Wednesday 12 December 2018

Connacht JFC final: Cunningham early strike key as Tribes keep Mayo at bay

Galway 1-11 Mayo1-10

Mayo's Cian Bourke makes a break down the line closely pursued by Aongus Ó hlarnáin of Galway. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Mayo's Cian Bourke makes a break down the line closely pursued by Aongus Ó hlarnáin of Galway. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Independent.ie Sportsdesk

Trailing by six points at one stage in the first-half, Mayo battled back in this decider at MacHale Park, Castlebar, yesterday, but it all proved to be in vain as Galway clung on for a deserved win.

The Tribesmen got off to a flying start and had 1-2 on the board before Mayo finally arrived in the game.

Full-forward Padraic Cunningham found the net after just two minutes, while a brace of points from Gary Kelly had them five in front.

Mayo's top man Ronan Carolan, who finished with six pointed frees, kept his side in the game, but they still looked in difficulty and trailed 1-7 to 0-4 at the break.

The home side still looked in trouble when they trailed by five points with 15 minutes remaining, but a speculative ball into the danger zone from substitute James Dowd was deflected to the net by Sean Walsh to make it 1-9 to 1-7 in favour of the visitors.

Mayo managed to reduce the deficit to a single point with just minutes remaining, but the visitors refused to panic and held their nerve to claim the title in the end.

Mayo's Seán Walsh scores his side's goal. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile
Mayo's Seán Walsh scores his side's goal. Photo: David Fitzgerald/Sportsfile

Scorers - Galway: P Cunningham 1-2; G Kelly (2fs), J Ryan (1f) 0-3 each: S Gaffney 0-2 (fs); A McDonagh 0-1.

Mayo: R Carolan 0-6 (fs); S Walsh 1-0; C Doohan 0-2; J Dowd and B Carr 0-1 each.

Galway - M Breathnach; E O'Sullivan, D Garvey, A Ward; J O'Brien, S O Currin, P O'Donnell; C Brennan, C Brady; A McDonagh,A Ó Laoi, P Eoin O Curraoin, J Ryan, P Cunningham, G Kelly. Subs: S Gaffney for G Kelly (bc, 28), A Ó hiarnain for J O'Brien (47), M Goldrick for C Brady (50), T Gleeson for A McDonough (54).

Mayo - C McGlynn, O McGrath, J O'Dowd, B Reynolds, C Moylan, D Lyon, C Burke, B Carr, S Walsh, J Kelly, R Carolan, P Gallagher, C Doohan, TJ Byrne, D Keavney. Subs: J Dowd for Gallagher (37), T Fahey for Kevaney (45), J Forkan for Boylan (bc, 50), E Doran for J O'Dowd (bc, 55).

Mayo's Brendan Carr is put under pressure by Conor Brady of Galway. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Mayo's Brendan Carr is put under pressure by Conor Brady of Galway. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Ref - P McTiernan (Roscommon)

Galway's Pádraic Cunningham breaks away from Mayo's James O'Dowd. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Galway's Pádraic Cunningham breaks away from Mayo's James O'Dowd. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Maghnus Breathnach of Galway lifting the cup after the Junior Championship Semi-Final match between Mayo and Galway at Elvery's MacHale Park in Mayo. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile
Maghnus Breathnach of Galway lifting the cup after the Junior Championship Semi-Final match between Mayo and Galway at Elvery's MacHale Park in Mayo. Photo: Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

Who is your sportstar of the year?

Vote in the Irish Independent Sport Star Awards and you could win the ultimate sports prize.

Prizes include, a trip to Old Trafford to watch Man United take on Liverpool in the Premier League, tickets to Ireland's home games in the Six Nations, All Ireland football and hurling final tickets and much more.

Simply click here to register your vote

Irish Independent

Sport Newsletter

The best sport action straight to your inbox every morning.

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport