Mayo capture U-21 Title

  • May 07,2006
Mayo captured the 2006 All-Ireland U21 football title with a superb 1-13 to 1-11 victory over favourites Cork at Cusack Park in Ennis. From a shaky start the Mayo men clicked into gear and defeated Cork by two points in a stitting match. Cork were two points up inside the opening eight minutes thanks to John Hayes and Daniel Goulding but Mayo replied with an Aidan Kilcoyne effort. The Rebels restored their two-point cushion before Michael Conroy (Mayo) and Fintan Gould traded points. Goulding tapped over a simple Cork free from straight in front of the posts but Mayo stayed in touch with a point from sharp shooter Aidan Kilcoyne. He then trumped that score by slotting over a magnificent point from tight on the sideline. Cork scored on the stroke of half time and that score gave the Leesiders a 0-7 to 0-4 interval lead. Mayo got the ball rolling early in the second half and after Cork got he first score Mayo drove in 1-4 without reply. Midfielder Seamus O’Se won a penalty two minutes later and finished emphatically to the net at the second attempt after Cork keeper Ken O’Halloran had saved the original effort. A Conroy point then had the westerners level seven minutes into the second half. Mayo were turning the screw and scored the next point to make it 1-7 to 0-8. Kilcoyne split the posts with a 35-metre free and the underdogs had a three-point advantage with only a quarter of the hour remaining to play. However a high delivery into the Mayo goalmouth was collected by Goulding, who brought the Rebels level, 1-8 apiece. Mayo went back ahead with three more points on the trot, including another effortless Kilcoyne free. The winners led to lead by three with just over five minutes remaining. Gould kicked a great point from distance to give his side a glimmer of hope and the same player then landed an exceptional long-range free to leave just a point in it. There was one last opportunity for Cork to salvage a draw but Goulding’s close range rasper blazed over the bar in the third minute of added time and the long whistle sounded with Pat Holmes’ side 1-13 to 1-11 in front.