Division 2 North: Mayo cruise past Down
Mayo: 2-21 Down: 1-11
On a dark, wet Saturday afternoon in McHale Park, the footballers from Mayo showed their little intention of staying in Division 2 and their major intentions of rocketing straight back up to Division one with a comprehensive 13-point victory over Down.
Footballer of the year nominee Cillian O’Connor opened his sides scoring for the day with his first of his eight points. Down wasted no time in replying however as Daniel Guinness curled over a single off his right foot. Dangerman Tommy Conroy fired over a point following a great ball from Ryan O’Donoghue to regain the lead for the home side and Michael Plunkett doubled this lead, capitalising on a poor Down kickout to raise a white flag.
The sides exchanged points from dead balls as Corey Quinn converted a caught mark from Kevin McKernan’s accurate pass from the centre of the park and O’Connor slotted over his second free of the match. Quinn added a further single before James Guinness completed a strong solo run down the wing to cut onto his left and place the ball over Robbie Hennelly’s blackspot to level the contest.
With thirteen minutes played, the first green flag of the game was raised and the man that found the net was one in a green jersey. Tommy ‘Goals’ Conroy demonstrated great composure in front of Rory Byrne to find the near bottom corner and squeeze the ball past Rory Burns in the Down goal. Both sides added further points before the water break with Fionn McDonagh, who rose high to grab Donoghue’s pass into the Mayo full forward line, chipping in with a single and Barry O’Hagan converting a free kick for Down.
Eight minutes would pass after the water break before either side would impact the score line and that score came from Mayo fullback and 2020 young footballer of the year Oisin Mullin who applied the finish at the end of a long spell of possession for Mayo to knock the ball over the bar. While Down continued their failure in registering a score Mayo extended their lead. Diarmuid O’Connor added a free kick that bounced in front of Burns’ net and over the bar and O’Donoghue rose his first white flag of the game. As the first half entered injury time O’Hagan registered Down’s first point since the 19th minute of the game with a free kick. Mayo found time for two final points before the half time whistle with Jordan Flynn driving the ball over from distance and Conroy claiming his second point to leave seven points between the sides at the interval.
The home side wasted no time in getting the second half’s scoring started as Mathew Ruane hit a fine point off the outside of his boot following the throw in. Cillian O’Connor added another free before O’Donoghue raised the second green flag of the game. Conroy, this time playing provider, broke through the Down defence and fisted the ball across to the well positioned O’Donoghue at the back post who made no mistake in finding the net. Substitute Bryan Walsh extended Mayo’s lead to thirteen before Down registered their first of the second half with another Hagan free. Cillain O’Connor added a further free kick for Mayo before Hagan hit the score of the game for Down. The corner forward lined up a shot and sold an effective dummy solo to the falling Mayo defenders before curling the ball over the blackspot. Ruane dashed up the pitch from the resulting kickout and added his second for the home side while O’Connor added a free.
Following the water break Down hit for a goal and a single. Paul Devlin curled over a free before Stephen McConville Rattled the net. Pierce Laverty played McConville through one on one with Rob Hennelly who could do nothing to stop McConville’s thunderous attempt rattling the top of his goal. Both teams’ number 13s claimed points with Conroy ending his day of scoring with his third point and Hagan ended his scoring with a final tally of five points to his name. Eoghan McLaughlin came off the bench to add a point and Cillian O’Connor finished out the game with a further three converted free kicks to leave his side victorious by a margin of thirteen points.
Mayo: Rob Hennelly, Enda Hession, Oisin Mullin, Lee Keegan, Michael Plunkett, Patrick Durcan, Rory Brickenden, Mathew Ruane, Diarmuid O’Connor, Fionn McDonagh, Kevin McGloughlin, Jordan Flynn, Tommy Conroy, Cillian O’Connor, Ryan O’Donoghue. Subs Used: Bryan Walsh for Flynn, Eoghan McLaughlin for Brickenden, Conor Loftus for McDonagh, Aidan Orme for O’Donoghue, Stephen Coen for McLoughlin, James McCormack for D. O’Connor, Colm Boyle for Keegan.
Down: Rory Burns, Gerard Collins, Gerard McGovern, Patrick Murdock, Pierce Laverty, Kevin McKernan, Jonny Flynn, Ryan McEvoy, Caolan Mooney, Ceilium Doherty, Conor Poland, Daniel Guinness, Barry O’Hagan, James Guinness, Corey Quinn. Subs Used: Liam Kerr for Doherty, Owen McCabe for Poland, Darren O’Hagan for McKernan, Stephen McConville for McEvoy, Paul Devlin for D. Guinness, Brendan McArdle for Murdock.
Mayo: Cillian O’Connor 0-8 (0-8f), Tommy Conroy 1-3, Ryan O’Donoghue 1-1, Mathew Ruane 0-2, Michael Plunkett, Fionn McDonagh, Oisin Mullin, Jordan Flynn, Diarmuid O’Connor (0-1f), Bryan Walsh, Eoghan McLaughlin 0-1 each.
Down: Barry O’Hagan 0-5 (0-3f), Stephen McConville 1-0, Corey Quinn 0-2 (0-1f), Daniel Guinness, James Guinness, Paul Devlin (0-1f), Liam Kerr 0-1 each.