Do or die for Mayo in London

GAA: National Hurling League

Mayo played through a snow storm against Westmeath last Sunday. Photo: Ciara Buckley

Mayo played through a snow storm against Westmeath last Sunday. Photo: Ciara Buckley

Five weeks after their initially scheduled meeting with the exiles from London was called off because of a frozen pitch in McGovern Park in Ruislip, Mayo will this weekend make the trip back across the Irish Sea for the second time.

While this game was initially slated to be a round two clash, it now is a de facto relegation play-off, with whoever loses heading down to Division 2B for next year. Mayo have the advantage of having a point in the bag already from their opening day draw with Meath and know that as long as they at least pick up a point, they will be hurling in the third tier of the league next season.

Since that game was postponed, Mayo have been in action for three weeks in a row and this weekend's game makes it the fourth weekend on the bounce they will be in action. In those three most recent games, they came up against the big beasts of the division in the form of Kerry, Antrim and most recently, Westmeath.

While Mayo tasted defeat in all three games, it didn't stop manager Derek Walsh shuffling the deck in each of the games to give a number of younger and newer members of his squad a taste of life with the big boys - as he looks to continue to develop the standard of hurlers in the county.

Last weekend they played through a snow storm against a Westmeath side who were already top of the division and assured of a place in the divisional final, having beaten the four other teams in the division before they ran out 2-11 to 0-6 winners over Mayo in Mullingar. Mayo put it up to Westmeath in the first half last weekend, going in trailing by just 1-6 to 0-4 at the turnaround, but the Lenister men's great experience shone through in the second half when they outscored Mayo 1-5 to 0-2.

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