Freeman spot on to salvage draw for Mayo
Mayo 2-8 IT Sligo 1-11
Eight points from Mayo native Evan Regan looked certain to have secured a fully deserved win for IT Sligo until a late penalty from Alan Freeman rescued a draw for Mayo.
The game was switched from a waterlogged Charlestown to a wind and rain-battered Centre of Excellence in Ballyhaunis.
Freeman's finish was Mayo's only score in the second half as the students took full advantage of the wind behind them to go three points clear, having trailed at one stage in the first half by eight (1-6 to 0-1).
A Cathal Carolan goal, along with points from Darren Coen, Brian Gallagher and Kevin McLoughlin, and back-to-back frees from Coen, saw Mayo control the opening 20 minutes before Niall Walsh found the net for the students who trailed 1-8 to 1-4 at the interval.
McLoughlin and Kevin Keane left the scene on black cards for Mayo as IT Sligo grew in strength as the game wore on and they looked destined for victory thanks to the accuracy of Regan, who kicked six frees and threw in two points from play to suggest he may be returning to the Mayo panel for 2014.
Sligo looked the stronger side in the last 15 minutes and seemed destined to add two points to the one they shared with Roscommon in the opening round.
However, a foul on Coen presented Freeman with the chance to rescue something for Mayo and his clinical finish from the penalty spot means they go into the final round on Sunday level on points with Roscommon after a win and a draw.
SCORERS -- Mayo: C Carolan 1-1, A Freeman 1-0 (pen), K McLoughlin 0-3 (3fs) B Gallagher, D Coen 0-2 each. IT Sligo: E Regan 0-8 (6fs), N Walsh 1-1, S Coen 0-2,
MAYO -- B Walsh; K Rogers, K Keane, G Cafferkey; B Harrison, S McHale, D Drake; J Gibbons, B Gallagher; S Kelly, C Freeman, C Carolan; K McLoughlin, D Coen, A Moran. Subs: C Boyle for McLoughlin (26, BC), J Doherty for Cafferkey (h-t), M Conroy for A Moran (h-t), L Keegan for Keane (35, BC), A Freeman for S Kelly (45).
IT SLIGO -- A McCallig; R Donovan, S Fee, E Flanagan; K Cawley, M McWeeney, P Varley; S O'Grady D Geraghty; M McHugh, R McHugh, C Mulryan; S Coen , N Walsh, E Regan. Sub: B McQuaid for McWeeney.
REF -- R McBrien (Leitrim).