Tuesday 16 July 2019

Irwin stays cool in final thriller

Electric Ireland Connacht MFC final: Mayo 1-18 Galway 1-17 (after extra time)

Mayo captain Aidan Cosgrove lifts the cup following the Electric Ireland Connacht MFC final win over Galway in Tuam last night. Photo: Sportsfile
Mayo captain Aidan Cosgrove lifts the cup following the Electric Ireland Connacht MFC final win over Galway in Tuam last night. Photo: Sportsfile

Frank Irwin scored the winning penalty as Mayo won their first Connacht minor title since 2014 in a thriller in Tuam.

Galway were seeking a fifth successive crown but despite 1-9 from Tomo Culhane, they fell on their home patch in a final that went to extra-time. Ethan Henry gave a powerful display at midfield for Mayo as they recovered from trailing 1-17 to 0-17 at half-time in extra-time to win.

Mayo had the breeze behind them in the first half but Galway were more efficient in front of goal and they ran up a 0-6 to 0-2 lead after 16 minutes, Culhane's third point of the half pushing them four clear.

Mayo fought back with points from Ciarán Mylett and the impressive Henry. But Culhane hit two frees and the teams were level at the break.

Ruairi King and Nathan Grainger scored after the break and Aidan Cosgrave was shown a black card, but Mayo were level through Henry. Galway then took a 0-14 to 0-12 lead, but points from Eoin Gilraine and Henry drew Mayo level once again.

Henry scored in the 64th minute but Culhane kept his nerve to tie the game at 0-15 to 0-15 and ensure extra-time.

John Grady scored first for Mayo but Daniel Cox replied and Warren Seoige pointed before Niall Cunningham was dragged down. Culhane slotted the penalty in the 66th minute. Dylan Thornton got the last point of the first period. Paul Walsh then got a Mayo score and was fouled by James McLaughlin for the penalty, with Irwin applying the finishing touch.

Scorers - Mayo: E Henry 0-6 (3, 1 '45); F Irwin 1-2 (1-0 pen); C Mylett, R Morrin, D Thornton 0-2 each; S Dempsey, E Gilraine, J Grady, P Walsh 0-1 each. Galway: T Culhane 1-9 (1-0 pen, 7f); D Cox 0-2; E Nolan, J McLaughlin ('45), R King, N Grainger, D Brady, W Seoige 0-1 each.

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Mayo - L Jennings; O McHale, O Tunney, A Cosgrove; S Dempsey, R Keane, E Gilraine; P Heneghan, E Henry; C Mylett, R Hughes, D Thornton; P Walsh, R Walsh, F Irwin. Subs: R Morrin for Hughes (25), J Grady for R Walsh (36), E Murphy for Cosgrave (43, BC), C O'Connor for Mylett (53), C Reid for Heneghan (59), Mylett for O'Connor (72), Hughes for Morrin (80).

Galway - D Halleran; J McGrath, R King, L Tevnan; C Hernon, E Fiorentini, D McNulty; J McLaughlin, D O Flaherty; E Nolan, D Cox, D Brady; N Grainger, T Culhane, W Seoige. Subs: R Burke for O Flaherty (46), N Cunningham for Grainger (46), S McGrath for Cox (56), C Gallagher for Brady (59), Cox for McGrath (60), A Naughton for Nolan (70), N Grainger for Hernon (79).

Ref - P McTiernan (Roscommon)

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