Mayo dismiss London for Connacht three-in-a-row

Exiles overpowered in uncharted territory as Cillian O’Connor grabs hat-trick in Castlebar

 

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.

Still, goals from Alan Freeman, Darren Coen, and three from substitute Cillian O’Connor ruled out any threat of it developing into a contest either.

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).