Classy Down minors heap further misery on Mayo

Down 1-15 Mayo 0-8

Down 1-15 Mayo 0-8

The Markham Cup is back in the Mournes, thanks to a classy team effort at Croke Park.

Down's fourth All-Ireland Minor Football title was achieved with flair and style, their teamwork, spirit and workrate too much for Mayo to handle.

It was another miserable afternoon for the westerners, their twelfth successive defeat in All-Ireland finals, and further despair for a band of loyal supporters who must be wondering if they'll ever take a national title at any level.

The effort and endeavour of their teenage footballers could not be called into question. On this occasion they came up against a focused, well drilled Down side which was able to stamp authority on virtually every area of the field.

In central defenders Conor Garvey and Eamon McConville they had superb performances, James Colgan and Peter Fitzpatrick ruled midfield, while up front, Martin Clarke, Ryan Kelly and Paul McCumiskey packed too much guile, movement and finishing power for their hard-pressed opponents.

Once Colgan and the excellent Fitzpatrick established supremacy in the central area, Down became a dominant force, growing in confidence as the opening period progressed.

The first of Paul McCumiskey's three excellent first half points from play eased them into a fourth minute lead they were never to lose.

While alarming amounts of space did open up for the Connacht side's attack at times, they showed that age-old Mayo failing in front of the posts, while the Mourne lads were much more efficient in putting scoring chances away.

Dermot O'Connor and Ronan O'Boyle, from a free, were on target for the westerners, but a painfully one-sided second quarter saw Ulster's representatives run amok, hitting seven points without reply.

Fitzpatrick was an inspiration in the middle, blasting over a wonderful long range effort himself, and carving the openings for Ciarn Brannigan and McCumiskey to score, and when Martin Clarke and Ryan Kelly stroked over frees, Down were flying.

Mayo did have a goal chance late in the half when Michael Sweeney sent O'Connor through, but goalkeeper Michael McAllister got down smartly to keep out his low shot.

At the break, Down held a commanding 0-11 to 0-3 lead, and after Mayo had made a promising start to the second half with points from Aidan Campbell and half back Chris Barrett, Down struck for a fortuitous goal.

Ciaran Brannigan's attempt to fist a point fell short, and goalkeeper Shane Nallen deflected the ball into his own net.

Declan Lavery's point opened up an 11 points cushion, and despite the best efforts of centre back Tom Cunniff and midfielder Pierce Hanley, Mayo could find no way back into the game.

Gary Magee and Conor Garvey were imperious in the Down full back line, while wing back Gerard McCartan also impressed, chipping in with a well taken point.

Mayo were growing increasingly frustrated, and while Campbell did tap over another couple of frees, it was Down who applied a triumphant finish to the contest.

Clarke hoisted a gem of a long range effort and substitute Colm Clerkin also got in on the act with a neat effort.

In the end, this was a richly deserved title for a Down side which like so many b efore from the proud Mourne county proved its capacity for producing the goods when it matters most.

Down: M McAllister, C Magee, C Garvey, H Magee, G McCartan, E McConville, K Duffin (0-1), J Colgan, P Fitzpatrick (0-1), D Lavery (0-1), M Clarke (0-2, 1 free), S Grant, C Brannigan (1-1), R Kelly (0-5, 3 frees), P McCumiskey (0-3.

Subs: R Kerr for Grant, C Murney for Duffin, C Clerkin (0-1) for Lavery, K McKernan for Fitzpatrick, G Joyce for McAllister

Mayo: S Nallen, P Healy, G Cafferkey, J Burke, C Barrett (0-1), T Cunniff, D Hughes, P Collins, P Hanley, A Campbell (0-4, 4 frees), D O Connor (0-1), P O Connor, R O Boyle (0-1, 1 free), D Kilcullen, M Sweeney.

Subs: S O Shea for Burke, G O'Boyle for O'Connor, K Barnicle for Nallen, J Noone (0-1) for R O'Boyle.

Referee: M Deegan (Laois).

More in this section

CourtsGaaHeathrowPlace: MournesPlace: Croke ParkPlace: MournePlace: LaoisPerson: Conor GarveyPerson: Eamon McConvillePerson: James ColganPerson: Peter FitzpatrickPerson: Martin ClarkePerson: Ryan KellyPerson: Paul McCumiskeyPerson: ColganPerson: FitzpatrickPerson: Dermot O'ConnorPerson: Ronan O'BoylePerson: Ciarn BranniganPerson: McCumiskeyPerson: DownPerson: MayoPerson: Michael SweeneyPerson: O'ConnorPerson: Michael McAllisterPerson: Aidan CampbellPerson: Chris BarrettPerson: Ciaran BranniganPerson: Shane NallenPerson: Declan LaveryPerson: Tom CunniffPerson: Pierce HanleyPerson: Gary MageePerson: Gerard McCartanPerson: CampbellPerson: ClarkePerson: Colm ClerkinPerson: M McAllisterPerson: C MageePerson: C GarveyPerson: H MageePerson: G McCartanPerson: E McConvillePerson: K DuffinPerson: J ColganPerson: P FitzpatrickPerson: D LaveryPerson: M ClarkePerson: S GrantPerson: C BranniganPerson: R KellyPerson: P McCumiskeyPerson: R KerrPerson: GrantPerson: C MurneyPerson: DuffinPerson: C ClerkinPerson: LaveryPerson: K McKernanPerson: G JoycePerson: McAllisterPerson: S NallenPerson: P HealyPerson: G CafferkeyPerson: J BurkePerson: C BarrettPerson: T CunniffPerson: D HughesPerson: P CollinsPerson: P HanleyPerson: D O ConnorPerson: P O ConnorPerson: R O BoylePerson: D KilcullenPerson: M SweeneyPerson: S O SheaPerson: BurkePerson: G O'BoylePerson: K BarniclePerson: NallenPerson: J NoonePerson: R O'BoylePerson: M DeeganEvent: Markham CupEvent: All-Ireland minor footballEvent: MayoEvent: All-IrelandOrganisation: DownOrganisation: MayoOrganisation: Ulster
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