Mayo defeat Leitrim in penalty shootout as James Horan’s second reign gets off to winning start

Mayo 2-13
Leitrim 2-13

(Mayo win 4-1 on penalties)

Colm Gannon reports from Carrick-on-Shannon

THERE WAS NO need for extra time or replays or even free kick contests as this Connacht FBD League game went to penalties in Carrick-on-Shannon today after a dramatic injury time equaliser from Leitrim’s Damien Moran.

Evan Regan bagged the winning penalty for Mayo.

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Mayo won the shootout 4-1 with Jason Doherty, Brian Reape, Fergal Boland and Evan Regan all finding the target with Ryan O’Rourke the only one to find the net for Leitrim into the town end goal of their three penalty takers.

Penalty 4, Evan Regan hits the winner, Mayo win 4-1 on penalties. We now play Galway next Sunday in Tuam Stadium. #mayogaa #gaa

— Mayo GAA (@MayoGAA) January 6, 2019

Mayo go into the semi-final of the competition next weekend, but they will have an awful lot to work on before the face Galway in Tuam.

It was the first day out for both managers in Carrick-on-Shannon with Terry Hyland taking change of the home side for the first time and James Horan making his second bow as Mayo manager.

The home team started the game the brightest and led by 0-2 to 0-1 inside the opening three minutes – thanks to points from Pearce Dolan and Shane Quinn, with Jason Doherty responding for Mayo from a placed ball.

Leitrim stretched their lead out to two points four minutes in thanks to a fine effort from Jack Heslin – but their luck was out less than a minute later when Mayo bagged their first goal of the day.

Brian Reape was the man who rattled the net applying a brilliant finish after showing great strength to hold off his man to create the space for the shot. Pearse Dolan responded with a point for Hyland’s side, and the game looked to killed off as a contest with the next score of the game, or so you would have thought.

Mayo and Leitrim players battle for possession.

Source: James Crombie/INPHO

Mayo broke at pace and the ball was fed to Fergal Boland who made no mistake with an expert finish high to the top corner of the net to put Mayo into a 2-1 to 0-3 lead.

Leitrim did have a chance to get a goal of their own not long after but Shane Moran’s effort came back off the post and Jack Heslin pulled the rebound wide.

For the rest of the half Mayo really took control of the contest with Boland, Evan Regan, Rob Hennelly, Eoin O’Donoghue and Colm Moran all finding the target – while Leitrim kept themselves somewhat in touch thanks to Evan Sweeney, Cillian McGloin, Perase Dolan – to leave Mayo leading 2-9 to 0-8 at the break.

Leitrim almost grabbed a goal right from the restart when Jack Heslin was played through, but his effort was saved by Hennelly and put out for a 45. Five minutes into the half Leitrim were reduced to 14 men for ten minutes when Dean McGovern was shown a black card following an off the ball incident with Brendan Harrison.

The first score of the half came from Fionn McDonagh and that score completed all six of Mayo’s starting forwards getting on the scoresheet. But the game was about to get turned on its head in the matter of a few minutes.

Jack Heslin slipped over an outstanding point in the 44th minute, then a minute later Seamus O’Shea turned over the ball and it was worked to Ryan O’Rourke his shot was cleared off the line but Evan Sweeney was lurking to tuck home the rebound.

Less than a minute later Mayo were turned over again – this time Colm Moran was caught in possession and the ball was worked to Sean McWeeney who broke at speed and fed the ball to O’Rourke who drove it home to leave just one point in the game – with 20 minutes to go – with Mayo leading 2-10 to 2-9.

With 16 minutes left on the clock a huge roar went up from the home faithful when Domhnaill Flynn slotted over a free to level it up at 2-10 each. That kicked a bit of life into a Mayo performance that had become a bit listless and Fergal Boland slotted over to restore their lead after a turn over and that was followed by a Jason Doherty free to put two between the sides.

Leitrim weren’t going away though and Evan Sweeney cut the gap back to just one with ten minutes left to go – the same man should have nailed his sides third goal not long after when he intercepted a slack Mayo pass – but his effort crashed back off the bar.

O’Rourke and Damien Moran both then missed chances to level it up as the clock began to tick down.

Mayo edged their noses two points clear as the game slipped into injury time when Fergal Boland drove one over from 40 meters out, but if Leitrim had been more clinical they would have been ahead at that stage.

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There was still time for more drama when Sweeney clipped over a top class score a minute into the four minutes of injury time to leave the gap at just one point again.

Then more drama ensued when Dean McGovern looked to be shown a second yellow card by referee James Molloy – but before he left the field he got involved in the play and picked out the final pass to Damien Moran who slotted the ball over the bar and send the game to penalties.

Scorers for Mayo: Fergal Boland 1-3, Brian Reape 1-1, Jason Doherty 0-3 (0-3f), Evan Regan 0-2 (0-1f), Colm Moran, Rob Hennelly (0-1 ’45), Eoin O’Donoghue, Fionn McDonagh 0-1 each.

Scorers for Leitrim: Evan Sweeney 1-3 (0-2f), Jack Heslin 0-3, Ryan O’Rourke 1-0, Pearse Dolan 0-2, Shane Quinn, Cillian McGloin, S Moran, Domhnaill Flynn (0-1f), Damien Moran 0-1 each.


1. Rob Hennelly (Breaffy)

2. Eoin O’Donoghue (Belmullet)
3. Ger Cafferkey (Ballina)
4. Brendan Harrison (Aghamore)

5. Lee Keegan (Westport)
6. James McCormack (Claremorris)
7. Donal Vaughan (Castlebar Mitchels)

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8. Seamus O’Shea (Breaffy)
9. Stephen Coen (Hollymount-Carramore)

10. Fionn McDonagh (Westport)
11. Jason Doherty (Burrishoole)
12. Fergal Boland (Aghamore)

13. Colm Moran (Westport)
14. Brian Reape (Moy Davitts)
15. Evan Regan (Ballina)


18. Caolan Crowe (Aghamore) for Cafferkey
20. James Kelly (Belmullet) for Coen
17. Ben Doyle (Westport) for O’Donoghue
26. Oisin McLaughlin (Westport) for Moran
21. Ciaran Tracey (Ballina) for McDonagh


1. Diarmuid McKiernan (Gaeil na hAline)

2. Paddy Maguire (Naomh Brigid)
3. Fergal McTague (Achadh Mhaoileann)
17. Aidan Flynn (Gaeil Liatroma)

5. Conor Reynolds (Eanach Dubh)
6. Ray Mulvey (Naomh Muire Cill Tochairt)
7. Shane Quinn (Maothail)

8. Dean McGovern (Sean O’hEislin)
21. Gary Reynolds (Oliver Plunketts)

10. Sean McWeeney (Achadh na Sileann)
11. Cillian McGloin (Gael na Meilge)
12. Jack Heslin (Gort Leitreach)

13. Evan Sweeney (Gleann an Chairthe)
14. Pearse Dolan (Achadh Mhaoileann)
15. Domhnaill Flynn (Maothail)


9. Mark Plunkett (Achadh Mhaoileann) for Flynn
20. Ryan O’Rourke (Naomh Caillin) for McGloin
21. Gary Reynolds (Oliver Plunketts) for Heslin
22. Damien Moran (Barr na Chile) for Dolan
25. Darragh Rooney (Gael na Meilge) for Mulvey

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