Connacht Junior Football Championship Report

Connacht JFC
Mayo                                      1 – 14
Leitrim                                    0 – 15
            Leitrim capitulated in the final seventeen minutes of Friday evening’s lively Connacht Junior championship preliminary game in Aghamore to allow Mayo come from behind and grab a place in this Friday evening’s Connacht semi-final against Roscommon.
            After twenty-three minutes of the action in Aghamore, Leitrim led by seven points and seemed to be on their way for a win as they had outplayed Mayo in virtually every area of the field.
            However Mayo staged a late first half rally to cut the deficit with Leitrim to four points at the break. The Mayo surge continued after the restart and a 43rd minute goal by Colin Dempsey put them ahead for the first time in the game, as his side took a lead they never subsequently surrendered.
            Leitrim started like a tornado and claimed a 0 – 5 lead in the opening nine minutes. In this period Conor Sheridan opened with a point for Leitrim while Conor Beirne tapped over a free, which was followed by two Adrian Croal points from play with Brian McDonald also fisting over a minor score.
            Mayo, who had struggled in the opening ten minutes, got their first score when Colin Dempsey tapped over an 11th minute free after Michael Conroy was fouled while shortly afterwards midfielder Peter Collins added another point from play.
            Leitrim continued to put pressure on the home side and stretched their lead to six points by the 19th minute after Adrian Croal shot over twice while in between these two scores Fergal Clancy also add a point.
            Jack McDonnell replied with a 21st minute Mayo free conversion. Again Leitrim drove forward with Adrian Croal whipping over another point after being put through by a quick free from Barry McWeeney while Colm Maguire added a 23rd minute point after receiving a pass from Croal.      
            After that Mayo began their come back when Colin Dempsey blazed over a goal chance in the following minute. Dempsey then slotted over two further points in quick succession from play and a free while Simon Clotherty also shot over in the 30th minute.
            Before halftime Adrian Croal replied with a point from play that made the score at the interval Leitrim 0 – 11 Mayo 0 – 7. Following the restart Colin Dempsey reduced the deficit for Mayo when he hit the target with a point within 58 seconds of the throw in.
            Over the next three minutes Leitrim’s Adrian Croal and Mayo’s Michael Ford exchanged a point from play at opposite ends. Then Mayo pushed on and levelled the proceedings by 41st minute after Colin Dempsey put over a 45metres free and shot over from play while Jack McDonnell also converted a free.
            Following that Leitrim regained the lead for the last time in the encounter when Conor Beirne found the range with a 42nd minute free. The turning point in the game came in the following minute when a sweeping Mayo movement from inside the Leitrim half took place. 
James McAndrew raced unchallenged through a chasm in the centre of the Leitrim defence and fired a point blank shot that was parried by ‘keeper Philip Farrelly. But the rebound went straight to Colin Dempsey who volleyed to the net, to put Mayo ahead for the first time in the showdown.
Emlyn Mulligan, who had been recently introduced as a sub for Brian McDonald, hit back with 54th minute Leitrim point. But it was answered within the space of a minute with a similar score from Mayo’s Michael Ford.
The Mayo lead was cut to the minimum when Adrian Croal shot a 56th minute point. Meanwhile Mayo had a let off in the following minute when Croal blazed a goal chance off the crossbar while the rebound eluded Conor Beirne, whose was in close attendance, and was cleared.
After that man-of-the-match Colin Dempsey made victory secure for Mayo when tapped over a free prior to the final whistle.
Mayo: Conor Campbell, Tom Staunton, Ollie Feeney, Conor Cawely, Denis McNamara, Colm Cafferky, Dermot Costello, Peter Collins 0 – 1, Michael Ford 0 – 2, Alan Egan, James McAndrew, Simon Cloherty 0 – 1, Jack McDonnell 0 – 2(2f.), Colin Dempsey 1 – 8(4f.), Michael Conroy. Subs John Broderick for Cawely (11 mins.), Pat Casey for Costello (17 mins.), Frank Burke for Cafferky (27 mins.), Clifford Connely for McDonnell (53 mins.), Liam Lydon for Conroy (58).
Leitrim: Philip Farrelly, Gavin Reynolds, Mark Beirne, Paddy Maguire, Paul Brennan, Barry McWeeney, Conor Sheridan 0 – 1, Paddy McGowan, Robbie Lowe, Fergal Clancy 0 – 1, Colm Maguire 0 – 1, Conor Beirne 0 – 2(2f.), Brian McDonald 0 – 1, Adrian Croal 0 – 8, Conor Kelly. Subs Morgan Quinn for Kelly (HT), E. Mulligan 0 – 1for McDonald (49mins.)Referee: T J Keaveney (Sligo



03-May-11 by Colette Fox – PRO