Sunday, June 5, 2011

June 5 - Senior Football: Mayo v Shannon Blues

Mayo 0-10 Shannon Blues 0-11

Mayo and the Blues served up an exciting game of senior football Sunday afternoon. In the second half there was never more than one point in it, with the Blues Simon Sinnott putting the winning point over the bar in injury time. It was always a game that either side could have won, but a sending off late in the game of Mayo’s Kevin Keane for a second yellow card might have given the edge to the Blues down the critical stretch at the end of the game.

Mayo's Lewis Cawley shadowed by Steven Mann.
The first half was well contested, at the end of 30 minutes there was just 2 points between the teams with the Blues sitting on six points to four for Mayo. Mayo corner forward, Lewis Cawley, opened the scoring with a fine point from play however the Blues went on a four point scoring run over the next ten minutes. Shane O’Donoghue, Pa Magee, and Shane Cahill each pointed. Cahill looked impressive for the Blues at center forward and over the 60 minutes put in a man of the match performance. Mayo got themselves back into the game. Some fine performances from Fintan Kelly and Barry McShea in the back line helped Mayo get back on track. Midfielder Peter O’Hanlon and wing back Paudie O’Donohue each pointed to bring Mayo back within a point. The direct ball into the dangerous corner forwards appeared to be Mayo’s strategy, however, the Blues corner backs worked diligently to keep the threat at bay. Steven Mann and Shane Kelly worked hard to keep Jack McDonnell and Cawley from winning easy ball. McDonnell did take advantage of an early ball to point towards the end of the half, while Cahill and Magee pointed for the Blues.

Barry McShea and Mayo put in a hard fought 60 minutes
 but fell just short in the end.
After the restart points from Cawley and McDonnell had the sides on level terms. From then on it was up and down the field as each side tried to pull away from the other, but neither could find any separation. Cahill put the Blues up by one only for Fintan Kelly to sally from corner back and level matters. Cahill again put the Blues ahead from a free and substitute Kevin Keane again put the sides on level terms. With 10 minutes to go Ken Kileen put the Blues ahead and the game was very much in the balance. Again Mayo brought themselves level, Barry McShea running out of defence was instrumental in a move that was finished by Gervais Toner. It was Mayo’s turn to take the lead with 26 minutes gone. McDonnell put a very difficult free between the posts to give Mayo the slenderest of leads. With the tension mounting every change of possession and free was met with cheers or jeers depending on the side favoured. The Blues had plenty of chances to draw level but either missed or made the wrong choice in front of goal, the feeling was that it might just be Mayo’s day. Not so however. With a man down and under constant pressure, eventually Mayo were called for overcarrying the ball out of defence. Cahill popped the free over the bar and it was all square again in injury time. With the Blues pressing for the win, and holding a numerical advantage in players, a desperate Mayo clearance found Simon Sinnott waiting all alone on the 45. Sinnott took his measure and floated the ball down the middle and over the bar. A stirring win for the Blues to get their first two championship points of the season and disappointment for Mayo who looked like they might just pull off the win.

Mayo: A. Townsend, S. Clifford, F. Kelly (0-1), P. O’Donohue (0-1), B. McShea, M. Carlon, P. O’Hanlon (0-1), D. Kirby, M. Butterfield, R. Carthy, G. Toner (0-1), J. McDonnell (0-2), L. Cawley (0-3).  Sub: K. Keane (0-1).  Blues: G. Kissane, S. Mann, S. Kelly, P. Magee (0-2), C. Murphy, C. Mullen, D. McElligott, K. O’Shea, D. White, S. Cahill (0-6), J. McCormack, S. Moriarty, S. O’Donoghue (0-1). K. Kileen (0-1), S. Sinnott (0-1).

By Rory O'Donnell

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