Electric Ireland Connacht MFC: Mayo triumph in the west
Electric Ireland Connacht MFC Final
Mayo 2-13 Galway 1-10
By Billy Coss at Tuam Stadium
Goals from Tom Lydon and Thomas Tuffy in the space of four second half minutes proved decisive as Mayo retained their Connacht Minor Football Championship title against Galway at Tuam Stadium.
In a meeting between reigning provincial champions and reigning All-Ireland champions, it was Seán Deane’s men who deservedly prevailed, hitting on a purple patch that yielded 2-2 without reply and holding the home side to just three scores after the change of ends.
Though Galway raced out to an early three-point lead with terrific efforts off left and right from captain Shay McGlinchey, the next five scores all belonged to Mayo with man of the match Darragh Beirne finding his range with two of his five points on the evening.
Despite losing key forward Seán Walsh to injury, the Tribesmen reasserted their authority in the second quarter with five of the next six and Ross Coen, Daniel Fitzmaurice and Olan Kelly all on target from play.
Rio Mortimer kicked Mayo’s lone score during that spell and though Fionan O’Reilly had the final say of the half for the visitors, Galway went in armed with an 0-8 to 0-7 interval advantage.
Ciarán Mulhern and Charlie Cox points for the home side, with Beirne responding, left two in it. But in what was the critical phase of the game, Mayo took over with their bench wielding a major influence. Sub Gavin Forry was fouled inside the square and Tom Lydon stepped up to bury the resultant penalty in the 42nd minute.
That edged Mayo in front and with Forry tagging on a point and fellow replacement Thomas Tuffy clinically netting their second in the 46th minute, the winners forged into a commanding 2-10 to 0-10 lead.
Sub Fionán Ó Conghaile gave Galway renewed hope by blasting to the Mayo net with his first touch in the 49th minute, however that was to be the final score from Alan Glynn’s side.
They also lost Vinny Gill to a second yellow card late on and Mayo wrapped up their 42nd title at the grade with Lydon adding two late frees along with one from Beirne.
Scorers for Mayo: Tom Lydon 1-3 (1-0 pen, 3fs), Darragh Beirne 0-5 (2fs), Thomas Tuffy 1-0, Rio Mortimer, Fionan O’Reilly, Tiernan Egan, Senan Guilfoyle and Gavin Forry 0-1 each.
Scorers for Galway: Charlie Cox 0-3 (2frs), Fionán Ó Conghaile 1-0, Shay McGlinchey 0-2, Ross Coen, Olan Kelly, Ciarán Mulhern (f), Daniel Fitzmaurice and Ciarán McDonagh 0-1 each.
Mayo: Conor Meaney; James Lavelle, Rio Mortimer (captain), Yousif Coghill; Jamie Clarke, Eoin McGreal, Fionan O’Reilly; Tiernan Egan, Shane Cunningham; Colm Lynch, Senan Guilfoyle, Dara Neary; Darragh Beirne, Tom Lydon, Josh Carey.
Subs: Gavin Forry for Carey (35), Thomas Tuffy for Neary (42), Seán Walsh for O’Reilly (43), Conor Ryder for Egan (55), Ryan Gibbons for Lynch (60+1).
Galway: Cillian Walsh; Conor McNally, Vinny Gill, Tiarnán Proulx; Brian O’Malley, Ross Coen, Seán Rhattigan; Shay McGlinchey (captain), Olan Kelly; Ciarán Mulhern, Charlie Cox, Ciarán McDonagh; Mikey Mulryan, Seán Walsh,Daniel Fitzmaurice.
Subs: Stephen O’Grady for Walsh inj (24), Seán O’Flynn for Rhattigan (40), Ruairí Walkin for McDonagh (44), Fionán Ó Conghaile for Fitzmaurice (48), Cillian Gannon for Cox inj (60+5).
Referee: Dermot Lyons Junior (Roscommon).