Mayo 3-15 Monaghan 0-11
Allianz NFL Division 1
By Cóilín Duffy
Mayo claimed a fully merited second win of the current Allianz Football League Division 1 campaign against 13 men Monaghan at Elverys McHale Park this afternoon.
Monaghan led by 0-5 to 0-4 after 16 minutes, but could only manage six points over the remaining 54 minutes, as Mayo exerted control on the way to a 13-point win.
Kieran Hughes and Daniel McKenna got the visitors off to an excellent scoring start, but Mayo took the lead thanks to a Cillian O’Connor free in the 18th minute, and never trailed over the remainder of the hour.
Monaghan lost Stephen Gollogly to a red card after 28 minutes, with Mayo pushing 0-9 to 0-6 ahead at half-time.
The hosts led by 1-13 to 0-8 after 49 minutes following an Aidan O’Shea goal, and Monaghan failed to recover, as they were reduced to 13 men following a red card for Ryan Wylie soon after.
Mayo closed out this game in impressive fashion with goals from Alan Freeman and Michael Sweeney in the closing 10 minutes, on the way to a comfortable victory.
Both sides were aiming for their second win of the campaign, with Monaghan’s loss coming off a slender one-point home defeat to Cork, while Mayo had suffered a four-point loss in Castlebar to Tyrone.
Pat Holmes and Noel Conneely’s delivered their second league win of their reign as the Mayo management team in impressive fashion, as they delivered one of their displays of the year so far.
This game was tight in the opening stages, but once Mayo moved 0-6 to 0-5 in front, after Cillian O’Connor delivered his third point, after a foul on Aidan O’Shea, the hosts weren’t to trail this contest.
Monaghan were keen to make a positive start and burst out of the traps brightly, with goalkeeper Rory Beggan slotting over an early free.
O’Shea equalised soon-after, and although O’Connor and Hughes traded points to tie the game for the second time, Monaghan moved 0-4 to 0-2 ahead thanks to a brace of McKenna pointed frees.
Donal Vaughan popped over a nice point from play, while O’Connor drew the game at 0-4 apiece, but a first score of the game from play for McKenna edged Monaghan back ahead.
Mayo began to get on top, with a fine Mark Ronaldson score drawing the contest, before O’Connor handed the hosts a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
Jason Doherty and Stephen Gollogly traded scores, before the latter was handed a red card and sent to the line following an off-the-ball incident.
Cards were being handed out frequently at this stage, with Mayo losing Seamus O’Shea to a black card, and he was replaced by Danny Kirby.
Points from O’Connor and Kevin McLoughlin helped Mayo take a 0-9 to 0-6 interval lead, and they weren’t to ease up on the restart.
On a bitterly cold day in Castlebar, the travelling South Africa Gaels GAA team got a warm welcome at half-time, and Mayo started the second half brightly as O’Connor landed his fifth point.
McKenna and Paul Finlay responded from Monaghan, but the loss of Dermot Malone to a black card, coupled with an unanswered 2-5 for Mayo and a red card for Wylie put paid to any hopes of a Farney comeback.
O’Shea and Freeman netted goals, as Mayo took a 2-15 to 0-8 lead and although Monaghan fought back with three unanswered points, Sweeney completed the Mayo hat-trick to ensure a 13-point win.
MAYO: R Hennelly; T Cunniffe, K Keane, K Higgins; L Keegan, S Coen (0-1), P Durcan; D Vaughan, S O’Shea; D O’Connor (0-1), K McLoughlin (0-1), J Doherty (0-1); M Ronaldson (0-3), A O’Shea (1-3), C O’Connor (0-5f). Subs: D Kirby for S O’Shea (BC 29); C Boyle for Vaughan (HT); A Freeman (1-0) for C O’Connor (56); M Forde for McLoughlin (61); G Cafferkey for Keane (66); M Sweeney (1-0) for Ronaldson (66).
MONAGHAN: R Beggan (0-1, 1f); C Boyle, D Wylie, R Wylie; D Mone, K Duffy, F Kelly; N McAdam, P Finlay (0-2, 2f); O Duffy, S Gollogly (0-1), R McAnespie; D Malone, K Hughes (0-2), D McKenna (0-4, 2f). Subs: V Corey for K Duffy (inj., 35), D Hughes for O Duffy (HT), P Donaghy for Malone (black card, 44), K O’Connell for Kelly (47), P Meegan (0-1, 1f) for McKenna (65), P McGuigan for Boyle (67).
REFEREE: Rory Hickey (Clare).