Mayo juniors use fly-keeper tactic in dramatic comeback

By Stephen Barry

Mayo are rarely afraid to produce rabbit-from-the-hat tactical switches to surprise the opposition.

    Stephen Rochford has, in just over two years as Mayo manager:

  • played star forward Aidan O'Shea at full-back;
  • deployed midfielder Barry Moran as a deep-lying sweeper;
  • used player-of-the-year wing-back Lee Keegan as a midfielder;
  • took on Tyrone's double-sweeper with playmaker Alan Dillon;
  • and, less successfully, swapped out All-Star 'keeper David Clarke for Rob Hennelly after the 2016 drawn All-Ireland final.

That experimental attitude has rubbed off on the county's junior management who stumped Roscommon with a last-gasp winning goal last night.

Trailing by three points, 1-14 to 1-17, entering injury-time, manager Jarlath Trench whipped off his goalkeeper Chris McGlynn and introduced sub-goalie Matthew Flanagan.

Except, Flanagan didn't go near the Mayo goals but took his place around the left-wing back position.

A GAA fly-keeper!

Flanagan, who calls himself "an All-Star corner-forward in disguise" in his Twitter tagline, was involved in the point to narrow the gap to one...

...And then, he sidestepped a Roscommon player and offloaded the ball to a teammate, creating the overlap for the move that led to Ciaran Boylan's winning goal.

Watch high-quality footage of the goal above by Anthony Moran.

A son of legendary Meath manager Sean Boylan, the Achill clubman drop-kicked the ball to the net, via a deflection, to eliminate Kevin McStay's Rossies, 2-15 to 1-17.

Here's the excitement from the stands, as captured by Kieran Tonra...

That win will mean all the more coming against a strong opposition featuring many of McStay's senior squad, including Cathal and Fintan Cregg, two of the Daly brothers, Conor and Ronan, the Lennon brothers, Fergal and Ciaran, Ultan Harney and James Featherstone.

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