Round 3B Qualifier: Diarmuid O'Connor inspires Mayo win
All Ireland Football Qualifier Round 3B
Mayo 2-17 Kildare 0-14
By Colm Gannon at Elverys MacHale Park
Mayo booked their place in the last 12 of the All Ireland series with a win over Kildare on Saturday evening.
The hosts hit Kildare for six coming up to half time, bagging two goals in the space of five minutes to put them in the driving seat before the interval.
The first goal came from Evan Regan after 28 minutes who had the simplest of tasks to finish from three yards out after Andy Moran had done the hard yards, seeing his goal bound shot blocked. Moran reacted quickly to poke it through to Regan before Kildare’s defence could regroup.
Five minutes later Diarmuid O’Connor beat three Kildare players down the right flank with ease and applied a good finish after being picked out by his big brother Cillian. That goal put Mayo into a 2-9 to 0-5 lead at the break.
Up to the then Kildare had found their way in the game after starting slowly and were only trailing by 0-6 to 0-5 after 21 minutes, thanks to a brace of points from both Neil Flynn and Morgan O’Flaherty and one from Cathal McNally.
Mayo had led early doors by 0-5 to 0-1 with Diarumid O’Connor kicking three points from out on the right flank off the outside of his boot and Cillian chipping in with two points from play.
The second half was played out at training game pace, and Mayo even had the luxury of posting Aidan O’Shea at full back for the most part of it.
Mayo were able to go 15 minutes from the 48th to 63rd minute without scoring but there were always more than two goals ahead of despite Kildare’s enthusiasm. With time ticking down three of Mayo’s subs, Alan Freeman, Jason Doherty, and Conor O’Shea were all able to to get their name on the scoreboard before the four minutes injury time had elapsed.
Scorers for Mayo: D O'Connor 1-5, E Regan 1-4 (1f), J Doherty 0-2, C O'Connor 0-2 (2fs), P Durcan 0-1, A Freeman 0-1, C O'Shea 0-1, K Higgins 0-1.
Scorers for Kildare: N Flynn 0-5 (2fs, 145), F Dowling 0-3, M O'Flaherty 0-2, C McNally 0-1, K Cribbin 0-1, J Byrne 0-1, A Smith 0-1 (f).
Mayo: D Clarke; B Harrision, K Keane, K Higgins; L Keegan, C Boyle, P Durcan; S O’Shea, D Vaughan; K McLoughlin, A O’Shea, D O’Connor; E Regan, A Moran, C O’Connor.
Subs: S Coen for Keane (41), A Dillon for A Moran (49), B Moran for C Boyle (BC, 53), J Doherty for B Harrision (63), A Freeman for E Regan (65), C O’Shea for D O’Connor (67).
Kildare: M Donnellan; C Fitzpatrick, D Hyland, O Lyons; J Byrne, E Doyle, E Boltan; T Moolick, K Feely; M O’Flaherty, F Conway, E O’Flaherty; C McNally, N Kelly, N Flynn.
Subs: F Dowling for E Bolton (35), K Cribbin for M O’Flaherty (35), A Smith for E O’Flaherty (44), E Callaghan for McNally (48) P Kelly for Fitzpatrick (53), C Healy for Flynn (59).
Referee: D O’Mahony (Tipperary).