Marren keeps cool in searing heat to seal Sligo's progress
Sligo 1-21 London 1-11
Sligo kept cool heads in red-hot conditions as they crushed London to advance to a semi-final date with either Galway or Mayo.
The Yeats County suffered a shock loss in Ruislip in 2013, becoming the first visiting team to lose a Connacht Championship match in the English capital, and not even 27-degree heat would prevent them from exacting revenge here.
Sligo never trailed at McGovern Park, leading by five points after 10 minutes and 10 by the half-hour. Niall Murphy was colossal around midfield while Adrian Marren rolled back the years with an impressive tally of 1-6.
Eleven different Sligo players got on the scoresheet and manager Cathal Corey feels they are in a good place heading into their Connacht semi-final against Mayo or Galway on June 3.
pressure "I thought we under a wee bit of pressure coming out here - the thing is it's a bit different when you have to travel to a match - but I thought we very professional from start to finish," he said.
"Every man had a role to play and we are delighted and we will head back now and get ready for the next round."
London came into the game on the back of a positive league campaign in which they claimed a record points haul and named seven English-born players in their starting line-up, including five in the forward line.
However, it was in attack where the sides paled in comparison. Sligo scored five points from their first five shots on goal, while London had nothing to show from seven attempts in the same period.
With Niall Murphy bossing midfield and London's kick-outs going awry, Sligo had stormed into a nine-point lead by the 25th-minute. They hit London for 1-3 in a three-minute scoring burst, Marren netting from the penalty spot after Gerard O'Kelly-Lynch was fouled by keeper Gavin McEvoy.
London's heads could have dropped when Killian Butler had a strong penalty shout turned down at the other end, but they kept plugging away and produced the move of the game to score a badly-needed goal.
Mark Gottsche made a magnificent catch in midfield and charged forward, combining with Marcus Mangan before a one-two between Fearghal McMahon and Ryan Elliott saw the former find the net.
A late point from captain Liam Gavaghan cut Sligo's lead to seven at half-time - 1-10 to 1-3 - and there was a brief sense of a London comeback when they scored three points after the restart. However, the wind was knocked out of their sails when Gottsche was black-carded for an off-the-ball hit, and full-back Ciarán Dunne followed afterwards for a cynical tackle.
Sean Carrabine came off the bench for the visitors and made an impressive impact, kicking two points, and the Sligo substitutes exposed a tiring London defence in the final quarter.
"We knew if we could get to the last 20 minutes, and them boys coming off the bench, that heat would cause London a wee bit of bother," said Corey.
London boss Ciaran Deely was frustrated his side failed to build on their league campaign but believes there is much more to come from his young side.
"I think we are a far better team than we showed on the day," Deely said. "I feel for the lads, who didn't perform up to their ability and not to be able to show the quality they have."
Scorers - Sligo: A Marren 1-6 (1-0 pen, 1f), C Henry 0-3, N Murphy, S Carrabine, S Coen 0-2 each, P Hughes, P O'Connor, A Devaney (f), L Gaughan, C Breheny, E McHugh 0-1 each. London: L Gavaghan 0-5 (2f), F McMahon 1-1, L Irwin 0-2 (1f), M Gottsche, R Elliott, E Murray 0-1 each.
Sligo - A Devaney 7; R Donovan 7, E McHugh 7, C Harrison 8; G O'Kelly-Lynch 7, A McIntyre 7, N Ewing 6; K McDonnell 7, N Murphy 9; C Henry 8, P O'Connor 6, P Hughes 7; L Gaughan 6, A Marren 8, K Cawley 6. Subs: C Breheny 7 for O'Connor (45), S Carrabine 7 for Hughes (45), S Coen 7 for Cawley (53), F Cawley 6 for Henry (66), D Cummins 6 for Murphy (70).
London: G McEvoy 4; P Butler 7, C Dunne 6, D Carrabine 6; M Walsh 7, M Mangan 8, P Begley 6; A McDermott 6, M Gottsche 6; A Moyles 5, L Gavaghan 7, T Waters 7; R Elliott 6, F McMahon 7, K Butler 5. Subs: L Irwin 7 for K Butler (ht), C Murphy 6 for Moyles (ht), M Carroll 6 for Gottsche (39, black card), C O'Neill 6 for Dunne (43, black card), G Byrne 6 for Walsh (53), E Murray 6 for Carrabine (63).
ReF - B Cassidy (Derry)