Our U21s have qualified for the Connacht final, as they beat Leitrim by 1-16 to 1-5 in today’s semi-final at McHale Park. We were two points behind at the break – with Leitrim enjoying the advantage of the wind in the opening 35 minutes – but we pulled away from them easily enough in the second half, ending eleven points clear at the final whistle. Top scorer on the day was Burrishoole’s Jason Doherty who bagged 1-2, not bad going for a player who has still to sit his Leaving Cert and is also eligible for the minors this year. Westport’s Thady Gavin got four points, as did senior panellist Aidan Campbell (pictured). The team and scorers (courtesy of Mayofans.com) for Mayo today were as follows:
Nallen; Vaughan (0-1), Cafferkey, English; Barrett (0-2), Cunniffe, Burke (0-1); O’Shea, Parsons; Campbell (0-4), Gallagher (0-1), Doherty (1-2); Gavin (0-4), Sweeney, Rafter. Subs: Sweeney (0-1), Douglas, Healy, O’Connor, Kelly.
Despite being in Mayo for the weekend, I didn’t make it to today’s match and I notice that my fellow Mayo GAA blogger was otherwise engaged too. However, there is already one first-hand report on the match posted on Mayofans.com and a few of the other hardy souls who pitched up at McHale Park today are sure to add their thoughts on the game later on.
It sounded like a facile enough win in conditions that were far from ideal for football. I caught the last ten minutes or so on Mid-West and, from what I heard, Pat Holmes and his colleagues were at that stage just emptying their bench to give as many players as possible a run-out. That’s as easy a passage to a Connacht final as you could expect to see.
There was a major shock elsewhere in Connacht, as Sligo had three points to spare over Galway in their preliminary round match in Tubbercurry. Sligo’s reward for that 0-15 to 0-12 win is a semi-final tilt against Roscommon. That wasn’t the only U21 shock of the day, with Kildare dumping out Dublin in Leinster (where, a few weeks back, Wicklow saw off last year’s beaten finalists, Laois) and reigning All-Ireland champions Cork going under to Kerry in Munster. Hold on: can a Kerry win be described with any validity as a shock? No, thought not.