Mayo let opening day victory slip through their fingers
National Hurling League Division 2B
Colm Gannon, Mchale Park
Mayo will be disappointed to have left the win behind them on Sunday in this Division 2B league opener. Christy Phillips side were pegged level by a Cathal Kelly pointed free late in the game to share the spoils in an stop start encounter in McHale Park. Referee John Keane played a major role in the game, blowing for frees throughout the encounter rather than let the play build up. Both sides took advantage of this with Kenny Feeney scoring eight 13 points for the hosts all from placed balls and Roscommon's hero late on Kelly also hitting eight points from frees. Keane also showed a red card late on to dual star Keith Higgins, who picked up two late bookings to be shown to the sideline with two minutes of normal time left on the clock. Mayo started the better and had worked themselves into a 0-4 to 0-1 lead after ten minutes thanks to points from Feeney (2), Brian Hunt and Sean Reagan. But on 11 minutes Roscommon full forward hit the back of the net when he flicked a free from Gerry Fallon past Donal O'Brien in the Mayo goal. At the break, Mayo went in leading by 0-10 to 1-5 thanks in no small part to Feeney's free taking, while Roscommon lost their midfield talisman Gerry Fallon through injury just before the break. Two early points from Micheál Kelly and Eamon Mulry pulled Roscommon level inside three minutes of the restart, but that man Feeney kept putting the frees over the bar for Mayo to keep their noses in front. His last point came on the 70 minute mark to push Mayo back into a one point lead, but there was still time for referee Keane to blow for one more free for Kelly to point and share the points.
Scores: Mayo: K Feeney 0-13 (12f, 1 sl), K Higgins 0-2 (1f), S Regan, B Hunt and A Guiry 0-1 each. Roscommon: C Kelly 0-8 (8f), G Fallon 0-4 (2f), N Connaughton 1-0, E Kenny 0-2, R O'Meara 0-1.
MAYO – D O'Brien; A Brennan, A Connolly, S Morley; C Finn, P O'Flynn, F Lyons; C Charlton, S Markham; A Guiry, D McDonnell, K Higgins; B Hunt, S Regan, K Feeney. Subs: D Gallagher for Guiry (46 mins), S Hoban for McDonnell (50 mins).
ROSCOMMON – P Dolan; I Doherty, D Leonard, S Curley; E Morley, D Shortt, S Melia; C Kelly, G Fallon; J Lawlor, D Nolan, A Murphy ; R O'Meara, N Connaughton, E Kenny. Subs: M Kelly for Fallon (25 mins), C Egan for Murphy (40 mins), J Moran for Leonard (45 mins), T Seale for Connaughton (52 mins).
REF – J Keane (Galway)