The early going was all Mayo as the Westerners eased out to a 0-5 to 0-2 lead. Mike McCluskey opened Mayo’s account off an alert Mike McGahon steal. Two Sean Malee points and one each from Padraig O’Neill and Tomas Quinn, and Mayo were in command.
Finally, with 18:30 gone, Sligo got on the scoreboard with Donal Ryan’s free. After another fine point from Tomas “Mossy” Quinn, Ryan got one back with a second Sligo free. Then Padjo Rael was fouled in the square. Ryan calmly deposited the penalty shot in the back of the Mayo goal and Sligo were just a point behind 0-6 to 1-2, despite being badly outplayed.
Mayo were quick to reply with a McCluskey point and then reasserted their dominance when Malee punished a poor kick out with a Mayo goal. Mayo closed out the opening half with three unanswered points to go to the break with a comfortable 1-10 to 1-3 lead.
On Sunday, Donal Ryan was a good footballer on a poor team, and on the restart he scored Sligo’s first point from play. But Mayo were far too strong to let Sligo back in. Points from Ryan “Peacock” O’Kane, Quinn and fullback Lee Kelly stretched the Mayo lead. Then O’Kane gave Mayo good reason to preen with a match-killing goal.
Mayo have struggled to score at times over the last couple of years, but are beginning to sport a more dangerous look. Full forward Tomas Quinn made his debut for Mayo on Sunday and he gave the forward line a whole new look.
Quinn, the Dublin county panelist who plays for the famous St. Vincent’s club, can score from far and near, and his fellow forwards benefited immensely from his presence.
Man of the Match: Tomas Quinn.
Mayo: John O’Hara, Louie Breslin, Leo Kelly (0-1), Niall McMahon, Eamon McEvoy, Padraig O’Neill (0-1), David Colaran (0-1), Ronan McGarrity, Alan Kelly (0-1), Ronan McGarrity, Mike McCluskey (0-2), Mike McGahon (0-1), Sean Malee (2-2), Ryan O’Kane (1-1), Tomas Quinn (0-4), Tony McTigue (0-1). Subs: John Browne, Henry Lydon, Andy Walsh, Kieran McMahon (0-1).
Sligo: Dean O’Connor, Pat O’Driscoll, Sean Melly, Connnor Healey, Eamon Duffy, Kieran O’Callaghan, Robert Turpin, Padjo Rael, Barry Kavanagh, Peter Brennan, Donal Ryan (1-4, 1 penalty, 3 frees), Cillian O’Driscoll (0-1), Kevin Ward, Enda Henry, Declan Henry. Subs: Ed Bowles, John Mackey.