Mayo master class for Down
October 16, 2007
Mayo retained their All Ireland Masters crown after an exciting and thoroughly enjoyable replay played at Kingspan Breifne Park, Cavan on last Friday night, 12th October.
Played in ideal conditions on a beautiful evening the game proved that whilst form may be transient there is absolutley no substitute for class with players who have performed at the highest level turning back the clock and belying their years to turn in a fascinating hours entertainment.
Mayo's victory was laid from whirlwind periods at the start and end of the first half. Mayo opened their account with a goal from Noel Stagg. Down steadied the ship with a Mickey Linden point only to be hit again with another three-pointer from Stagg. Many teams would have panicked at this stage but Down were made of sterner stuff and back boned by All Ireland winners such as Mickey Linden and Ross Carr set about reducing the defecit. A series of points from Linden, Carr and Robby Coulter reduced the defecit to the minimum however Mayo finished the half the stronger with points from Ger Butler and Anthony Mc Garry to leave three points between the sides at the break.
Down started the second half on the attack, and again it was the Carr - Linden axis aided by some strong work in midfield from Brendan McKiernan and Gary Mason that drove them forward. The play ebbed and flowed with on every occassion that Down reduced the defecit Mayo registering a score of their own with the ace free taking of Ger Butler, and some good scores from Pat Fallon and Mc Garry keeping their nose just about in front.
With time running out Down had the defecit reduced to two points, however much as they peppered the Mayo goals the elusive match winning scores just wouldnt come and Ger Butler popped up to point a '45 at the other end to put daylight between the teams and send the first back to back All Ireland titles west since 1951.
The good sized crowd gave both teams a great ovation as they left the pitch, and former GAA Predident and Masters Founder, Dr Mick Loftus, presented the Masters Trophy to Pat Fallon, the Mayo captain.
Outstanding for Mayo in defence were Ciaran Carey, John Pat Sheridan and Anthony Mc Garry, Pat Fallon was back to his best in the middle of the park whilst up front two goal hero Stagg and five point contributor Butler were always a handfull.
Ross Carr gave a masterclass from midfield for Down, assisted by Brendan McKiernan. Eamon O'Rourke, Sean MacRory and Gary Mason were competitive in defence whilst the Mayobridge duo of Coulter and Linden proved very elusive in the full forward line.
All in all a great evenings entertainment played in a really good spirit and a fantastic advertisment for gaelic football ably assisted by the sensible refereing of Packie Smith from Cavan
Mayo - Declan O'Boyle, Sean Grealish, John Pat Sheridan, Gerry Carmody, Anthony McGarry (0-2) Ciaran Carey, Paraic Flannery, Pat Fallon (0-1) Martin McLoughlin, Noel Stagg (2-0), Paul Jordan, Tom Morrin, Ger Butler (0-5), Liam Nyland, Johnny Leonard. Subs - Tom Grealish, Declan Conway, Brendan Campbell, Richard Austin
Down - Mickey McMahon, John Farrell, Eamon O'Rourke, Sean MacRory, Paddy Hardy, Gary Mason, Mike Quinn, Brendan McKiernan, Ross Carr (0-3), Audy McVeigh (0-1), Kyran Smith, Donal Ward, Mickey Linden (0-5) Robby Coulter (0-3), Sean Devlin. Sub - Mark Mc Cartan
Referee - Packie Smith (Cavan)
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