FBD Connacht League
A late scoring burst propelled Mayo to their second victory over Galway in the space of two weeks — and their first FBD Connacht League title since 2003 — at McHale Park, Castlebar on Sunday.
Four points in the final ten minutes from Ronan McGarrity, Chris Barrett, Enda Varley and Seamus O’Shea were enough to get Mayo over the line after a typically hard-fought derby match.
“You’d know it was an FBD final rather than a league game, it never really came to life,” said Mayo manager John O’Mahony afterwards. “But I was glad that when it got close near the end, that we were able to up the ante and get the couple of points that made the difference.”
A makeshift Galway side gave a much better account of themselves than in the recent National League encounter at the same venue although Joe Kernan badly missed the scoring power of Michael Meehan, Nickey Joyce and Sean Armstrong who were all absent.
Mayo fielded a much stronger team than their guests and they started positively, racing into a 0-4 to 0-1 lead after ten minutes as Ronan McGarrity, Enda Varley (2) and Peadar Gardiner all got on the scoresheet.
By half-time they led by 0-6 to 0-4 as Galway, driven on by centre-back Diarmuid Blake, stayed in touch with points from Eoin Concannon (free), Barry Cullinane and Cillin De Paor (free).
However, when the impressive Enda Varley and Andy Moran both scored early in the second half, Mayo looked ready to push on.
Instead, Galway took control around the middle of the field and rattled off four points without reply from the hard-working Gary O’Donnell (2). Joe Bergin and Cillin De Paor (free) to level the match for the first time. Mayo finished the stronger though to claim the Paddy Francis Dwyer Cup.
Mark Ronaldson requests hearing
Meanwhile, John O’Mahony also confirmed that Mark Ronaldson has requested a hearing at Croke Park after being hit with a proposed four-week suspension arising from an incident in the closing stages of Mayo’s win over Tyrone in the NFL earlier this
Ronaldson (who was shown a yellow card at the time by the referee Jimmy White) was cited by the CCCC of the GAA late last week and, if the proposed ban is upheld, he would miss Mayo’s NFL matches against Dublin and Derry next month.
The hearing is expected to take place later this week.
K O’Malley; A Feeney, G Cafferkey, D Vaughan; P Gardiner (0-1), T Howley, C Barrett (0-1); T Parsons, R McGarrity (0-2); A Moran (0-2), B Kelly, S O’Shea (0-1); E Varley (0-4, 1f), A O’Shea, M Ronaldson (0-1).
Subs used: N Douglas for Kelly; K McLoughlin for Howley; M Sweeney for Ronaldson.
E Ó Conghaile; D O’Neill, F Hanley, E McDonagh; T Fahy, D Blake, G O’Donnell (0-2); B Cullinane (0-1), N Coleman; C Bane, C De Paor (0-3, 3fs), C Healy; E Concannon (0-2, 1f), J Bergin (0-1), M Martin.
Sub used: D Dunleavy for Bane.
Referee: Marty Duffy (Sligo)