A lot of the squad takes youth and enthusiasm, but Winter Championships require experience in the face of the deteriorating turf and the attacking pair were on Song from start to finish with a 9-1 win for O’Connor, including an exquisite goal in the second half .
O’Shea, who played as a striker but was used sparingly as a target man, had a hand in everything that was good about Mayo as they weathered an early Leitrim storm before retreating in the final quarter to mark their revenge date Book Roscommon.
Horan recognized the importance of O’Connor and O’Shea when they ran for a first Connacht crown since 2015, but the Mayo Supremo is under no illusions about what they did at Dr. Hyde Park awaits as they try to turn the tables on the Rossies for last year’s semi-final reversal.
“It’s huge that they are doing this kind of gig. And Chris Barrett came along, these guys are role models and have such a big influence on and off the field with the younger guys that there is a great togetherness there as a group, ”said Horan.
“We have a lot of work to do. They are the champions of Division 2, it’s in the Hyde. I expect a great challenge from them. They run on the floor, very organized, very fit team and it will be a huge competition, but we are looking forward to it. ”
A week after abandoning her 23-year stint in Division 1, Mayo showed many signs of hangover in the early exchanges as they struggled with a Leitrim crew that fought fire with fire for a long time.
Terry Hyland’s side, also relegated from Division 3 and losing star attacker Ryan O’Rourke to an injury last week, fought their underdogs in the first half when they overcrowded with one Set up defenses skillfully before they broke at high speed.
Leitrim was calm and serene in possession and took a 4-0 lead with the help of a gentle breeze on his back in the first few minutes as Shane Quinn, Evan Sweeney, Domhnaill Flynn and Keith Beirne (free) fired over points.
Mayo waited eleven minutes for the first goal, but the game’s complexion soon changed with the sin of Oisín Mac Caffraigh. Mayo won the next 10 minutes 1: 4 to 0: 1, with Tommy Conroy going in style on his championship debut.
Donal Casey had a chance to score on the other end just before the break but shot past when Mayo had a three-point advantage of 6-6-06 at the break and Leitrim still had one goal behind him before O’Connor pulled the trigger in the 48th minute and burst into the net.
Leitrim only scored once in the last 25 minutes, but they were never quick to throw in the towel to Hyland to praise the “heart” of his team.
“There is a lot of talent, there is a lot of heart, there are a lot of honest players in Leitrim. I’ve seen that from the moment I walked in here and just had to work on their skills, they didn’t want a heart, ”said Hyland.
“Mayo is a good team, but the Leitrim boys are good too. Sometimes people forget and look at the scoring lines and say, “Mayo won by 10 or 11 points, sure that was expected” but they weren’t here to testify and testify to Leitrim’s bravery. ”
Leitrim can look forward to 2021 if Hyland is likely to stay, while Horan, who did without Mark Moran with an “injured foot”, “got through the game with no injuries and six” debutants “before a delicious duel with the Rossies.
Torschützen – Mayo: C O’Connor 1-9 (4f, 2 ’45); T Conroy 1-0; A O’Shea 0-2; B Walsh, M Ruane, J Carr, C Loftus jeweils 0-1. Leitrim: K Beirne 0-5 (5f); C Dolan, S Quinn, E Sweeney, D Flynn, D Casey jeweils 0-1.
Mayo – D Clarke 7; O Mullin 7, S. Coen 6, L. Keegan 6; P Durcan 6, M Plunkett 6, E McLaughlin 6; A O’Shea 8, M Ruane 7; B Walsh 6, R O’Donoghue 6, J Flynn 6; T Conroy 6, C O’Connor 8, C Loftus 6. Subs: D O’Connor 6 for Walsh and J Carr 7 for O’Donoghue (both 48), R Brickenden 6 for Coen (55), C Barrett 6 for Plunkett (61), D McHale 6 for Ruane (64).
Leitrim – B Flynn 8; C Reynolds 6, O Mac Caffraigh 6, D Casey 7; C McGloin 7, P Maguire 7, A Flynn 7; D Wrynn 7, D Flynn 7; C Dolan 7, M Plunkett 7, J Gilheany 6; S Quinn 7, E Sweeney 7, K Beirne 7. Subs: K Keegan 6 for D Flynn and Riordan O’Rourke 6 for A Flynn (both 58), P Dolan 6 for Sweeney (65), T Prior for Dolan (69) .
Ref – P Faloon (unten)
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