FL1: Strong finish sees Rebels past Mayo

March 25, 2012
Cork enjoyed a 0-14 to 0-13 victory over Mayo in Castlebar.

The Rebels were second-favourites after having centre forward Mark Collins sent off in the first half and Mayo led by five points shortly after half time.

But Cork hung in there and late scores from substitute Paul Kerrigan and Donncha O'Connor nicked the points, after Alan Dillon was also sent off late on.

Mayo had wind assistance in the first half and controlled the last ten minutes before the interval to lead by 0-7 to 0-3.

Alan Freeman opened the scoring with a point from play for the hosts after four minutes. Each side made one enforced change before throw-in, both at the back: Sean Kiely came into the Rebels XV for Graham Canty and Colm Boyle replaced Kevin Keane on James Horan's team.

There was a lengthy delay while Keith Higgins received treatment and Donncha O'Connor levelled the scores before Colm O'Neill popped Cork in front for the first time. Scores were hard to come by even though this match was being played in resplendent conditions, at close to championship intensity.

Centre back Donal Vaughan kicked a great point to make it two apiece at the start of the second quarter and an excellent Michael Conroy point made it 0-3 to 0-2 in favour of the Connacht champions.

Alan Dillon, Conroy and substitute Conor Mortimer were all on target as the hosts moved 0-6 to 0-3 ahead and the Leesiders suffered a major blow when centre forward Mark Collins was sent off before the break.

Andy Moran (2) and Mortimer (2) were the scorers as the home side assumed a double-scores advantage, 0-10 to 0-5, O'Connor pointing a 39th-minute free and Kiely also on target for the Rebels.

O'Connor pointed from play and Kerrigan and Moran traded overs before Barry O'Driscoll and Paddy Kelly sparked a Cork revival with eight minutes left, 0-12 to 0-10.

Jason Doherty picked a good moment to pop up with his first point of the afternoon but Alan Dillon was dismissed with a second yellow card and Cork closed within a point thanks to Aidan Walsh.

Substitute Paul Kerrigan levelled it up in the 70th minute and O'Connor hit the clincher in injury time after Paudie Kissane struck an upright.

Cork - A Quirke; R Carey, M Shields, E Cotte; S Kiely (0-1), N O'Leary, A Walsh (0-1), P Kissane; P O'Neill, A O'Connor; F Goold, M Collins, P Kelly (0-2); C O'Neill (0-1), D O'Connor (0-6). Subs - P Kerrigan (0-2) for O'Neill, B O'Driscoll (0-1) for Goold.

Mayo - D Clarke; S McHale, G Cafferkey, K Higgins; L Keegan, D Vaughan (0-1), C Boyle; S O'Shea, B Moran; K McLoughlin (0-1), C O'Connor, A Dillon (0-2); A Freeman (0-1), A Moran (0-2), M Conroy (0-2). Subs - P Gardiner for Keegan, C Mortimer (0-3) for O'Connor, D Geraghty for O'Shea, J Doherty (0-1) for Conroy, A Campbell for Boyle.

Ref - J McQuillan (Cavan).

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