Mayo take U-21 football title

Mayo 3-14 Sligo 1-8

Mayo captured their fourth Cadbury GAA Connacht U-21 football title in succession thanks to an impressive 12-point over hosts Sligo at Markievicz Park this evening.

Managed by the 'dream team' of Noel Connelly, Pat Holmes and Michael Collins for each of their four-in-a-row successes, the reigning champions dominated possession throughout and were fully deserving of their comfortable margin of victory.

Mayo may have kicked six wides to just three from Sligo in this game, but the eventual winners displayed great work rate to put the result beyond doubt in the closing quarter.

Each of Mayo full-forward line bagged a goal, securing at hat-trick which paved the way for their county's 23rd provincial title at this level.

Niall Douglas and Jason Doherty both added to their already impressive goal tally, having taken a brace each in the semi-final win over Roscommon; with Michael Sweeney claiming a late injury-time goal to seal the win.

Mayo began strongly and led by 0-8 to 0-3 at the end of the opening quarter before Sligo bounded into contention.

A 20th-minute penalty was converted by Stephen Coen, after a foul on Gary Gaughan, to cut the gap to just two points.

However, this proved to be a false dawn as an impressive Mayo added

1-1 over the next five minutes, with Doherty supplying both scores, while Eoin McHugh kept Sligo in touch with a pointed free.

Doherty bagged 1-3 in the opening half, as Mayo extended their lead to 1-10 to 1-4 at half-time after Cathal Carolan added a point.

Mayo failed to ease up in the second half with Douglas adding a goal two minutes after the restart.

Sligo kept up the pressure but failed to create enough scoring opportunities and they were punished at the opposite end with Doherty continuing to be clinical in front of the posts.

Eoin McHugh sent a late goal chance from a free blazing left of the target in injury-time, but it was Mayo who had the final say in the goalscoring stakes.

Sweeney bulged the net deep into injury-time but referee Ray McBrien consulted with his umpires before the goal was finally allowed.

As Sligo's wait for a first provincial title continues, Mayo will now face either Armagh or Down in an All-Ireland semi-final in a fortnight.

After the game the JJ Fahy Cup was presented to Mayo captain Tom Parsons. His team-mate Aidan O'Shea received the Cadbury's Hero of the Match award.

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