Aidan O’Shea fires 2-2 as Mayo storm past Sligo in Connacht opener

Mayo 3-23
Sligo 0-12

Colm Gannon reports from Markievicz Park

MAYO DIDN’T MISS Cillian O’Connor on the scoreboard in Markievicz Park on Saturday afternoon where they put Sligo to the sword in impressive style, Aidan O’Shea scoring 2-2 for last year’s All-Ireland finalists.

Aidan O’Shea scores Mayo’s second goal.

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

They ended up running out 20 point winners and were more than full value for that margin as they controlled the game from pillar to post.

They had the game well and truly wrapped up by half time going in leading 3-13 to 0-8 at the turn around with O’Shea getting two and Knockmore’s Darren McHale marking his first championship start with the third goal.

McHale was impressive throughout the opening 35 minutes ending the half with 1-4 all from play including the first three points of the day for Mayo.

The gap in class between division four and a team who were in last years All Ireland final was well and truly on show, as Mayo took Sligo’s defence apart at their ease.

They moved it at lightning pace and when they needed to, they slowed the ball down and worked the angles to find the right spot to take a point.

Sligo’s early tactic of dropping the ball in long on top of Barry Gorman, one of five changes to the team named in the programme, failed to deliver the desired result and it was only for some fine scoring by Niall Murphy and Sean Carrabine, that they stayed somewhat in touch on the scoreboard.

Mayo’s Paddy Durcan and Sligo’s Evan Lyons.

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Mayo lead 1-7 to 0-2 at the first water break, with O’Shea getting his first goal 12 minutes in – they tagged on 2-6 more before the half time break, with O’Shea getting his second goal from close range and McHale finding the net after a Tommy Conroy shot forced Eamon Kilgannon into a good save.

Both sides also hit the crossbar in the first half with Paddy Durcan rattling the Sligo one and Murphy rasping an effort off Rob Hennelly’s bar.

The second half played out a far slower pace than the first with Mayo tagging on five points before the second water break and Sligo two, with McHale adding to his tally from the first half and Ryan O’Donoghue getting some more practice in as Mayo’s new free taker kicking two to go with the brace he tapped over in the first half.

Mayo and Sligo players battle for possession.

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Scorers for Mayo: Darren McHale (1-5), Aidan O’Shea (2-2), Ryan O’Donoghue (0-5,4f) Conor Loftus (0-2), Eoghan McLaughlin (0-2), Tommy Conroy (0-2), Jordan Flynn (0-1), Paddy Durcan (0-1), Fergal Boland (0-1), Stephen Coen (0-1), James Carr (0-1).

Scorers for Sligo: Niall Murphy (0-6, 1f), Sean Carrabine (0-2), Mikey Gordon (0-1) Patrick O’Connor (0-1), Keelan Cawley (0-1), Liam Gaughan (0-1)

Mayo

1. Rob Hennelly (Breaffy)

2. Enda Hession (Garrymore), 3. Oisín Mullin (Kilmaine), 4. Lee Keegan (Westport)

5. Michael Plunkett (Ballintubber), 6. Paddy Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels), 7. Eoghan McLaughlin (Westport)

8. Matthew Ruane (Breaffy), 9. Conor Loftus (Crossmolina Deel Rovers)

10. Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore), 11. Darren McHale (Knockmore), 22. Jordan Flynn (Crossmolina Deel Rovers)

13. Tommy Conroy (The Neale), 14. Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy), 15. Ryan O’Donoghue (Belmullet)

Subs

25. Fergal Boland (Aghamore) for Flynn

18. Padraig O’Hora (Ballina Stephenites) for Keegan

20. Stephen Coen (Hollymount-Carramore) for Durcan

24. Paul Towey (Charlestown) for O’Donoghue

26. James Carr (Ardagh) for McLoughlin

Sligo

1. Eamonn Kilgallon (Naomh Fearnan)

2. Ryan Feehily (St Mary’s), 3. Eddie McGuinness (Tubbercurry), 25. Karl McKeanna (Shamrock Gaels)

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23. Nathan Mullen (Coolaney/Mullinabreena), 6. Paul McNamara (Naomh Eoin), 19. Peter Laffey (Coolera/Strandhill)

8. Patrick O’Connor (Naomh Fearnan), 9. Paul Kilcoyne (St Mary’s)

10. David Quinn (Shamrock Gaels), 24. Liam Gaughan (Tourlestrane), 12. Mikey Gordon (Easky)

18. Barry Gorman (Coolaney/Mullinabreena), 14. Niall Murphy (Coolera Strandhill), 15. Seán Carrabine (Castleconnor)

Subs

4. Evan Lyons (Shamrock Gaels) for McKenna

5. Keelan Cawley (CooleraStrandhil) for Gaughan

17. Red Óg Murphy (Curry) for Gorman

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26. Conor Griffin (Calry/St Josephs) for Gordon

11. Cian Lally (Drumcliffe–Rosses Point) for Cawley

Referee: Paul Faloon (Down)

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