Mayo see off Cork with four-goal volley

Mikey Sweeney (Mayo) and Kevin Crowley (Cork) in action today. Picture: Inpho

Mayo 4-12 Cork 2-14

Mayo revived their Division 1 title hopes with a four-goal blitz of Cork at MacHale Park.

Despite falling five points behind early on the Green and Red recovered superbly and hit goals from Jason Doherty, Alan Freeman, Jason Gibbons and Cillian O'Connor to move level with Dublin on six points.

Cork looked unstoppable in the opening exchanges and three Brian Hurley points saw them race into a 0-5 to 0-0 lead before Mayo knew what had hit them.

But James Horan tightened things up at the back and the switch of Ger Cafferky onto Hurley dampened the Castlehaven man's influence.

At the same time Mayo began to dominate around the middle of the park with Aidan O'Shea and Gibbons towering over their Cork counterparts.

And Mayo hit six unanswered points between the 14th and 23rd minutes to take the lead, before Doherty gathered a break at the edge of the square to goal and hand Mayo a 1-9 to 0-6 lead at the break.

With Kevin McLoughlin pulling the strings after the restart Mayo looked very dangerous going forward and after they increased their lead with points from Doherty and O'Connor, Freeman's stunning goal in the 48th minute gave them a 2-12 to 0-9 lead.

Two minutes later Gibbons raced through the heart of the Cork defence and buried Mayo's third goal, but despite their superiority Mayo allowed Cork back into the tie with points from Barry O'Driscoll and Hurley before John O'Rourke put just seven points between the sides with a crisp low finish 13 minutes from time.

But O'Connor settled Mayo's nerviness with his side's fourth goal nine minutes from time as a late rally from Cork including Hurley's injury-time goal put a better gloss on the scoreline for the Rebels.

Mayo: R Hennelly; S McHale, G Cafferkey, B Harrison; L Keegan (0-1), C Boyle, D Vaughan; A O’Shea (0-1), J Gibbons (1-1); K McLoughlin (0-4, 1f), K Higgins, J Doherty (1-3); M Sweeney, A Freeman (1-0), C O’Connor (1-2, 2f).

Subs: D Drake for Boyle (8-15 blood), D Coen for Freeman (54), T Parsons for Gibbons (60), E Varley for Sweeney (74).

Cork: K O'Halloran; M Shields, E Cadogan, K Crowley; C Dorman, T Clancy (Clonakilty), A Cronin; A O'Sullivan, A Walsh (0-3); C O'Driscoll, P Kerrigan, T Clancy (Fermoy); B Hurley (1-5, 1f), C O'Neill (0-1 '45), D O'Connor (0-3, 2f).

Subs: J O'Rourke (1-0) for Clancy (Fermoy) (half-time), M Collins for O'Neill (half-time), J Loughrey for Crowley (40), F Goold for O'Connor (44), B O'Driscoll (0-1) for Cadogan (47), J Hayes (0-1, 1f) for Goold (59 BC).

Referee: Rory Hickey (Clare).

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