FL1: Mayo beat table-toppers Cork

March 16, 2014

Mayo's Mikey Sweeney with Kevin Crowley of Cork
©INPHO/Donall Farmer
Mayo 4-12
Cork 2-14

Mayo ended Cork's 100 per cent record with their third victory on the bounce at Elvery's MacHale Park.

Staring at relegation just three weeks ago, James Horan's men have turned their campaign around and are now, incredibly, in contention for a league semi-final spot. They recovered from a slow start - which saw them trail by 0-0 to 0-5 after 11 minutes - to become the first team to beat the Rebels in 2014 thanks to goals from Jason Doherty, Alan Freeman, Jason Gibbons and Cillian O'Connor, who was making his first start of the season.

Despite this reversal, Brian Cuthbert's charges remain top of Division 1 this evening.

With Colm O'Neill starting in place of Daniel Goulding, the Rebels raced out of the starting blocks with five early points from Brian Hurley (three) and Donnacha O'Connor (two). Keith Higgins hit the post for Mayo, but they were level by the 18th minute thanks to unanswered points from Gibbons, O'Connor, Kevin McLoughlin, Lee Keegan and Aidan O'Shea.

The momentum remained with the home side as McLoughlin and O'Connor pointed to push them into a 0-9 to 0-6 lead before Jason Doherty ghosted in behind the Cork defence to field a high ball and rattle the net.

An Aidan Walsh point for the Rebels was sandwiched between efforts from McLoughlin and Doherty as the Westerners took a 1-11 to 0-7 lead into the break.

The home side tightened their grip on proceedings in the third quarter when goals from Freeman and Gibbosn in the 48th and 51st minutes propelled them into a 3-12 to 0-9 lead.

Substitute Mark Collins and Hurley had points for Cork before another sub, John O'Rourke, gave them hope with a 56th minute goal, 1-12 to 3-12.

But Mayo hit back with a fourth goal from O'Connor with nine minutes remaining to make it 4-12 to 1-13. O'Rourke and Collins pulled back points for the visitors before Hurley left four in it with a goal from a close-in free in the dying moments.

Mayo - R Hennelly; S McHale, B Harrison, G Cafferkey; L Keegan (0-1), C Boyle, D Vaughan; A O'Shea (0-1), J Gibbons (1-1); K McLoughlin (0-4,1f), K Higgins, J Doherty (1-3); M Sweeney, A Freeman (1-0), C O'Connor (1-2, 0-2f). Subs: S O'Shea for A O'Shea, B Gallagher for K Higgins, D Drake for S McHale, D Coen for A Freeman, T Parsons for J Gibbons, E Varley for M Sweeney.

Cork - K O'Halloran; M Shields, E Cadogan, K Crowley; C Dorman, Thomas Clancy, A Cronin; A O'Sullivan, A Walsh (0-3); C O'Driscoll, P Kerrigan, Tomas Clancy; C O'Neill (0-1'45), B Hurley (1-5, 0-1f), D O'Connor (0-3, 2f). Subs: M Collins (0-1) for Tomas Clancy, J O'Rourke (1-0) for C O'Neill, F Goold for D O'Connor, Barry O'Driscoll for E Cadogan, J Hayes (0-1f) for F Goold (BC).

Referee - R Hickey.

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