Mayo put Connacht final defeat behind them with comfortable win over Cavan

Kevin McStay’s men never trailed against a Cavan side who were second best throughout

All-Ireland SFC Group 2: Mayo 0-20 Cavan 1-8

Where their summer takes them remains to be seen but after the disappointment of their Connacht final defeat, Mayo’s season is at least back on track after a comfortable win over Cavan in the first round of the All-Ireland SFC group stages in Castlebar on Saturday.

Kevin McStay’s men never trailed against a Cavan side who were second best throughout. How good Mayo were versus how poor Cavan were remains to be seen but considering the pressure on the hosts going into this tricky fixture, it will do for now.

Denied the services of their injured star forward Paddy Lynch, Cavan looked listless in attack all too often. That said, they did not win sufficient possession to put Mayo under pressure either.

Mayo raced from the traps and opened a 0-5 to 0-0 lead after 14 minutes and scored with every one of their first eight shots.


They attacked with serious intent and brought more energy to their attacks than was evident in the loss to Galway in Salthill.

Darren McHale and Cillian O’Connor both justified their call-ups with lively displays and a point apiece. Matthew Ruane pointed twice – both of which could have went under the bar – while Ryan O’Donoghue with three points (two frees), Eoghan McLaughlin and Jack Carney all got on the mark.

Cavan had to wait until the 15th minute to open their account courtesy of an Oisín Brady free. Oisín Kiernan (Denn) kicked their score of the half while injury-time points from Ciarán Brady and an Oisín Brady free had them only four down – 0-9 to 0-5 – at the break despite being considerably second best.

But any lingering Cavan hopes of turning the tide were effectively quashed by the end of the third quarter as Mayo outscored them 0-5 to 0-1.

O’Donoghue, Cillian O’Connor, Stephen Coen, Ruane and sub Conor Loftus all pointed and it was all too easy at times.

Cavan did strike for a goal when Oisín Kiernan (Denn) found the net on 59 minutes but Mayo still had a six-point buffer after that. They responded with two points in a minute from Cillian O’Connor and O’Donoghue to settle matters.

Mayo were able to bring on captain Paddy Durcan, returning from injury, and Aidan O’Shea in the final quarter. Cavan had four changes made by the 47th minute but none of them could spark them into life.

Mayo could even absorb a late black card for centre half back Sam Callinan without any hindrance.

But of far greater concern will be an injury picked up by Durcan in the very last play of the game, which Mayo will hope is not too serious.

Mayo travel to Roscommon for their next game, a repeat of this season’s Connacht semi-final. It doesn’t get any easier for Cavan, as they play host to All-Ireland champions Dublin.

MAYO: C Reape; J Coyne, D McBrien, D McHugh; E McLaughlin (0-1), S Callinan, S Coen (0-1); M Ruane (0-3), D O’Connor; J Carney (0-1), D McHale (0-2), J Flynn; T Conroy, C O’Connor (0-4), R O’Donoghue (0-7, 0-4f). Subs: C Loftus (0-1) for McHugh, B Tuohy for Carney (both 49 mins); P Durcan for McLaughlin, A O’Shea for Conroy (both 56); P Towey for Ruane (63 mins).

CAVAN: G O’Rourke; B O’Connell, K Brady, C Reilly; P Faulkner, N Carolan, Conor Brady; C Rehill, O Kiernan (Denn, 1-1); J McLoughlin, Ciarán Brady (0-1), Oisín Kiernan (Castlerahan); O Brady (0-5, 0-5f), J Smith, G Smith. Subs: T Madden (0-1) for K Brady (20 mins); L Fortune for Rehill (30); C Madden for Carolan (h-t); C O’Reilly for O Kieran (Castlerahan, 47); D Lovett for Conor Brady (66).

Referee: D Coldrick (Meath).