Mayo find another gear in second half to overcome Fermanagh challenge

Mayo find another gear in second half to overcome Fermanagh challenge

Mayo 2-14 Fermanagh 1-12

Second-half substitute Alan Dillon kicked two points as Mayo bounced back from their Connacht exit at the hands of Galway to edge past Fermanagh in Round 2B of the qualifiers at MacHale Park today, writes Daragh Small.

Mayo had won five provincial titles in a row prior to their exit in the semi-final on June 18 and they had to come back from 1-10 to 1-4 behind at half-time to win.

Alan Freeman found the net for Mayo but Sean Quigley goaled as Fermanagh took the momentum into half-time.

However Mayo turned it on in the second half and Cillian O’Connor hit 1-5, including a penalty, as they held on to win.

Fermanagh used the breeze to full effect in the opening quarter, and although Aidan Breen and Diarmuid O’Connor traded scores, Fermanagh were 0-4 to 0-1 ahead after 10 minutes.

Barry Mulrone, Quigley and Tomas Corrigan scored before Freeman hit Mayo’s goal after Keith Higgins had his initial effort saved wonderfully by Christopher Snow in the 14th minute.

Cillian O’Connor tied things up and although Fermanagh moved clear again, with Quigley’s goal and two points from Tomas Corrigan, two more Cillian O’Connor points had Mayo back within two in the 26th minute.

Fermanagh had not scored in 13 minutes prior to Aidan Breen’s second point, and he scored another in the 33rd minute.

Further points from Eoin Donnelly and Ryan Lyons gave Fermanagh a 1-10 to 1-4 half-time advantage.

Mayo couldn’t afford to sit back at the start of the second-half and two points from Cillian and Diarmuid O’Connor brought them back to within four.

Mulrone got a badly needed score for Fermanagh but Evan Regan cancelled that out as Mayo scored five points without reply and Dillon made an impression directly after he was introduced.

Tomas Corrigan kept the Fermanagh challenge alive, when he pointed an easy free in the 62nd minute, but full-back Che Cullen hauled down Aidan O’Shea.

Mayo find another gear in second half to overcome Fermanagh challenge

A penalty was awarded and Cillian O’Connor scored from the spot to push Mayo into a two-point lead.

Further points from Lee Keegan, Aidan O’Shea and Dillon put a gloss on the scoreline as Mayo advanced.

Scorers for Mayo: C O’Connor 1-5 (1-0 pen, 0-3f, 0-1 ’45), A Freeman 1-0, D O’Connor 0-2, L Keegan 0-2, A Dillon 0-2, E Regan 0-1 (0-1f), C Boyle 0-1, A O’Shea 0-1.

Scorers for Fermanagh: S Quigley 1-1 (0-1f), T Corrigan 0-4 (0-2f), A Breen 0-3, B Mulrone 0-2, E Donnelly 0-1, R Lyons 0-1.

Mayo: D Clarke; B Harrison, K Keane, K Higgins; L Keegan, C Boyle, P Durcan (D Vaughan 34); S O’Shea, A O’Shea (J Doherty 71); K McLoughlin, S Coen (B Moran 53), D O’Connor; E Regan (A Moran 61), A Freeman (A Dillon 47), C O’Connor.

Fermanagh: C Snow; M Jones, C Cullen, M O’Brien (J McMahon 57); D McCusker (K Connor 65), D Kelly, A Breen (P McGovern 73); E Donnelly, R O’Callaghan (C Flaherty 66); B Mulrone, R Jones, R Lyons (P McCusker 47); R Corrigan, S Quigley, T Corrigan.

Referee: Joe McQuillan (Cavan).

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