Late surge helps Mayo see off Westmeath challenge

Westmeath 2-12
Mayo 0-21

Colm Gannon reports from TEG Cusack Park

MAYO JUST ABOUT saw off the challenge of a battling Westmeath side in Mullingar. The home outfit had cut the gap back to a single point with full time approaching, but two late Cillian O’Connor points saw Mayo hold on for a three-point win. 

Westmeath rattled the back of the Mayo net after two minutes when Luke Loughlin was quickest to react to a Ronan O’Toole effort which came back off the post. Eoghan McLaughlin got Mayo’s first score two minutes later, before John Heslin edged his side back in front by three again from a free. 

Mayo replied with the next three points to leave the teams level at the water break on a score of 1-1 to 0-4, thanks to points from a Cillian O’Connor free and efforts from Paddy Durcan and Conor Loftus. 

The visitors started to get on top in the early stages of the second quarter with Matthew Ruane kicking two points on the bounce to put them in front for the first time, before Conor Loftus and Ger Egan traded fine scores with 10 minutes to go in the half. 

Westmeath’s Boidu Sayeh attempts to block Lee Keegan’s kick.

Source: Lorraine O’Sullivan/INPHO

Westmeath hit the net for the second time on the afternoon through a John Heslin penalty after Ronan Wallace was fouled by Diarmuid O’Connor with the Ballintubber man getting a black card for his efforts just before the half hour mark.  

Mayo responded well through points from a Ryan O’Donoghue mark and an O’Connor free before Heslin edged his side back in front with his third point of the day, which was quickly replied to by a Jordan Loftus score. The final act of the half was a Heslin point on the turn to put his side into a deserved one- point lead at the break. 

There was just a one point difference at the second water break with Mayo holding the slender advantage by 0-13 to 2-6 thanks to two pointed frees from Cillian O’Connor and a Tommy Conroy effort, with Ronan O’Toole point from a mark in response for Westmeath. 

Scorers for Westmeath: John Heslin (1-6, 4f 1-0 pen), Luke Loughlin (1-2, 2 45’), Ray Connellon (0-1), Ger Egan (0-1), Ronan O’Toole (0-1, 1m), Kieran Martin (0-1)

Scorers for Mayo: Cillian O’Connor (0-8, 7f), Paddy Durcan (0-3), Matthew Ruane (0-2), Conor Loftus (0-2), Bryan Walsh (0-1), Eoghan McLaughlin (0-1) Kevin McLoughlin (0-1), Ryan O’Donoghue (0-1, 1m) Tommy Conroy (0-1)

Westmeath

1. Jason Daly ( St Lomans)

20. Sam McCartan (St Lomans), 3. Kevin Maguire (Caulry), 4. Biodu Sayeh (Rosemount)

5. James Dolan (Garrycastle), 6. Ronan Wallace (Multyfarnham), 7. Jamie Gonoud (Tyrrellspass)

8. Sam Duncan (Miltownpass), 9. Ray Connellan (Athlone)

10. David Lynch (St Malachys), 11. Denis Corroon (Mullingar Shamrocks), 12. Ger Egan (Tyrrellspass)

13. Ronan O’Toole (St Lomans), 14. John Heslin (St Lomans), 15. Luke Loughlin (The Downs)

Subs:

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25. Fola Ayorinde (St Lomans) for Corroon (45)

24. Brandon Kelly (Miltownpass) for Duncan (52)

22. Conor Slevin (Tyrrellspass) for Lynch (63)

18. Kieran Martin (Maryland) for McCartan (66)

23. Tommy McDaniel (Castleknock) for Egan (69)

Mayo

1. Rob Hennelly  (Breaffy)

2. Ben Doyle (Westport), 3. Oisin Mullin  (Kilmaine), 4. Lee Keegan (Westport)

5. Michael Plunkett (Ballintubber), 6. Paddy Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels), 21. Eoghan McLaughlin

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8. Matthew Ruane (Breaffy), 9. Diarmuid O’Connor  (Ballintubber)

10. Fionn McDonagh (Westport), 24. Conor Loftus (Crossmolina Deel Rovers), 12. Jordan Flynn (Crossmolina Deel Rovers)

13. Tommy Conroy (The Neale), 14. Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber), 15. Ryan O’ Donoghue (Belmullet)

Subs:

18. Colm Boyle (Davitts) for Doyle (HT)

25. Bryan Walsh (Ballintubber) for McDonagh (HT)

11. Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore) for Flynn (HT)

19. James Carr (Ardagh) for Loftus (52)

7. Rory Brickenden (Westport) for McLaughlin (59)

23. Aidan Orme (Knockmore) for Conroy (62)

26. Jack Carney (Kilmeena) for Diarmuid O’Connor (69)

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