FL1: Down stun 14-man Mayo in Castlebar
March 11, 2012
Down eased their relegation worries with an unexpected victory over a previously unbeaten Mayo at McHale Park.
The Connacht champions never recovered from the ninth-minute dismissal of Aidan O'Shea, who was issued with a straight red card following a challenge on Danny Hughes. Soundly beaten by Cork and Kerry in their last two outings, James McCartan's side went on to lead by four points at half-time thanks to a Conor McGinn goal and they maintained their advantage in the second half to join Mayo on four points in Division 1.
Andy Moran raised the first white flag after just 12 seconds, only for Aidan Carr to reply for the visitors. Disaster then struck for the home side when midfielder O'Shea was given his marching orders, but they responded with the lead point from Conor Mortimer.
The 14 men kept their noses in front until the 20th minute when Conor McGinn fisted a high ball past the advancing Robert Hennelly to edge Down into a 1-2 to 0-4 lead. Mortimer replied with a brace for Mayo, but points from Carr (free), McGinn and Ambrose Rogers helped Down to a 1-7 to 0-6 interval lead.
The hosts had wind advantage in the second half, but they fell further in arrears when Carr pointed within 25 seconds of the restart. Mortimer and Alan Dillon hit back, only for Danny Hughes to notch up Down's ninth point. Mortimer made it 0-9 to 1-9 before the same player and Alan Freeman reduced the deficit to the minimum.
But James Horan's charges couldn't get any closer as further points from Carr and Hughes eased Down clear.
Down - B McVeigh; D McCartan, C Garvey, D Turley; D Gordon, A Branigan, N McPartland; A Rogers (0-3), K King; D Hughes (0-1), M Poland, A Carr (0-5); C Laverty, A McConville, C Maginn (1-1). Subs: K McKiernan for Garvey, B Coulter (0-2) for McConville, K Duffin (0-1) for Turle, O McCarty for Poland.
Mayo - R Hennelly; K Keane, G Cafferkey, K Higgins; R Feeney, D Vaughan, L Keegan; A O'Shea, B Moran; A Dillon (0-2), A Freeman (0-2), J Doherty; C Mortimer (0-6), A Moran (0-1) E Varley. Subs: S O'Shea for Doherty, M Conroy for Varley, P Harte for Freeman, P Gardiner for Feeney.
Ref - B Cassidy (Derry).
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