicked on.

Alan Dillon made his first appearance for Mayo since last year's All-Ireland final, and certainly made an impact, earning two penalties, both of which were converted by Cillian O'Connor.

Gary O'Driscoll bagged New York's eighth point in the 66th minute, to cut the gap to 17 points, but Mayo refused to ease up, with Varley grabbing their fourth goal at the death.

Man of the match: Donal Vaughan

Scorers – Mayo: C O'Connor (3fs, 2-0pens) 2-5, E Varley 1-1, D O'Connor 1-0, A Moran 0-3, D Vaughan, A O'Shea, K McLoughlin 0-2 each, D Coen, L Keegan, J Gibbons 0-1 each.

New York: J Kelly 0-3 (1f), B Quigley, G O'Driscoll, A Raftery, R Wherity, J McGeeney 0-1 each.

MAYO – R Hennelly; T Cunniffe, K Keane, K Higgins; L Keegan, C Boyle, D Vaughan; J Gibbons, A O'Shea; D O'Connor, S O'Shea, J Doherty; K McLoughlin, A Moran, C O'Connor. Subs: E Varley for McLoughlin (35), R Feeney for Doherty (h-t), T Parsons for Gibbons (42), A Dillon for D O'Connor (44), C O'Shea for Moran (54), B Harrison for Higgins (58), D Coen for C O'Connor (68).

NEW YORK – G Joyce; R McGinley, G McCartan, K O'Connor; K Scally, P O'Connor, D O'Sullivan; B Quigley, A Raftery; P Boyle, J Kelly, R Wherity; J McGeeney, K Quinn, G O'Driscoll. Subs: C McCormack for K O'Connor (h-t), N Farrell for Boyle (39), L Maguire for Farrell (62), J Huvane for O'Sullivan (66).

REF – P O Sullivan (Kerry)

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