Colm Gannon reports at Hyde Park
IF YOU WANTED entertainment then Hyde Park was the place to be as Mayo and Armagh went blow for blow in a thrilling league encounter.
The contest was finally put to bed when Paddy Durcan slotted over from close range at the end of a coast-to-coast move that started after Aidan O’Shea had filed a effort from a Rian O’Neill free as he looked to level the game up.
Armagh hit the front early doors when Ciaran Mackin looped the ball over the head of Rory Byrne and into the back of the Mayo net seconds after throw-in.
Byrne was just getting himself accustomed to starting after being a late replacement for Rob Hennelly who appeared to have got injured in the warm up.
Armagh were 1-3 to 0-1 up by the tenth minute with Stefan Campbell, Jason Duffy and Rory Grugan all landing points, with a Ryan O’Donoghue pointed mark in response for Mayo.
Mayo then hit four on the spin to go within one point of Armagh with a brace from O’Donoghue follows by scores from Matthew Ruane and Diarmuid O’Connor. Rian O’Neill hit a fantastic score from the right followed by a long range free to extend Armagh’s lead with O’Donoghue pointing a long range free to pull Mayo back to within two points at the break.
Mayo pulled themselves level within four minutes of the restart thanks to points from an Aiden Orme mark and a O’Connor effort from play. Ciaran McGeeney’s men hit back with points from Grugan and Conor Turbitt to extend their lead back out to two on 45 minutes.
O’Donoghue brought Mayo back to within a point from a free, before O’Neill nailed a huge effort from a placed ball, Kevin McLoughlin replied for Mayo to leave one in it, before a brace of points inside a minute from Aiden Nugent looked to have Armagh heading home with the points as they went three clear.
But Mayo dug in and they reeled off five points on the bounce in the final five minutes, O’Donoghue kicked two frees, the Paddy Durcan levelled it up – Jordan Flynn slipped one over from close range to put Mayo one up and the final word was left to Durcan at the end of a rip roaring encounter.
Scorers for Mayo: Ryan O’Donoghue (0-7, 5f, 1m), Diarmuid O’Connor (0-2), Paddy Durcan (0-2), Jordan Flynn (0-1), Mattie Ruane (0-1), Aiden Orme (0-1, 1f) , Kevin McLoughlin (0-1)
Scorers for Armagh: Rian O’Neill (0-3, 2f), Ciaran Mackin (1-0), Rory Grugan (0-2, 1f), Adiin Nugent (0-2), Stefan Campbell (0-1), Conor Turbit (0-1), Jason Duffy (0-1)
16. Rory Byrne (Castlebar Mitchels)
2. Lee Keegan (Westport)
3. Rory Brickenden (Westport)
4. Michael Plunkett (Ballintubber)
5. Oisín Mullin (Kilmaine)
6. Stephen Coen (Hollymount-Carramore)
7. Sam Callinan (Ballina Stephenites)
8. Jordan Flynn (Crossmolina Deel Rovers)
9. Matthew Ruane (Breaffy)
10. Fionn McDonagh (Westport)
11. Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber)
12. Conor Loftus (Crossmolina Deel Rovers)
13. Aiden Orme (Knockmore)
14. Frank Irwin (Ballina Stephenites)
15. Ryan O’Donoghue (Belmullet)
Subs: 23. Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore) for Irwin, 19. Paddy Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels) for Brickenden, 20. Padraig O’Hora (Ballina Stephenites) for Callinan, 22. Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy for Loftus), 25. Jack Carney (Kilmeena) for McDonagh, 26. Fergal Boland (Aghamore) for McLoughlin,
16. Ethan Rafferty (An Ghrainseach),
2. Paddy Burns (Peadar Ó Doirnin Foirceal)
3. Aidan Forker (An Machaire)
4. Aaron McKay (Dromainn Ti)
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5. Connaire Mackin (Sheáin Ui Néil Camloch)
6. Niall Rowland (Na Gormacha Baile Mhic Cholla)
7. Jarly Óg Burns (Beal Atha an Airgid)
8. Ciaran Mackin (Shéain Uí Néil Camloch)
24. Ben Crealey (An Machaire)
22. Stefan Campbell (An Logáin Clann na Gael)
11. Rory Grugan (Na Cloigthithe Baile Mhic an Aba)
12. Tiernan Kelly (Clann Éireann)
13. Jason Duffy (Naomh Padraig Coillech Eanach)
14. Rian O’Neill (Raonaithe Na Croise)
15. Aidan Nugent (Naomh Padraig Coilleach Eanach)
Subs: 21. Conor Turbitt (Clann Éireann) for Duffy, 17. James Morgan (Raonaithe Na Croise) for McKay, 9. Stephen Sheridan (Peader Ó Doirnin) for Crealey, 20. Oisin O’Neill (Raonaithe Na Croise) for Rowland , 18. Conor O’Neill (Cill Sleibhe) for Forker
Referee: David Coldrick (Meath)
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