Mayo 2-13 Galway 1-13: James Horan's side eliminate Tribesmen to reach Super 8s
Last Updated: 06/07/19 9:02pm
Mayo are through to the Super 8s after a 2-13 to 1-13 win over Galway at the Gaelic Grounds.
Mayo had not beaten their western rivals since 2015, but broke their duck in emphatic fashion in an arm-wrestle in Limerick.
James Horan's side got off to a dream start, as James Carr bagged two early goals. The first of the two was perhaps fortuitous, as Galway net-minder Bernard Power failed to deal with a Darren Coen shot that fell short, and Carr pounced to rifle it into the net.
However, there was nothing lucky about his second strike minutes later. Tearing in from the right wing, he made a bee-line towards the Clare End goal and sent a rocket into the roof of the net.
Galway looked rattled, and were struggling to settle. Power was having difficulties finding his targets from kick-outs, while their inside forwards were unable to win ball.
Were it not for four eye-catching points from Peter Cooke before the break, Mayo would have been out of sight. However, the Tribesmen just about hung in contention with a series of points, as Mayo led 2-7 to 0-7 at half-time.
Kevin Walsh turned to Damien Comer for the start of the second half, as the Annaghdown man made his first appearance of the year. Last year's captain certainly attracted attention from the Mayo defenders, but failed to make a direct impact.
When Mayo worked their way into a 2-10 to 0-8 lead, Galway finally found their feet in the game. They kicked five points in succession as their opponents went 16 minutes without a score. In the midst of that run, David Clarke saved a penalty from Liam Silke, but it did not stall the maroon momentum.
Nonetheless, Mayo eventually rallied. Cillian O'Connor and Coen raised white flags to steady the ship and put five points between the teams.
From there, they looked to slow down the game and see out the victory. However, there was late drama as Shane Walsh found the net with a 14-yard free, with a host of Mayo defenders on the line. Nonetheless, it was a case of too little, too late.
Mayo march on to the Super 8s, joining Kerry, Donegal and the winner of Meath vs Clare in Group 1. Their first assignment is in Killarney next Sunday.
Meanwhile, it is an early summer exit for Galway, who bow out following what was a disappointing summer campaign.