Mayo 1-11 Galway 2-09

Updated: Sunday, 06 Apr 2008 20:37

Fiachra Breathnach netted for Galway
Fiachra Breathnach netted for Galway

Galway moved back to the top of the Allianz NFL Division 1 table with a last-gasp win over Mayo at Castlebar this afternoon.

Substitute Paul Conroy and Padraic Joyce both clipped over late points as Galway took the spoils in a tightly-contested Connacht derby.

With a wind advantage, Mayo led by 1-04 to 1-03 at half-time with Andy Moran and Fiachra Breathnach exchanging goals.

Although Matthew Clancy netted early in the second period for Galway, Mayo led going into the closing stages thanks to a 68th-minute Ciaran Conroy point.

But, not for the first time this season, Liam Sammon's Galway side came with a late spurt which included those crucial points from Paul Conroy and the experienced Joyce.

The victory has the Tribesmen two points clear at the summit ahead of their final game at home to Kerry next Sunday.

With recent wins over Kerry and Kildare, Mayo were hoping to make it three on the trot and cling onto the possibility of finishing in the top two in the table.

In bitterly cold conditions, Mayo took the early initiative with Conor Mortimer pointing a free after 40 seconds.

Mayo lined out as selected with Pat Harte coming in for Trevor Mortimer (hamstring), while Galway had one change with Niall Coleman ruled out and Damien Dunleavy taking his place.

Galway remained scoreless for the first 13 minutes with Cormac Bane among the players to miss early chances.

In a fiery opening, with both sides eager to dominate at centre-field, Alan Dillon had an 11th-minute free moved forward for dissent which he pointed for 0-02 to 0-00.

Mayo pushed on and after a well-taken point from Tom Parsons, Andy Moran slipped through for a 22nd-minute goal.

Austin O'Malley sandwiched an Austin O'Malley point, in between two Michael Meehan scores before the latter set up Breathnach's 34th-minute major.

Galway, who lost Joe Bergin to an early injury, added another point late on to make it a one-point game and set up an exciting second half.

The weather conditions worsened on the restart but Galway certainly upped the ante and added some zip to their forward play.

Mayo goalkeeper David Clarke was left thumping the ground when Clancy shot home Galway's second goal.

Clarke saved Meehan's initial shot but Clancy, also a goal scorer last week against Derry, was perfectly placed to stab home the rebound.

Conor Mortimer stemmed the tide with a point for Mayo but efforts from Meehan and Gary Sice had Galway leading 2-05 to 1-05, ten minutes into the half.

Mayo then had a spell of dominance with defenders David Heaney and Colm Boyle pushing forward to notch points, and James Gill and O'Malley (free) also raised white flags in a purple patch for the hosts.

By the hour mark, Galway had retaken the lead with Meehan and Padraic Joyce both finding the target for a 2-07 to 1-09 score-line.

The game swung back in Mayo's favour when O'Malley (free) and Conroy both added to their side's tally.

However, two late points from play from Paul Conroy and Joyce, who angled over the winner from the left wing, saw Galway edge home.