Connacht MFC: Mayo edge Galway to seal first title since 2014

Frank Irwin’s extra-time penalty finally separates sides on tense night in Tuam

Mayo celebrate their Connacht MFC final win over Galway in Tuam. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

Mayo celebrate their Connacht MFC final win over Galway in Tuam. Photograph: Laszlo Geczo/Inpho

 

Mayo 1-18 Galway 1-17 (AET)

Mayo claimed their first Connacht MFC title since 2014 with an extra-time victory over Galway at Tuam Stadium.

In a huge weekend for this rivalry, the visitors landed the first blow as Frank Irwin’s extra-time penalty secured the win.

It was 0-9 to 0-9 at half-time in normal time, 0-15 to 0-15 at the end of the hour, 1-17 to 0-17 in Galway’s favour after the first period of extra-time, and then Irwin struck.

It only took 54 seconds for Tomo Culhane to pop over his first free but Mayo were back level in the second minute when Frank Irwin swung over an effort off his right boot.

Galway ran up a 0-6 to 0-2 lead after 16 minutes, Culhane’s third point of the half pushing them four clear, but Mayo fought back with points from Ciaran Mylett and the impressive Henry starting a run of seven points.

But Culhane scored two frees before half-time and the teams were level at the break.

Ruairi King and Nathan Grainger then scored for Galway and Mayo’s Aidan Cosgrave was shown a black card, but Mayo were back level through Henry six minutes later.

Galway took a 0-13 to 0-11, and then 0-14 to 0-12 lead, before points from Eoin Gilraine and Henry drew the sides level.

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

John Grady scored but Daniel Cox replied and Warren Seoige pointed before Niall Cunningham was dragged down. Culhane slotted the penalty for Galway in the 66th minute. Thornton scored the final point of the first period and Galway were a goal in front.

Mayo’s Paul Walsh scored and then he was fouled by McLaughlin for the penalty, with Irwin applying the finishing touches from the spot.

Mayo: L Jennings; O McHale, O Tunney, A Cosgrove; S Dempsey (0-1), R Keane, E Gilraine (0-1); P Heneghan, E Henry (0-6, three 45s); C Mylett (0-2), R Hughes, D Thornton (0-2); P Walsh (0-1), R Walsh, F Irwin (1-2, penalty). Subs: R Morrin (0-2) for Hughes (25 min), J Grady (0-1) for R Walsh (36), E Murphy for Cosgrave (43, black card), 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 (0-1), L Tevnan; C Hernon, E Fiorentini, D McNulty; J McLaughlin (0-1, one 45), D O Flaherty; E Nolan (0-1), D Cox (0-2), D Brady (0-1); N Grainger (0-1), T Culhane (1-9, penalty, seven frees), W Seoige (0-1). Subs: R Burke for O Flaherty (46 min), N Cunningham for Grainger (46), D Kennedy for McNulty (51) S McGrath for Cox (56), C Gallagher for Brady (59), D Cox for McGrath (60), A Naughton for Nolan (70), J Webb for Kennedy (70), N Grainger for Hernon (79).

Referee: Patrick McTiernan (Roscommon).

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