Colm Gannon reports from Castlebar
WITH BOTH SIDES already through to the semi-finals it was all about topping the group when Mayo and Meath met in MacHale Park.
Andy McAntee made eight changes to the side announced earlier in the week before throw-in, while Mayo made two alterations from their named 15.
James Horan’s men had this game put to bed by the half time break, when they went in leading 3-11 to 1-5.
James Carr rattled the back of the net twice in the first half, his second goal a real beauty coming just before the half time whistle, when he climbed high to win the ball before turning and firing it low past Harry Hogan.
Twenty-two minutes in he palmed the ball home from close range after being picked out by a Diarmuid O’Connor pass to get his day going on the scoreboard and followed that up with a long range point a minute later.
Meath were the first to hit the net when Bryan McMahon scored from close range after Robert Hennelly had saved a shot from David Dillon on the 15 minute mark to pull his side within two points at the first water break.
Mayo netted their first goal from the penalty spot just after the resumption when Cillian O’Connor slotted home a penalty after Bryan Walsh had been fouled on his way to goal. The Ballintubber man was quietly efficient in the first half finishing up with 1-4 to his name before the turn around and his withdrawal from the action.
Mayo’s Jordan Flynn and Joey Wallace of Meath.
Source: Lorraine O’Sullivan/INPHO
Both sides made a number of changes at the break, and Meath hit their second goal of the day on 41 minutes when Bryan Menton was played in down the right flank and powered the ball home at the near post.
But the game was slipping into a challenge game pace as both sides ran their benches with bigger challenges coming down the road for both.
Aidan O’Shea made his first appearance off the bench for Mayo this year and contributed a point not long after his introduction as did Michael Newman for Meath.
Both sides added on a few more scores before the end, but the outcome of the game was well decided at that stage.
Mayo’s Aidan O’Shea tackles Meath’s Seamus Lavin.
Source: Lorraine O’Sullivan/INPHO
Scorers for Mayo: James Carr 2-1, Cillian O’Connor 1-4 (1-0 pen, 0-2f, 0-1 mark), Paul Towey 0-3 (0-2f), Darren McHale, Matthew Ruane, Bryan Walsh 0-2 each, Fergal Boland, Michael Plunkett, Aidan O’Shea 0-1 each.
Scorers for Meath: Michael Newman, James Conlon 0-4 (0-3f) each, Bryan Menton, Bryan McMahon 1-0 each, Eamon Wallace 0-2, Jack Flynn, Jack O’Connor 0-1 each.
1. Robert Hennelly (Breaffy)
2. Eoin O’Donoghue (Belmullet), 3. Oisin Mullin (Kilmaine), 4. Lee Keegan (Westport)
5. Michael Plunkett (Ballintubber), v6. Stephen Coen (Hollymount-Carramore), 7. Fergal Boland (Aghamore)
8. Matthew Ruane (Breaffy), 22. Jack Carney (Kilmeena)
9. Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber), 11. Darren McHale (Knockmore), 12. Bryan Walsh (Ballintubber)
25. Ryan O’Donoghue (Belmullet), 14. Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber), 15. James Carr (Ardagh)
13. Paul Towey (Charlestown) for Cillian O’Connor
17. Colm Boyle (Davitts) for Keegan
21. Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy) for Carney
19. Eoghan McLaughlin (Westport) for Boland
24. Darren Coen (Hollymount-Carramore) for O’Donoghue
20. Jordan Flynn (Crossmolina Deel Rovers) for McHale
26. Tommy Conroy (The Neale) for Carr
1. Harry Hogan (Maigh Dearmhai)
2. Seamus Lavin (Dunboyne), 3. Conor McGill (Ratoath), 4. Eoin Harkin (Summerhill)
20. Jack O’Connor (Curraha), 23. Bryan McMahon (Ratoath), 5. Cathal Hickey (Seneschalstown)
8. Bryan Menton (Donaghmore-Ashbourne), 21. David Dillon (Navan O’Mahonys)
25. Eamon Wallace (Ratoath), 19. Jason Scully (Oldcastle), 17. Jack Flynn (Ratoath)
26. Joey Wallace (Ratoath), 11. Darragh Campion (Skryne), 24. James Conlon (Naomh Colmcille)
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7. Donal Keogan (Rathkenny) for Hickey
6. Shane McEntee (St Peter’s Dunboyne) for McMahon
9. Padraic Harnan (Moynalvey) for Dillon
22. Danny Dixon (Bord an Mhuilinn) for Campion
15. Michael Newman (Kilmainham) for Scully
16. Liam Byrne (St Peter’s Dunboyne) for Hogan,
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