NFL: Moran rescues Mayo
06 February 2011
Down's Marty Clarke gets in his pass as Mayo's Ronan McGarrity attempts to block during the NFL round 1 clash at Castlebar.
Andy Moran ensured that James Horan's first NFL game in charge of Mayo wouldn't be a losing one after he kicked a late equalising point to deny Down victory in front of 8,000 spectators at McHale Park last night.
The home side trailed for most of the game, but dug deep in the second half to salvage a share of the spoils against last year's All-Ireland finalists. Down got off to a flier when Marty Clarke's '45' deceived the Mayo defence and ended up in the back of the net.
A second goal from John Clarke in the 24th minute left the visitors sitting pretty on a 2-4 to 0-3 lead, but a similar score from Alan Freeman had reduced the margin to four points, 2-5 to 1-4, at half-time.
Mayo ourscored their hosts by 0-3 to 0-1 in the opening 10 minutes of the second half, but found themselves trailing by 1-7 to 3-6 after Benny Coulter set up sub Conor Maginn for the Mournemen's third goal.
But the Westerners refused to lie down and had the margin down to the minimum with seven minutes remaining thanks to a brace of Andy Moran frees and points from Freeman and Kevin McLaughlin. Enda Varley then levelled, only for Maginn to immediately restore Down's lead.
However, there was still time for Moran to save the day for Mayo.
Scorers - Mayo: A Moran 0-6 (0-3f), A Freeman 1-1, M Ronaldson 0-3 (0-2f), A Dillon, E Varley, K McLaughlin 0-1 each Down: M Clarke 1-3, (1-0 '45', 0-2f), J Clarke, C Maginn 1-1 each, D Hughes 0-2
Mayo: K O'Malley; T Cunniffe, C Hallinan, K Higgins; R Feeney, G Cafferkey, K McLoughlin; R McGarrity, J Gibbons; A Moran, A O'Shea, A Dillon; E Varley, A Freeman, M Ronaldson. Subs: P Gardiner for Feeney (45), N Douglas for Ronaldson (45), T Parsons for Gibbons (56), C O'Connor for Freeman (63)
Down: B McVeigh; G McCartan, D Gordon, L Howard; A Brannigan, K McKernan, P McPolin; P Fitzpatrick, K King; D Hughes, M Poland, M Clarke; P McComiskey, J Clarke, B Coulter. Subs: C Maginn for King (47), R Murtagh for J Clarke (49), P Murney for McPolin (61)
Referee: C Reilly (Meath)