Thursday 23 November 2017

Coen brace seals Mayo three-in-a-row triumph

A flurry of goals, one from the penalty spot, sealed Mayo's third Connacht title in a row.

The game was swinging slightly towards Galway, who had taken an early second-half lead through Peadar O Griofa, when captain Cillian O'Connor (right) was pulled down in the square and the resultant penalty was dispatched by Danny Kirby.

Before Galway had a chance to recover from that goal, they were struck by a thunderbolt inside a minute from Darren Coen as Mayo took a commanding five-point lead.

Any chance of Galway getting back into the game was dispelled on 46 minutes when Coen nailed his second and Mayo's third goal when his low drive crept in between the 'keeper and the upright.

A low-scoring first half -- it was a point apiece after 14 minutes -- was largely forgettable until Mayo gifted Galway a goal on 24 minutes. Three frees in a row from O'Connor had Mayo three points ahead when, despite goalkeeper Paul Mannion saving a tame effort along the ground from Galway's Paul Varley, the Mayo 'keeper was dispossessed by Varley who had the easiest of tasks of toe-poking the ball to an empty net.

It put Galway on level terms and they took the lead for the second time in the game when substitute O Griofa was on target from play.

Mayo responded before the break with a good finish from Sean Kelly after one of the better moves from the defending champions. An early second-half point from O Griofa had Galway back in front but then came the Mayo goal rush, three inside five minutes.

Scorers -- Mayo: D Coen 2-1, C O'Connor 0-4 (0-4f), D Kirby 1-1 (0-1pen), S Kelly, C O' Shea and R Quirke 0-1 each. Galway: P O Griofa 0-5 (0-3f), P Varley 1-0, S Maughan 0-3, N Quinn 0-2.

Mayo -- P Mannion; B Harrison, N Freeman, C Twomey; R Quirke, C Walsh, C Horan; D Kirby, S McGarry; F Durkan, M Forde, S Kelly; C Costello, D Coen, C O'Connor. Subs: J McDonnell for Costello (36), A Leonard for Kelly (52), C O'Shea for Forde (53).

Galway -- J Keane; P Ezergalis, J Shaughnessy, T Curran; M Loughnane, M Kelly, P Varley; E Commins, M O'Donnell; N Quinn, F O Curraoin, C Rabbitte; C O'Neill, N Breathnach, S Maughan. Subs: D Black for Kelly (20), P O Griofa for Donnell (24), F O Bearra for Shaughnessey (h-t), E McCann for Breathnach (53),J Vaughan for Loughnane (49).

Ref -- D Hunt (Roscommon).

Irish Independent

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