Mayo finish in style to relegate pointless Down

The home side sped into a big lead before Down battled hard at McHale Park

Mayo’s Evan Regan celebrates with Conor O’Shea. Photo: Inpho

Mayo’s Evan Regan celebrates with Conor O’Shea. Photo: Inpho

 

Mayo 1-19 Down 1-16

Mayo withstood a late rally from Down to safeguard their position in Division One after an entertaining clash in McHale Park in Castlebar.

Despite having already been relegated, Down showed great spirit and Dónal O’Hare’s injury time goal set up a nervous finish for Mayo. But substitute Andy Moran put Mayo two points up before Evan Regan’s ninth point made the game safe for the hosts.

Mayo started well and led 0-5 to 0-1 after just six minutes. Alan Freeman had a chance to extend this lead but he was brilliantly denied by Down goalkeeper Michael Cunningham. Mayo soon had their goal though as Regan was brought down in front of the Down goal after 20 minutes.

Referee Joe McQuillan awarded the home side a penalty and Cillian O’Connor blasted the ball into the top corner to put Mayo in control.

Stephen Rochford’s men should have had a second goal but Aidan O’Shea put the ball wide of Cunningham’s goal two minutes before the break. Down finished the half strongly to leave just two points between the sides.

Mayo had the wind at their backs after the interval and got the first three scores of the half. Cillian O’Connor curled over two frees before Regan added his fifth of the day to give the Connacht side a five point lead.

Sean Dornan and Paul Devlin kept Down in the hunt before Mayo kicked four unanswered scores as they looked set to cruise home. But Down rallied, scoring four unanswered points of their own to make it 1-16 to 0-16 heading into injury time.

Regan’s free, one minute into injury time, looked to have ensured the victory before O’Hare finished brilliantly to leave just a point between them. But Mayo’s experience proved crucial as Moran and Regan sealed the win.

Mayo: D Clarke; B Harrison, K Keane, C Barrett (0-1); L Keegan, C Boyle, S Nally; T Parsons, S O’Shea; C O’Shea, A O’Shea (0-1), J Doherty (0-1); A Freeman (0-2), E Regan (0-9, 0-7 frees), C O’Connor (1-4, 1-0 pen, 0-4 frees). Subs: P Durcan for Barrett (28 mins), A Dillon for Freeman (58 mins), B Moran for S O’Shea (58 mins), C Carolan for C O’Shea (63 mins), A Moran (0-1) for O’Connor (65 mins).

Down: M Cunningham (0-2, 0-2 frees); D O’Hagan, G Collins, G McGovern; D McKibbon (0-1), A Carr, D O’Hanlon (0-1); P Turley (0-1), H Brown; M Poland (0-1), R Mallon (0-1), K McKernan (0-1); C McGovern, S Dornan (0-2), D O’Hare (1-5, 0-5 frees). Subs: P Devlin (0-1) for Mallon (41 mins), C Maginn for Brown (44 mins), D Turley for O’Hanlon (57 mins), B O’Hagan for Poland (63 mins), J Murphy for Carr (70 mins).

Referee: J McQuillan (Cavan).

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