Connacht SFC: Exiles so, so close

May 29, 2011
London came agonisingly close to dumping Mayo out of the 2011 Connacht championship at Ruislip.

The brave Exiles gave as good as they got throughout the game but were eventually beaten by 0-19 to 2-10 after extra time.

As London sought their first SFC win in 34 years, Paul Geraghty's goal had them in a strong position at the interval, leading the lacklustre visitors by 1-4 to 0-4.

With time almost up, they still led by 1-9 to 0-10 but late points from Trevor Mortimer and Kevin McLoughlin saved James Horan's bacon, forcing extra time.

Four added-time points from Andy Moran saw the visitors home, but it was far from plain sailing as Paul Coggins' side continued to battle and substitute Cathal O'Sullivan kept them in contention with a late goal.

However, Alan Freeman, Robert Hennelly (45) and Moran pointed to finally put the hosts to the sword.

Eoin O'Neill and Sean McVeigh had the undedogs up and running with nice points and Alan Dillon pulled one back before Aidan Campbell struck the woodwork with a Mayo penalty. Geraghty's goal at the start of the third quarter was supplemented by a Mark Gottsche point and London led by 1-3 to 0-1.

O'Neill and Jason Doherty traded the last two points of the opening half and the crowd of 4,000 had plenty to ponder during the interval.

The winners rallied with points from McLoughlin, Moran (2), Dillon and James Kilcullen but they were still a point adrift with ten minutes on the stopwatch.

Moran levelled but, rather than crumble, the Exiles retorted with points from Geraghty and sub Killian Phair.

Mayo drew level again and missed two great opportunities to nick it in injury time. But they got out of jail during the extra 20 minutes.

With some very poor shooting on the day, Mayo can consider themselves fortunate to have progressed to a semi-final meeting with Galway.

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