O'Connor brothers star as Mayo cruise past Lilywhites

Diarmuid O'Connor netted one of the goals of the season in the opening half

O'Connor brothers star as Mayo cruise past Lilywhites

Image: ©INPHO/James Crombie 

Diarmuid O'Connor scored a goal of the season contender this evening as Mayo ran out comfortable 2-17 to 14 point winners over Kildare at Elverys McHale Park.

O'Connor, one of the brightest young talents in the country, skipped through three Kildare defenders before driving his low shot underneath the onrushing Mark Donnellan.

Stephen Rochford's side showed early promise from O'Connor in particular who scored the opening two points of the game. The strikes, both with the outside of the boot, were almost carbon copies of each other and settled Mayo. 

They raced further ahead through Cillian O'Connor's free before brother Diarmuid added a third to his tally inside 15 minutes.

Kildare slowly sparked to life and points from Morgan O'Flaherty and Neil Flynn clawed it back to a one-point game.

One of the key moments of the game came after Evan Regan pounced on a rebound after Donnellan produced a wonderful save and found the back of the net.

The goal took the wind out of Kildare's sails after they had pulled it back to a one-point game. And if the first was detrimental to their confidence, the second effectively killed off the game as a contest. 

O'Connor skipped by a number of challenges and finished low to give the Connacht side a 10-point lead at the break.

Diarmuid O'Connor brushes past a challenge from Emmet Bolton

The game to an extent fizzled out in the second half as a result. Kildare continued to chip away at the Mayo lead, but never really threatened to score a goal. Keith Higgins in the Mayo defence remained resolute and the full-backs line dealt easily with the high lofted ball.

However, Mayo never really felt like they were out of sight either. Goals chances came from Jason Doherty and  Colm Doyle was forced into a challenge which earned him a black card after dragging down Kildare's Fergal Conway, racing into the area.

Plenty to work on for Mayo in the coming weeks, but lots of positive, not least Diarmuid O'Connor who notched a whopping 1-5 today.