By Eoghan Cormican, MacHale Park
Mayo 2-17 Kildare 0-14
A powerful 10-minute burst at the end of the first-half – during which the home outfit hit 2-3 on the bounce – secured Mayo’s place in the fourth round qualifier draw on Monday morning.
This contest, watched by a crowd of 14,557, was pretty much done and dusted by half-time, the home side enjoying a 2-9 to 0-5 lead.
And it could have been more but for referee Derek O’Mahoney’s decision to wave away two Mayo penalty claims.
Three sublime efforts from Diarmuid O’Connor and two frees from brother Cillian had the favourites 0-5 to 0-1 clear by the 11th minute.
While Kildare rallied somewhat to outscore their opponents by 0-4 to 0-1 in the ensuing 10 minutes, Cian O’Neill’s charges would fail to add to their tally for the remainder of the half. During this period, the visitors were hit for 2-3 without reply.
Evan Regan pounced for their opening goal on 29 minutes after Andy Moran’s initial effort was smothered by Ciarán Fitzpatrick.
Diarmuid O’Connor supplied goal number two, the Mayo half-forward negotiating six white shirts before drop-kicking the ball past Mark Donnellan.
Evan Regan almost added a third in the subsequent action, but Donnellan spread himself well to deflect the ball over the bar.
The second-half saw Mayo ease on the throttle significantly. The first four scores were evenly shared, with successive white flags from Evan Regan and Diarmuid O’Connor thereafter moving Mayo 2-13 to 0-8 clear.
Kildare produced arguably their best football of the evening in the following 10 minutes, kicking four minors without reply. It was a goal, however, they desperately craved, but the Mayo defence never looked like being breached.
Stephen Rochford’s men march on to the final 12.
For Kildare, their summer is over.
Scorers for Mayo: D O'Connor (1-5); E Regan (1-4, 0-1 free); C O'Connor (0-2 frees), J Doherty (0-2 each); K Higgins, P Durcan, C O'Shea, A Freeman (0-1 each).
Scorers for Kildare: N Flynn (0-5, 0-2 frees, 0-1 '45); F Dowling (0-3); M O'Flaherty (0-2); K Cribbin, A Smith (0-1 free), C McNally, J Byrne (0-1 each).
Mayo: D Clarke; B Harrison, K Keane, K Higgins; C Boyle, L Keegan, P Durcan; S O’Shea, D Vaughan; D O’Connor, A O’Shea, K McLoughlin; E Regan, A Moran, C O’Connor.
Subs: S Coen for Keane (41 mins); A Dillon for Moran (48); B Moran for Boyle (52, bc); J Doherty for Harrison (63); A Freeman for Regan (65); C O’Shea for D O’Connor (68).
Kildare: M Donnellan; O Lyons, D Hyland, C Fitzpatrick; J Byrne, E Doyle, E Bolton; T Moolick, F Conway; C McNally, K Feely, E O’Flaherty; M O’Flaherty, N Flynn, N Kelly.
Subs: K Cribbin for M O’Flaherty (HT); F Dowling for Bolton (HT); A Smith for E O’Flaherty (44 mins); E Callaghan for McNally (49); P Kelly for Fitzpatrick (52); C Healy for Flynn (65).
Referee: D O’Mahoney (Tipperary).