Mayo dismiss London for Connacht three-in-a-row
Exiles overpowered in uncharted territory as Cillian O’Connor grabs hat-trick in Castlebar
Mayo’s Alan Freeman celebrates scoring the opening goal in Castlebar. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho
Seven-year-old London supporter Shane Lynott may yet se better days in Castlebar. Photograph: Cathal Noonan/Inpho
Mayo 5-11 London 0-10: So the first globalised Connacht football final ended up distinctly local, as Mayo effectively waltzed around their home grounds at Castlebar to win a third successive provincial title.
The day was always going to be more about the celebration of London’s first ever final appearance than the inevitable Mayo victory.
It leaves Mayo still seeking something of a true test going into the All-Ireland quarter-final, as there was no such challenge here: what was tested was their patience to work up the scores against a typically physical London team, and then willingness to sustain it over the 70 minutes.
In front of a very big crowd of 21,274, albeit almost entirely from Mayo, London’s only challenge came from the frees of Lorcan Mulvey, and they were lucky not to be further behind than 2-6 to 0-5 at half-time as Mayo hit 12 wides in the opening 35 minutes.
O’Connor’s appearance at fhalf-time – fully recovered it appears from the shoulder injury – injected some necessary pace into the forward line and his three goals, including one penalty, diverted the game down a one-street, and a dead end for London.
MAYO: R Hennelly; T Cunniffe, C Barrett, G Cafferkey; L Keegan (0-2), K Higgins, C Boyle; A O’Shea, S O’Shea; K McLoughlin (0-2, one free), A Dillon, R Feeney (0-1); D Coen (1-0), A Freeman (1-2), A Moran (capt) (0-1).
Subs: C O’Connor (3-3, three frees, one penalty) for Coen (half time), M Conroy for Freeman (45 mins), D Vaughan for Feeney (48 mins), E Varley for Moran (54 mins), S McHale for Cafferky (60 mins).
Yellow cards: L Keegan (50 mins), C Boyle (56 mins).
Red cards: None.
LONDON: D Traynor; P Butler, S Curran, D McGreevy; S Hannon (capt), S Mulligan, A Gaughan; C Doyle, P Geraghty; G Crowley, D Dunleavy (0-1), C McCallion; E O’Neill, L Mulvey (0-7,six frees), C Magee.
Subs: C Og Greene for Gaughan (25 mins), C Daly for Doyle (32 mins), S Kelly (0-1, a free) for O’Neill (44 mins), B Mitchell for Crowley (55 mins), P McGoldrick (0-1) for Dunleavy (66 mins)
Yellow cards: S Mulligan (26 mins), C Doyle (29 mins), P Geraghty (37 ins), C McCallion (50 mins), C Og Greene (55 mins), D McGreevy (65 mins), S Kelly (70 mins).
Red cards: None
Referee: Conor Lane (Cork).