Freeman brace sees Mayo into semis

Mayo 2-12 Derry 1-7

Freeman brace sees Mayo into semis

Mayo 2-12 Derry 1-7

Two Alan Freeman goals saw Mayo clinch victory at MacHale Park as they now go on to meet Derry again next Sunday in the league semi-final.

Despite facing an understrength Derry side, Mayo struggled to pull clear of the Ulster men and it wasn't until Freeman's 58th minute penalty that they clinched the necessary win to see them into the last four.

Starting with just one of last week's squad and only three more on the bench, the already-qualified Derry came to MacHale Park with the intention of testing the depth of the squad with next weekend's semi-final in mind.

And after playing the first-half with the aid of a powerful gale, Brian McIver will have taken little satisfaction with a 0-8 to 0-1 deficit at the break.

Darren Coen was an early replacement for Cillian O'Connor, who limped off after ten minutes with a leg injury, but by the stage Mikie Sweeney had gotten Mayo off the mark with a smart point on the turn.

Coen soon found his mark with a 13th minute point, while two excellent points from Freeman into the teeth of the wind saw Mayo land five unanswered scores.

Aidan McAlynn finally got Derry on the board in the 21st minute, but Tom Parsons was outstanding for the Green and Red and his point got Mayo back on track as they led by seven at the break.

The fare didn’t improve after the restart, but the outstanding Emmett McGuckin kicked Derry second point in the 36th minute, before Freeman stroked his penalty to the back of the net four minutes later having been fouled himself.

A mini revival from Derry saw points from Aaron Kerrigan and Emmett Bradley before McGuckin hit a wonderful goal and Charlie Kielt pointed to put just three between the sides with 15 minutes remaining.

But Freeman's second goal three minutes later settled Mayo, who cruised through the closing stages to take the win.

Scorers – Mayo: A Freeman 2-6 (3f, 1-0 pen, 1'45); M Sweeney 0-2; T Parsons, D Coen, A Moran and D Vaughan 0-1 each.

Derry: E McGuckian 1-1; A McAlynn 0-2; A Kerrigan (1f), C Kielt, N McFeely and E Bradley 0-1 each.

Mayo: R Hennelly; T Cunniffee, G Cafferkey, K Keane; S McHale, C Boyle, D Vaughan; T Parsons, S O'Shea; J Doherty, A Moran, K Higgins; C O'Connor, A Freeman, M Sweeney.

Subs: D Coen for O'Connor (9), R Feeney for Higgins (ht), B Moran for Doherty (48), M Conroy for Sweeney (48), D O'Connor for Parsons (63), L Keegan for Boyle (70).

Derry: E McNicholl; O Duffy, C McAtamney, K McKaigue; C Kielt, M Craig, A McAlynn; E McGuckian, N Holly; A Devlin, D Heavron, C McWilliams; J Kearney, D Mullan, C McGoldrick.

Subs: E Bradley for McGoldrick (ht), A Kerrigan for Mullan (46), K Conway for Devlin (52), N McFeely for Heavron (61) P Cassidy for Kearney (68), N McNicholl for McGuckian (69).

Referee: David Coldrick (Meath).

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