Mayo target second home win on the bounce
Eyes on the ball: Mayo fans will be hoping Kevin McLoughlin will be on top form again on Sunday. Photo: Sportsfile
By Colm Gannon
Mayo will be looking to make it two wins out of two on Sunday when Mickey Harte’s Tyrone men come visiting McHale Park in the second of Mayo’s four home games in this year’s National Football League.
Last weekend’s opening round win over Kerry was backboned by a controlled performance that saw them keep Kerry scoreless for the entire second half. But according to Kevin McLoughlin, it is more important for Mayo to work on their own game than look back at that fact. “It was a great achievement to hold Kerry, but they were missing a couple of guys from Dr Crokes too, but this week it will be about working on what we didn't do well, and moving on.” The Knockmore attacker also pointed there are lessons to be learned in victory and areas that his side would be working on in the build up to Sunday’s game, “There's always a lesson to be learned every day, maybe we were a bit erratic at the end of the game, trying to get shots off when it wasn't on.”
Another man who impressed in the Mayo attack was Burrishoole’s Jason Doherty, who scored six points and was happy Mayo won the game, but is looking for improvements in his own game in the coming weeks. “It’s nice to get off to a good start in the league, it's always important. You're looking to win your home games and this being the first game of the year we wanted to lay down a marker. The result at the end of the day was all that matters. Yeah, I got a few scores, but only one from play so that is something that you're always looking to improve on.”
While he was happy with the win James Horan recognised a lot of the breaks last Sunday went his side’s way. “We started the game well and showed good intent from the start of the game and got some good scores early on. We conceded a few soft goal chances and Kerry took one of them very well, but we responded well to that and kept plugging away. Kerry were missing a lot today and a lot didn't go their way and they lost Anthony Maher as well and he was a big blow to them in the middle of the field. A lot of things went our way so we'll take them.” He also persisted with the experiment of playing both Richie Feeney and Lee Keegan on the half forward line. The Castlebar man was particularly impressive in his performance last Sunday, the versatility of his side is something Horan is happy to have to contend with he explained. “It's a combination of everything, we have a lot of skilful players and very high percentage of guys who can play anywhere as they showed today. Some of them didn't work out as well as I thought, but overall it was interesting.”
Tyrone will come to Castlebar on Sunday on the back of an away win already in the league, after they saw off Down by 1-11 to 1-8 in Páirc Esler in Newry last Saturday night. It was a tempestuous encounter where a total of 15 yellow cards was brandished. Stephen O’Neill was to the fore for his side scoring three points, with Mark Donnelly scoring the goal and sub Conor Clarke also chipping in with two points from play. While Tyrone are in a transition period, they still feature a large number of quality players who are household names like Joe and Justin McMahon, Sean Cavanagh, Stephen O’Neill, Martin Penrose, and Conor Gormley among their ranks. Throw in on Sunday is at 2pm.
Neary new county board secretary
At an EGM held on Wednesday night, Bonniconlon’s Vincent Neary was elected as the new secretary of the Mayo County Board. Also elected on the night was Padraig Staunton from Moygownagh as a Mayo delegate to the Connacht Council.
Ladies on the road in league round two
The Mayo ladies senior side will be looking to make it two wins from two when they travel to Monaghan on Sunday. They will be making the trip to Grattan Park, Inniskeen, in round two of division one of the Tesco Homegrown National Football League. Throw in is at 2pm.