eitrim fought admirably to the bitter end of the testing conditions at Avantcard Páirc Seán Mac Diarmada at Carrick-on-Shannon, but Mayo’s class announced this in the closing half as they secured the chance of losing to Roscommon last year for the last four Years to avenge.
Tommy Conroy’s goal in the 23rd minute proved crucial after a stuttering first quarter, while O’Connor also found the net in the 48th minute to keep James Horan’s side safe while Terry Hylands Leitrim can find comfort until 2021 after giving great spells as best as possible before they fade late.
The home team started like a house on fire. Shane Quinn set the tone for a powerful display in Leitrim’s first half when he outsmarted Lee Keegan and showed it within 30 seconds.
Evan Sweeney and Domhnaill Flynn achieved nice results as Hyland’s men looked calm and composed before Keith Beirne took a nice 4-0 lead to zero after seven minutes.
It took 11 minutes for Mayo, who played against a decent breeze in the first half, to move and the influential Aidan O’Shea to be the provider, as Bryan Walsh showed, before Oisín Mac Caffraigh was blacked out for a foul on O. ‘Shea.
Mayo made hay in his absence and won the 10 minutes while Mac Caffraigh was 1: 4 to 0: 1 in sin. O’Connor shot over a number of frees as they closed the gap to 1, 0-4 to 0-3.
Beirne was back on target after a ball placed, but Conroy showed calm beyond his tender years to put Mayo in the lead on his championship debut with an expertly hit goal.
O’Connor added one more point before Mac Caffraigh returned to the field and two just before Donal Casey flew over close to narrow the gap to three points at break, 1-6 to 0-6.
Leitrim kept it competitive on the resumption and still had the gap at three points before O’Connor raised Mayo’s second green flag in one shot and Leitrim only managed one point in the final 25 minutes with O’Shea and O’Connor on-Song at the other end when they booked their date with the Rossies in Hyde Park next Sunday.
Mayo: C O’Connor 1-9 (4f, 2 ’45), T Conroy 1-0, A O’Shea 0-2, B Walsh, M Runae, J Carr, C Loftus jeweils 0-1.
Leitrim: K Beirne 0-5f, C Dolan, S Quinn, E Sweeney, D Flynn, D Casey jeweils 0-1.
MAYO – D Clarke; O Mullin, S. Coen, L. Keegan; P. Durcan, M. Plunkett, E. McLaughlin; A O’Shea, M Ruane; B. Walsh, R. O’Donoghue, J. Flynn; T Conroy, C O’Connor, C Loftus.
Subs: D O’Connor for Walsh and J Carr for O’Donoghue (both 48), R Brickenden for Coen (55), C Barrett for Plunkett (61), D McHale for Ruane (64).
LEITRIM – B Flynn; C Reynolds, O Mac Caffraigh; C McGloin, P Maguire, A Flynn; D Wrynn, D Flynn; C. Dolan, M. Plunkett, J. Gilheany; S. Quinn, E. Sweeney, K. Beirne.
Subs: K Keegan for D Flynn and Riordan O’Rouke for A Flynn (both 58), P Dolan for Sweeney (65), T Prior for Dolan (69).
Referee – P Faloon (unten)
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