GAA Connacht Junior Championship

Leitrim's reign ended by strong Mayo

LEITRIM 0-8 MAYO 0-17

John Connolly

Reporter:

John Connolly

Email:

sports@leitrimobserver.ie

Leitrim's reign ended by strong Mayo

Leitrim players leave the field as Mayo players celebrate in Pairc Sean Mac Diarmada

Leitrim's defence of their Connacht Junior Football Championship title ended at the first hurdle when Mayo proved far too strong in Pairc Sean Mac Diarmada on Thursday evening.

Mayo were always in control and would have been far more comprehensive winners had they not missed a succession of good chances over the hour.

Leitrim actually opened the scoring with a Cathal McCrann free on six minutes but only after Mayo had three wides but once T.J. Byrne put over their first point on nine minutes, the visitors soon took on control with six points in as many minutes.

Leitrim almost got back into the game when Robbie Cunningham worked a great goal chance for himself on 17 minutes but the Dromahair man's shot cannoned off the crossbar with Conor Reynolds' follow-up blocked.

Reynolds did fist over a point two minutes later but for every point Leitrim got, Mayo responded with two more, something that occurred when sub Nevin O'Donnell put over a late free with Mayo hitting two in injury time to lead 0-10 to 0-3 at the break.

Mayo stretched the lead to ten points early in the second half before Leitrim had their best spell of the game, coinciding with a few Mayo switches, as Conor Dolan, O'Donnell, Cunningham and two more O'Donnell frees cut the gap back to five points with less than eight minutes to go.

But Mayo were never going to let Leitrim have any glimmer of hope and four unanswered points at the end ensured a nine point win for the visitors.

LEITRIM

Scorers: Nevin O'Donnell 0-4, 3f; Conor Reynolds, Conor Dolan (f), Cathal McCrann (f) & Robbie Cunningham 0-1 each

Team: Gary Hickey, James Mitchell, Alan Armstrong, Jonathan Cassidy, Nicholas McWeeney, Donal Feely, Francie Flynn, Colm Moreton, Cathal McCrann, Conor Reynolds, Kenneth Cox, John Reynolds, Robbie Cunningham, Conor Dolan, Cathal McCauley. Subs: Nevin O'Donnell for Feely (22), Sean Harkin for Mitchell (32), Seamus McMorrow for Cox (HT), Evan Harkin for Cassidy (37), Aaron Hoare for McCauley (47), Seamus Sweeney for Flynn (58)

MAYO

Scorers: Ronan Carolan 0-4, 1f; Darragh Keaveney, Cormac Doohan, James Dowd (f) & Brendan Carr 0-2 each; Ciaran Boylan, Cian Bourke, Liam Moran, Sean Walsh & T.J. Byrne 0-1 each

Team: Matthew Flanagan, Eoghan McGrath, James O'Dowd, Eddie Doran, Ciaran Boylan, David Lydon, Cian Bourke, Brendan Carr, Sean Walsh, Conor Bohan, Ronan Carolan, Liam Moran, Cormac Doohan, T.J. Byrne, Darragh Keaveney. Subs: Tomas Fahy & James Kelly for Bohan & Moran (HT), Keith Hopkins for Doran (45), James Dowd for Doohan (51), Danny McGowan for Carr (58)

Referee: John Gilmartin (Sligo)