Connacht SFC: Four-goal Mayo trounce Leitrim

June 24, 2012

Mayo's Alan Freeman scores his sides opening goal of the game despite the efforts of goalkeeper Cathal McGrann and Paddy McGowan of Leitrim. But just what is the elephant in the room? ©INPHO/James Crombie
Mayo 4-20
Leitrim 0-10

Mayo booked their place in next month's Connacht football final after hammering Leitrim by 22 points at Elvery's McHale Park this afternoon.

Team captain Andy Moran grabbed two goals, while Alan Freeman and Kevin McLaughlin also raised green flags as the holders set up a final date with Sligo. It was all so easy for the home side who never looked back after Freeman struck their first goal in the 23rd minute. Moran added a second eight minutes later to give them a 2-9 to 0-7 lead at the break, and they went on to outscore the visitors by 2-11 to 0-3 in a woefully one-sided second period.

Cillian O'Connor and Alan Dillon posted early points for the home side before Darren Sweeney opened Leitrim's account. James Glancy levelled, only for Kevin McLaughlin to immediately restore Mayo's lead. Emlyn Mulligan's 35-metre free tied up the scoring again, but the hosts then took control with points from Keith Higgins and debutant Lee Keegan.

Mulligan responded with a superb free before Dillon slotted over Mayo's sixth point. Melvin Gaels clubman Mulligan narrowed the gap again, but Alan Freeman put clear daylight between the sides for the first time when he finished a sweeping move past Cathal McCrann in the 23rd minute to make it 1-6 to 0-5 in Mayo's favour.

Two more Mulligan frees left three points in it before the underdogs were dealt a second crushing blow in the 31st minute when Andy Moran rattled the net after centre back Donal Vaughan had knifed through the Leitrim defence . It was just one of several runs Vaughan and his half back colleagues made into Leitrim territory in the opening 35 minutes.

Mayo were also winning the midfield battle and Barry Moran - who mightn't have started but for Aidan O'Shea's injury - got in on the scoring act as James Horan's men led by eight points at the break.

The Connacht champions were utterly dominant after the restart as Kevin McLaughlin increased their lead with an early point. Cillian O'Connor slotted over four frees between the 43rd and 49th minutes and, while Emlyn Mulligan replied with two frees for Leitrim, Mayo kept piling on the scores.

Moran's second goal in the 54th minute made it 3-14 to 0-8. Alan Dillon, Enda Varley and substitute Ronan McGarrity tagged on further scores before McLaughlin blasted Mayo's fourth goal near the end.

A miserable day for Leitrim was compounded by the dismissal of their centre back Fabian McMorrow on a second yellow card with time almost up.

Mayo - D Clarke; K Keane, G Cafferkey, K Higgins; L Keegan, D Vaughan, C Boyle; B Moran, D Geraghty; K McLoughlin (1-2), C O'Connor (0-6, 6f), A Dillon (0-3); J Doherty, A Moran (2-0), A Freeman (1-0). Subs: R Feeney for Boyle, R McGarrity (0-1) for Geraghty, M Conroy (0-1) for Doherty, C Mortimer (0-2, 1f)for Freeman, E Varley (0-1) for A Moran.

Leitrim - C McCrann; D Beck (0-1), F McMorrow, P Maguire; C Clarke, E Williams, W McKeon; D Sweeney (0-1), S Moran; P McGowan, E Mulligan (0-7, 5f), P Brennan; R Cox (0-1), J Glancy, A Craol. Subs - R Lowe for McKeon, C Sheridan for Moran, B McDonald for Craol, G Hickey for McGowan, K Conlon for Lowe.

Ref - M Higgins (Fermanagh).

Most Read Stories