Allianz FL D1: Spoils shared in the west
Allianz Football League Division One
Mayo 1-11 Galway 2-8
By Cian O’Connell at Hastings Insurance MacHale Park
Unsurprisingly it went the distance in Castlebar. Ultimately Ryan O’Donoghue’s point with the last kick of the game ensured the spoils were divided meaning there was something for everyone at the end of a keenly contested match.
Damien Comer had nudged Galway ahead, but Mayo, who had introduced a string of experienced campaigners, responded to earn a draw.
In typical Mayo and Galway fashion the opening period featured a bit of drama and also another splendid James Carr goal to add to the collection.
Carr’s blistering 10th minute goal edged Mayo into a 1-1 to 0-2 advantage, but at the opposite end of the field Comer was causing the locals bother.
Comer clipped a couple of first half points and also crafted a few more including a delightful assist for a Cillian McDaid effort just prior to Carr’s intervention.
Galway, though, responded smartly with Matthew Tierney palming a goal following Johnny Heaney’s delivery in the 13th minute.
Paul Kelly instantly added a point for Galway, who accumulated a 1-3 to 1-1 lead as the game commenced at a decent clip with Ryan O’Donoghue replying for Mayo.
Then, though, Galway had Eoghan Kelly black carded, but during that 10 minute spell both teams managed a point each.
When the interval rolled around Galway, who had been more efficient, registering 1-5 from eight attempts compared to Mayo’s 1-3 from 10.
After the restart, though, Mayo quickly reeled off three points on the spin courtesy of Mattie Ruane, O’Donoghue (free), and Diarmuid O’Connor to move in front.
Needing inspiration Galway captain Seán Kelly burst through to mine a goal following a classy Cillian McDaid dash.
Paul Conroy struck over a point as Galway went 2-6 to 1-6 ahead in the 51st minute, but three Mayo points in a row were drilled in a burst that featured black cards for Ruane and McDaid.
It was that sort of frenetic affair with 13, 654 spectators eagerly watching on. In the closing stages Galway substitute Peter Cooke rifled over a sweet free, but Cillian O’Connor, using all of his guile, restored parity.
Comer stayed cool converting a free as Galway led once again. O’Donoghue levelled. It was a lively start in the west.
Scorers for Mayo: Ryan O’Donoghue 0-6 (4fs), James Carr 1-0, Mattie Ruane, Diarmuid O’Connor, Cillian O’Connor, Bob Tuohy, and Jordan Flynn 0-1 each.
Scorers for Galway: Matthew Tierney and Seán Kelly 1-0 each, Damien Comer 0-3 (1f, 1m), Paul Kelly, Paul Conroy, Cillian McDaid, Rob Finnerty, and Peter Cooke (f) 0-1 each.
Mayo: Colm Reape; Jack Coyne, David McBrien, Rory Brickenden; Stephen Coen, Conor Loftus, Enda Hession; Mattie Ruane, Diarmuid O’Connor; Bob Tuohy, Jack Carney, Jordan Flynn; Aiden Orme, James Carr, Ryan O’Donoghue.
Subs: Aidan O’Shea for Orme (52), Eoghan McLaughlin for D O’Connor (52), Cillian O’Connor for Carr (63), Kevin McLoughlin for Carney (67), Paul Towey for Tuohy (70+5).
Galway: Connor Gleeson; Seán Kelly, Neil Mulcahy, Eoghan Kelly; Dylan McHugh, John Daly, Daniel O’Flaherty; Paul Conroy, Cillian McDaid; Paul Kelly, Matthew Tierney, Johnny Heaney; Rob Finnerty, Damien Comer, Dessie Conneely.
Subs: Peter Cooke for Finnerty (25), Cathal Sweeney for P Kelly (43), Eoin Finnerty for Conneely (49), Jack Glynn for O’Flaherty (60), Gerard Davoren for Tierney (63).
Referee: Joe McQuillan (Cavan).