FL1: Mayo canter home as Monaghan see red

March 01, 2015

Mayo's Aidan O'Shea

Mayo cruised to a 13-point victory over 13-man Monaghan in front of 6,067spectators at Castlebar, 3-15 to 0-11.

The visitors had Stephen Gollogly and Ryan Wylie sent off in either half and the Connacht champions took full advantage as Aidan O'Shea, Alan Freeman and Michael Sweeney all found the net in the last 20 minutes.

After the dismissal of Gollogly to a straight red card in the 27th minute, the winners kicked on in the last minutes of the first half to lead by 0-9 to 0-6 at the short whistle.

The Carrickmacross man has just sent over the point that reduced the arears to the minimum again, 0-7 to 0-6, when he was lined for his part in an off-the-ball incident. Cillian O'Connor then clipped over his fourth free of the day and Kevin McLoughlin struck a beauty in stoppage time to leave three in it at the break.

Despite the fact that All Star attacker Conor McManus failed a late fitness test, the Farney County - with the wind in their faces in the first half - started brightly to lead by 0-4 to 0-2 after eleven minutes. The visitors registered first through a 45-metre free from goalkeeper Rory Beggan but Mayo hit back with an Aidan O'Shea point and an O'Connor free. A Kieran Hughes point soon had the border county level before Daniel McKenna converted a brace of frees.

Ominously for Malachy O'Rourke's men, however, Mayo created three goalscoring opportunities in the opening quarter...

Donal Vaughan closed the gap before O'Connor and McKenna swapped frees and Mark Ronaldson's point made it five apiece. O'Connor (free) and Jason Doherty edged the Connacht champions two ahead. The lead was three when the short whistle sounded and the hosts, who lost Seamus O'Shea to a black card, would have an extra man when the action resumed.

When Aidan O'Shea danced around Rory Beggan to stick the ball in the net in the 15th minute of the second half, this match was over as a meaningful contest, 1-13 to 0-8.

An O'Connor free had increased the gap upon the resumption but Monaghan retorted with points from McKenna and Paul Finlay. After the visitors had lost Dermot Malone to a black card, the 2014 All-Ireland finalists registered three points in as many minutes via O'Shea, O'Connor and Ronaldson before the former broke through for the opening goal of the game.

When Wylie was also sent off in the 55th minute, any slim hopes of a Monaghan fightback complete dissipated.  Ronaldson and O'Shea added to the swelling Mayo tally before Freeman slotted the ball between the 'keeper's legs on the hour. Sweeney added the third goal a minute from the end.

Mayo - R Hennelly; T Cunniffe, K Keane, K Higgins; L Keegan, S Coen (0-1), P Durcan; D Vaughan, S O'Shea; D O'Connor (0-1), K McLoughlin (0-1), J Doherty (0-1); M Ronaldson (0-3), A O'Shea (1-3), C O'Connor (0-5f). Subs: D Kirby for S O'Shea (BC), C Boyle for D Vaughan, A Freeman (1-0) for C O'Connor, M Forde for K McLoughlin, G Cafferkey for K Keane, M Sweeney (1-0) for M Ronaldson.

Monaghan - R Beggan (0-1f); C Boyle, D Wylie, R Wylie; D Mone, K Duffy, F Kelly; N McAdam, P Finlay (0-2f); O Duffy, S Gollogly (0-1), R McAnespie; D Malone, K Hughes (0-2), D McKenna (0-4, 2f). Subs: V Corey for K Duffy, D Hughes for O Duffy, P Donaghy for D Malone (BC), K O'Connell for F Kelly, P Meegan (0-1f) for D McKenna, P McGuigan for C Boyle.

Referee - R Hickey.

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