Mayo’s O’Connor brothers land lethal one-two to take down Clare

Two goals in two minutes just after half-time help Mayo turn half-time deficit around

Mayo’s Conor Loftus is closed down by  Martin McMahon and Dean Ryan of Clare during the Round 3A football qualifier at Cusack Park in Ennis. Photograph:  Tommy Grealy/Inpho

Mayo’s Conor Loftus is closed down by Martin McMahon and Dean Ryan of Clare during the Round 3A football qualifier at Cusack Park in Ennis. Photograph: Tommy Grealy/Inpho

 

Clare 0-13 Mayo 2-14

Mayo showed their ruthless streak when the O’Connor brothers struck for two goals inside two minutes to kill this qualifying tie against Clare in Cusack Park in Ennis as early as six minutes into the second half.

The first goal came gift-wrapped when Conor Loftus intercepted a free out before finding Cillian O’Connor unmarked inside.

The second goal just two minutes later was a well-crafted move which was clinically dispatched to the net by Diarmuid O’Connor in a game which saw both teams pick up two black cards each.

The boot of Andy Moran, who scored three points from play in the first half, was the main reason why Mayo were in touch at the break – 0-8 to 0-6. Clare ran at the visitors and they might well have plundered a goal but for a brilliant save from David Clarke who denied James Malone.

But Clare deserved their interval lead, with all but one of their forwards on target playing into the wind in the first half. Mayo, who lost Donal Vaughan to a black card after just three minutes, struggled to match the pace and intensity of Clare in that first half with the banner County leading by 0-6 to 0-1 at one stage with Mayo without a score for 16 minutes.

CLARE:J Hayes; D Ryan, J Hartnett, M McMahon; C O’Dea, G Kelly, C Russell; G Brennan (0-1), C O’Connor; J Malone (0-1), S Collins (0-1), P Lillis; E Cleary (0-3, two frees), D Tubridy (0-4, all frees), K Sexton (0-2, one 45).

Subs: E Collins for Russell (b/c, 39 mins), G O’Brien (0-1) for C O’Dea (50 mins), D Nagle for Sexton (b/c, 65 mins)

MAYO: D Clarke; B Harrison, G Cafferkey, C Barrett; L Keegan (0-1), C Boyle, D Vaughan; K Higgins (0-1), S O’Shea; A O’Shea (0-1), D O’Connor (1-1), K McLoughlin (0-2); C Loftus, C O’Connor (1-5, five frees), A Moran (0-3).

Subs: S Coen for Vaughan (b/c, 3 mins), E Regan for a Moran (59 mins), T Parson for S O’Shea (66 mins), A Dillon for A O’Shea (66 mins), B Harrison (b/c, 68 mins).

Referee: S Hurson (Tyrone).

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