Easy for Mayo as Sligo surrender title
Mayo 3-11 Sligo 0-07
Published 23/06/2008 | 01:00
Any ambitions that Sligo had entertained of retaining their Connacht Senior football title had been swept away even before half-time had been reached in yesterday's semi final against buoyant Mayo in McHale Park, Castlebar.
Mayo, who were much more fluent and positive throughout, took command at midfield, and with Conor Mortimer particularly sharp up front, they maintained constant pressure on an overworked Sligo defence.
When Pat Harte, forceful and constructive throughout, fired his penalty to the net after Mortimer was fouled, Mayo streaked further ahead and enjoyed an interval advantage of 1-6 to 0-3.
Sligo offered more stubborn resistance in the early stages of the second half and narrowed the gap with points from Mark Breheny and David Kelly.
But bigger, stronger Mayo absorbed the pressure, although it was not until the final 10 minutes that they translated their territorial superiority onto the scoreboard.
Goals from Trevor Mortimer and Aidan Kilcoyne cemented their authority before Conor Mortimer, Austin O'Malley, Tom Parsons and Kilcoyne all added points to give them a comfortable 13-point winning margin.
Mayo will now meet Galway in the Connacht decider in a return to what will be a familiar 'old firm ' clash.
Galway will be favourites though to land the title again, particularly after their impressive National League campaign.
Mayo: D Clarke; C Boyle, K Conroy, K Higgins; T Cunniffe, D Heaney, J Nallen; R McGarrity, T Parsons (0-2), P Gardiner, P Harte (1-1, 1-0 pen), T Mortimer (1-0); C Mortimer (0-5, 0-2 frees), A O'Malley (0-2), A Moran Subs: A Kilcoyne (1-1 for Gardiner), B J Padden for O'Malley, M Mullins for T Mortimer, M Ronaldson for Moran.
Sligo: P Greene; C Harrison, P Naughton, R Donovan; P McGovern, B Egan, E McHugh; E O'Hara, K Quinn; G Gaughan, M McNamara, B Curran; J Davey, M Breheny (-0-4, 0-3 frees), D Kelly (0-3). Subs: B Phillips for McGovern, N McGuire for McNamara, S Gilmartin for Quinn, J McPartland for McHugh, G McGowan for McPartland.
Referee: John Bannon, Longford.