Mayo know what they have to do tomorrow

GAA: Nicky Rackard Cup

On the turn: Mayo will be looking to Sean Regan to drive them on tomorrow against Sligo.

On the turn: Mayo will be looking to Sean Regan to drive them on tomorrow against Sligo.

It's all pretty simple for the Mayo hurlers this weekend - they know they have to beat Sligo tomorrow afternoon by two points to make sure they are in the knock-out rounds of the Nicky Rackard Cup.

Derek Walsh's charges got back to winning ways in round two a fortnight ago against Louth in MacHale Park after going down on the road against Tyrone in round one the week before.

Having survived in division 2A in the league this year, Mayo entered the competition as one of the favourites to win, but their round one loss to the Red Hand County put them on the back foot right from the off.

It all comes down to tomorrow against the competition's surprise package, Sligo, who backed up their round one win over Louth with a victory over Tyrone in round two. Currently Sligo sit on top of the four team group with four points from their two games and scoring difference of +14, Tyrone are in second place with a scoring difference of -8 following their loss to the table toppers in round two, while Mayo are in third place also on two points with a scoring difference of +14 - with Tyrone leading them because of the head-to-head result between the two teams.

If Mayo do what they have to and Tyrone see off Louth, as is expected when they meet in Healy Park in Omagh, the three teams will be level on points and the two places in the semi-finals will be decided by scoring difference. Mayo will need to ensure they beat Sligo by at least two points if they are to make their place in the final for sure, because it very possible that Tyrone will eat into the gap on the scoring difference chart against the Wee County. When those sides met in the league earlier this year Tyrone ran out 2-23 to 1-11 winners and they will be going all guns to increase that margin of victory this time around.

Mayo rallied well from their disappointment in round one with a 3-23 to 1-13 win over Louth in their last outing, Shane Boland was their top marksman with a 0-11 to his name at the end of the game while Corey Schaill chipped in with 2-2 in their win. They controlled that game from start to finish and they also welcomed back to action for the first time this season Kenny Feeney, who chipped in with two points after making an appearance from the bench late on.

Sligo who won the Lory Magher Cup last term backed up their win over Louth in round one with a 3-19 to 1-14 win over Tyrone in round two. They trailed by three points at the break - but using the wind advantage in the second half they turned that into an 11 point win at the end. Keith Redmond hit eight points, while they bagged goals from Shane Crowley, Kevin Gilmartin and Conor Griffin to bag the points.

The action throws in at 3pm tomorrow in the Sligo GAA Centre of Excellence in Scarden.


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