Mayo 1-06 Galway 1-04
The Connacht Under-20 Football Championship got under way in atrocious weather conditions this evening as Mayo dumped Galway out of the competition for the second year running at the Connacht GAA Centre of Excellence in Bekan.
Maurice Sheridan's charges advanced to the semi-final after a hard-fought and deserved win in a game that was spoiled as a spectacle by a swirling gale force wind.
However, Mayo’s organised and structured approach was better suited to the terrible conditions and they frustrated Galway for most of this war of attrition.
The Tribesmen had only managed to score three points in the first 59 minutes and a late rally, which yielded a goal from midfielder James McLaughlin, proved too little, too late.
Mayo’s goal came six minutes into the second half from Jack Fallon and they led from there to the finish with senior panellist Sam Callinan playing a leading role in their victory.
Galway had the aid of the gale in the opening half but the sides were level at half-time at 0-02 apiece as Mayo’s well-organised defence frustrated the visitor’s attack.
Mayo goalkeeper Bryan O’Flaherty also pulled off a fine double-save in the early stages.
The game-changing score arrived six minutes into the second half when Jack Fallon hit the Galway net to push the home side 1-03 to 0-03 ahead.
Eighteen scoreless minutes followed as Mayo kept Galway at arm’s length before the eventual winners hit three points in quick succession from substitute Bob Tuohy, Frank Irwin (free) and Paddy Heneghan.
This scoring burst left Galway behind by six points and, although James McLaughlin scrambled in a 59th minute goal, and Nathan Grainger converted a late free, Donal Ó Fatharta’s side had left themselves with too much to do.
Mayo now advance to a semi-final meeting with Leitrim next Wednesday.
Mayo: B O’Flaherty; A Morrison, R Keane, C Dawson; F Kelly, S Callinan, A Cosgrove; F Irwin (0-02, 1f), D McHugh; T O’Flaherty, D Thornton, J Fallon (1-00); C McHale, P Heneghan (0-01), C O’Connell (0-02).
Subs used: M Cunningham for O’Connell; P Walsh for McHale; C Reid for Fallon; B Tuohy (0-01) for Dawson.
Galway: J Egan; C Corcoran, E Donohue, C MacDonncha; R King, J McGrath, D Flaherty (0-01); J McLaughlin (1-00), C Gallagher; R Donnellan, W Seoighe, D Brady (0-01); C Power, T Culhane, N Grainger (0-02, '45, 1f).
Subs used: D Cox for Donnellan; C Greaney for King; E Nolan for Gallagher; J Slattery for Power.
Referee: M McGirl (Sligo).
A goal-hungry Longford earned a 4-09 to 1-07 victory over Wexford at Parnell Park in the Leinster championship.
Jack Duggan (2), Keelin Mc Gann and Ciarán Scanlon scored the Longford goals as they set up a quarter-final against Meath next Saturday.
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