Limerick 3-09 Mayo 5-19: Mayo back with a bang
By John Fallon
Last Updated: 09/06/18 9:21pm
Mayo's campaign is up and running, after a facile win over Limerick, 5-19 to 3-09.
Cillian O'Connor scored 3-9 as Mayo hit top form in the opening round of the qualifiers to hammer Limerick at the Gaelic Grounds.
Mayo had not played since their disappointing 1-12 to 0-12 Connacht quarter-final defeat at the hands of Galway last month.
That may have been another step backwards in the province, but Mayo showed they have the stomach for the battle through the back door
Last year's beaten All-Ireland finalists took a 1-10 to 1-01 lead into half-time after they recovered from a slow start, and Sean McSweeney's early penalty. The Mayo captain registered 1-06 in the first half, and his 29th-minute goal pushed Mayo out of sight by the interval.
McSweeney converted his penalty after just four minutes when Danny Neville had been fouled. That gave the hosts an unlikely 1-00 to 0-00 advantage but Mayo had all of the experience and quickly began to find their range.
Once again the Ballintubber clubman was their chief scorer, and O'Connor opened his and Mayo's account in the fifth minute. He scored three points in a row to level the game by the ninth minute, and Mayo kicked three further efforts to zap all of the early Limerick confidence.
O'Connor, James Durcan and Aidan O'Shea were on target before Iain Corbett reduced the arrears for the Division 4 side, to 0-06 to 1-01 in the 19th minute.
But Mayo scored an unanswered 1-04 before half-time with half-backs Chris Barrett and Colm Boyle contributing some fine points.
O'Connor was ruthless and he scored his goal in the 29th minute when Evan Regan provided the assist. And O'Connor rounded off the scoring the first half, to give his side a 1-10 to 1-01 advantage at the break.
Jamie Lee scored an early point for Limerick but that was quickly cancelled out by O'Connor. And there was a massive ovation for former Footballer of the Year Lee Keegan when he was introduced 10 minutes into the second half.
Paddy Durcan gave Mayo a 1-14 to 1-04 lead before Seamus O'Carroll caught a long ball ahead of Keith Higgins and scored Limerick's second goal. O'Carroll scored a penalty with one of the final kicks of the game.
But 2017 Footballer of the Year Andy Moran was brought on and he caused further problems for the Limerick rearguard. He scored goals in the 65th and 69th minute, while O'Connor made it a hat-trick of goals in with six minutes of normal time remaining.
Referee: Niall Cullen (Fermanagh)
Scorers for Mayo: Cillian O'Connor 3-09 (1-00 pen, 0-05f, 0-01 '45), Andy Moran 2-00, Paddy Durcan 0-02, Aidan O'Shea 0-02, Colm Boyle 0-01, Chris Barrett 0-01, Stephen Coen 0-01, Cian Hanley 0-01, Evan Regan 0-01, James Durcan 0-1.
Scorers for Limerick: Seamus O'Carroll 2-01 (1-00 pen, 0-01f); Séan McSweeney 1-00 (1-00 pen), Iain Corbett 0-02, Josh Ryan 0-02, Jamie Lee 0-01, Danny Neville 0-01.
1. David Clarke
6. Chris Barrett
3. Ger Cafferkey
4. Eoin O'Donoghue
5. Colm Boyle
4. Keith Higgins
7. Paddy Durcan
8. Seamus O'Shea
11. Aidan O'Shea
9. Stephen Coen
10. Kevin McLoughlin
12. Cian Hanley
13. Evan Regan
14. Cillian O'Connor
26. James Durcan
Lee Keegan for Boyle (45th minute)
Jason Doherty for McLoughlin (48th minute)
Conor Loftus for S O'Shea (52nd minute)
Andy Moran for K Higgins (53rd minute)
Caolan Crowe for Hanley (60th minute)
Shane Nally for O'Donoghue (63rd minute).
1 Donal O'Sullivan
2 Séan O'Dea
3 Gareth Noonan
4 Paul Maher
5 Paul White
6 Iain Corbett
7 Cillian Fahy
8 Darragh Treacy
9 Josh Ryan
10 Danny Neville
11 Michael Fitzgibbon
12 Peter Nash
13 Seán McSweeney
14 Jamie Lee
15 Jim Liston
21 Séamus O'Carroll for McSweeney (ht)
25 Tony McCarthy for Liston (48th minute)
24 Pádraig Scanlon for Lee (52nd minute)
18 Gordon Browne for Fitzgibbon (57th minute)
22 Davy Lyons for Neville (61st minute)
17 David Connolly for Nash (65th minute).