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the game at a glance

Man of the match

Kevin McLoughlin (Mayo)

Barry Moran and Lee Keegan were other contenders but McLoughlin's understated contribution as an extra midfielder/sweeper was unselfish and unstinting over the full 70 minutes.

Turning point

Mayo's first goal, from Alan Freeman, in the 23rd minute. Emlyn Mulligan had just scored to leave just a point between them but Mayo swept upfield immediately to find the net and, seven minutes later, Andy Moran got their second and it was game over.

Talking point

A day after seeing Roscommon slaughter their minors also, Leitrim fans left wondering how they will close the gap on the likes of Mayo in future.

Magic moment

He may be a defender but dual star Keith Higgins showed a phenomenal turn of pace after 16 minutes, bursting upfield and soloing through to kick a great point.

Ref watch

Martin Higgins missed a lot of 'third-man' and late tackles in the first half but wised up to them after the interval.

What they said

James Horan (Mayo manager):

"Of course you'd be worried about being ring-rusty but we got enough of a scare last year over in Ruislip so that helped us to get up for this and we'd be happy with certain aspects of it."

Emlyn Mulligan

(Leitrim's top scorer):

"Bar the two goals we weren't far off them in the first half but goals win games and that's the difference between Division 1 and Division 4 teams. The two goals before half-time really killed us."

Match statistics

Wides: Mayo 9 (3 first half); Leitrim 8 (5).

Frees: Mayo 20 (8); Leitrim 22 (12).

Yellow Cards: Mayo 2 (McLoughlin 15, O'Connor 52); Leitrim 4 (McMorrow 18 and 67, McGowan 33, Brennan 48).

Red Cards: Mayo 0; Leitrim 1 (McMorrow, two yellows).

Attendance: 14,398.

What next?

Mayo play Sligo in the Connacht final on July 15, while Leitrim go into round two of the qualifiers on July 14.

Irish Independent

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