All-Ireland Qualifiers Round 2A

Mayo 2-21 Derry 1-13 (AET)

DERRY’S hopes of repeating last year’s run in the All-Ireland qualifiers were crushed by Mayo, who developed a ruthless streak in extra-time on Saturday evening.

With 69 minutes gone in normal time, it looked like Conor Loftus’ goal had won the game for Mayo but back came Derry and Carlus McWilliams’ diagonal ball was fisted to the net by Mark Lynch to force extra time.

Cillian O’Connor and James Kielt both missed chances to win the tie but after six pulsating minutes of stoppage time the sides couldn’t be separated.

When the teams emerged for the extra-time, there was only one side in the contest, with Stephen Rochford’s side hitting 1-9 to Derry’s solitary Mark Lynch point.

Cillian O’Connor hit the opening point of the game for a Mayo side who would hit six first-half wides, all from scoreable positions.

Derry had a pep in their step and enjoyed much of the opening exchanges with Ben McKinless linking up with Conor McAtamney with regularity to launch attacks from kick-outs.  McAtamney was dismissed before the break for a trip on Tom Parsons and his influence was a loss to Derry.

The Oakleafers’ opening score came from a ball played into Danny Tallon who was fouled and Niall Loughlin tapped over from the free.

A long ball drive into the run of Andy Moran in the eighth minute saw the veteran attacker edge Mayo in front.  When Derry levelled it was McAtamney who fielded again at midfield, Tallon was showing for the ball inside and Niall Loughlin burst through the cover for a fine point.

Benny Heron put Derry ahead, finishing after a run at the retreating Mayo defence.  Ryan Bell fired over and Derry were 0-4 to 0-2 ahead after 11 minutes.

Cillian O’Connor kept Mayo in touch from frees as the game ebbed the flowed, with Derry keeping their noses in front.

Both sides had goal chances.  When Andy Moran’s shot came off the bar, Cillian O’Connor pulled on the ball from an acute angle but it was saved by the feet of Ben McKinless.

At the other end Carlus McWilliams went through but David Clarke spread himself to make the block, it rocketed back of McWilliams’ leg and came off Stephen Cowen for a 45 – a real let-off for Mayo.

Half-Time: Derry 0-8 Mayo 0-7

Mayo won the throw-in and Aidan O’Shea went on the attack but Emmett McGuckin and Carlus McWilliams stripped him of possession and on the counter-attack Ryan Bell slapped over a majestic point from the wing.

Points from Cillian O’Connor and Andy Moran tied the game at 0-9 each before a Loughlin free edged Derry back in front.

Mayo’s attack went into self-destruct with a series of poor wides from Kevin McLoughlin, and Tom Parsons.

Derry needed goalkeeper Ben McKinless to keep them in the game with two saves – one each from Cillian O’Connor and Andy Moran.  A ‘45’ from Andy Moran levelled the sides and 0-10 each in the 48th minute but Mayo were to go 19 minutes without a score.

Loughlin and Kielt, both from frees, put Derry 0-12 to 0-10 ahead with 15 minutes to go.  Amazingly neither side would register a score until Patrick Durcan’s 66th minute effort ended Mayo’s drought.

Derry had a chance to push further ahead but Chrissy McKaigue’s effort was off-target.  Seamus O’Shea and the O’Connors then combined for substitute Conor Loftus to belt his shot to the back of the net.  Loftus added a point and it looked like it was game over before Lynch’s came to the rescue.

Full-Time: Derry 1-12 Mayo 1-12

Kevin McLaughlin and Cillian O’Connor put Mayo into their stride early in the second-half before Ben McKinlless fluffed a kick-out straight to Jason Doherty who made no mistake for a trademark goal.

Lynch hit back before Derry were awarded a penalty but James Kielt’s spot kick was saved by David Clarke.

Patrick Durcan was sent off on a straight red card for an off the ball incident but it mattered little as Mayo eased their way to the next round.

“At this level, at division one, it is all about intensity, you don’t get that time on the ball,” Barton added.  “You get smothered – they’ll have learned quite a bit from that today so it is very, very important that we get back and up a division next year which would be the goal.

Barton was non-committal on his future as Derry boss and the challenge of lifting the county from division three.

“I would say the bar at about eleven o’clock tonight would be the best place to discuss that,” dismissed the Derry boss.

Mayo: David Clarke, Brendan Harrison, Ger Cafferkey, Chris Barrett, Colm Boyle, Lee Keegan (0-1), Patrick Durcan (0-1), Donie Vaughan, Tom Parsons, Fergal Boland, Aidan O’Shea (0-1), Stephen Coen, Kevin McLoughlin (0-1), Cillian O’Connor (0-12, 9f, 1 ‘45’), Andy Moran (0-2).

Subs: Diarmuid O’Connor for A O’Shea (Blood sub 24, reversed 25), Diarmuid O’Connor (0-1) for F Boland (HT), Seamus O’Shea for D Vaughan (55), Jason Doherty (1-1) for S Coen (55), Conor Loftus (1-1) for A Moran (58), David Drake for B Harrison (63), Caolan Crowe for C Barrett (82), Shane Nally for L Keegan (85), Danny Kirby for K McLoughlin (87).

Derry: Ben McKinless, Niall Keenan, Brendan Rogers, Karl McKaigue, Ciaran McFaul, Michael McEvoy, Carlus McWilliams, Chrissy McKaigue, Conor McAtamney, Ryan Bell (0-3), Niall Loughlin (6f), Enda Lynn, Danny Tallon, Danny Heavron (0-1), Benny Heron (0-1).

Subs: Emmett McGuckin for C McAtamney (BC 36), Mark Lynch (1-1) for D Tallon (46), James Kielt (0-1f) for R Bell (57), Shane McGuigan for E Lynn (67), Connor Nevin for M McEvoy (75), Neil Forester for C McFaul (75), Gavin O’Neill for N Loughlin (84), Conor Doherty for B Heron (87).

Ref: Maurice Deegan (Laois).

For full coverage from Castlebar, see Monday’s Derry News and Tuesday’s County Derry Post.

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