Connacht SFC: Gritty Galway stun Mayo
Connacht Senior Football Championship Semi-Final
By Cian O'Connell at Elverys McHale Park
Tom Flynn’s 55th minute goal proved to the decisive score as Galway secured a shock Connacht SFC semi-final success over old foes Mayo at Elverys McHale Park.
Mayo, who hadn’t suffered a defeat in the province since 2010, were stunned by Kevin Walsh’s gritty Galway outfit.
Amazingly Mayo only scored once in the closing 20 minutes as Galway hit 1-5 without reply during an important burst late on.
Flynn’s delightful goal arrived in the middle of that bout of Galway pressure with the Green and Red unable to recover.
Galway frustrated Mayo for vast chunks of the opening period before Mayo went on a crucial burst as the interval loomed.
With 29 minutes played Galway, prompted by Paul Conroy, Gary Sice, and the pacy Eamon Brannigan, led 0-5 to 0-2, but Mayo hit six of the next seven points.
That purposeful spell from Mayo saw them eventually register a score from play in the 31st minute courtesy of a sweet Colm Boyle effort.
Tom Parsons, Cillian O’Connor (free), Lee Keegan, and Stephen Coen all added points with Brannigan responding for the Tribesmen.
Deep into stoppage time Jason Doherty drilled over a fine point for Mayo, who departed with a 0-8 to 0-6 advantage.
By the 51st minute Mayo were 0-11 to 0-7 in front, but a determined Galway came thundering back as Sice rifled over a free.
Flynn dashed clear to thump a splendid goal to level, and Conroy (2), Danny Cummins, and Sice kicked further points.
O’Connor terminated a 19 minute search for a Mayo score, but sufficient Galwegian damage had been inflicted prior to a full-time maroon and white pitch invasion.
Scorers for Galway: G Sice 0-4 (3fs), E Brannigan 0-3, T Flynn 1-0, P Conroy 0-2, J Heaney 0-1, D Cummins 0-1, S Walsh 0-1.
Scorers for Mayo: C O’Connor 0-6 (5fs), J Doherty 0-1, L Keegan 0-1, C Boyle 0-1, S Coen 0-1, T Parsons 0-1, E Regan 0-1 (f).
Galway: B Power; E Kerin, D Kyne, D Wynne; L Silke, G O’Donnell, G Bradshaw; P Conroy, T Flynn; G Sice, S Walsh, J Heaney; E Brannigan, D Comer, D Cummins.
Subs: P Sweeney for Cummins (64 mins), A Varley for Walsh (65 mins), S Denvir for Heaney (67 mins), E Tierney for Flynn (70 mins, bc).
Mayo: R Hennelly; C Boyle, K Keane, B Harrison; S Coen, L Keegan, P Durcan; A O’Shea, J Gibbons; K McLoughlin, C O’Connor, T Parsons; E Regan, J Doherty, K Higgins.
Subs: S O’Shea for Gibbons (19 mins), D O’Connor for Harrison (58 mins), D Vaughan for Keane (58 mins), A Moran for Regan (64 mins), A Freeman for Parsons (67 mins)
Referee: C Lane (Cork).