herald

Wednesday 7 December 2016

Mayo keep their drive for five alive

MAYO'S 'Drive For Five' is alive and well as they outplayed a gallant Galway, 1-15 to 2-8, in yesterday's Connacht SFC semi-final at Pearse Stadium, Salthill yesterday.

The Green and Red have only ever won five successive Connacht senior championships once before in their history (1906-10) but stand on the threshold of repeating that achievement.

Galway are the only other Connacht county to win five in-a-row during their golden era - 1956-60.

Mayo will now face either Sligo or Roscommon in the provincial decider, with those two meeting next weekend.

Cillian O'Connor slotted nine points (including eight frees) for Mayo as they continued their march towards another Nestor Cup.

The Tribesmen haven't beaten Mayo in the championship since 2008 but were level at half-time yesterday, 1-5 to 0-5, and looked in a good position to rattle their provincial holders in the second period.

SPECTACULAR

Galway's goal arrived in spectacular fashion through the boot of Gary Sice in the 35th minute when he carved through the Mayo defence before finding the top corner of the net, notwithstanding questions over how many steps he had taken.

However, sloppy defending by Galway early in the second half handed the initiative to their opponents.

Two minutes into the second half Aidan O'Shea (pictured) foraged hard at the Galway full-back line and after being dispossesses close to goal Galway contrived to 'shoot themselves in the foot' when goalkeeper Manus Breathnach blasted the ball off his full-back Finian Hanley and into his own net.

Mayo soon moved six points clear, 1-12 to 1-6, but entering the concluding quarter Galway granted themselves a lifeline when sub Peadar óg ó Griofa set up Danny Cummins for a goal in the 53rd minute.

Sice added a free but Mayo responded with scores from Mark Ronaldson and Seamie O'Shea. Galway's Hanley was black-carded late on while Mayo's Lee Keegan got a second yellow as a scuffle broke ou ton the final whistle.

CONNACHT SFC

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