Hurlers welcome Offaly on Sunday

GAA: National Hurling League

Holding off: Mayo will welcome Offaly to Castlebar on Sunday - last weekend they were narrowly beaten by Wicklow. Photo: Ciara Buckley

Holding off: Mayo will welcome Offaly to Castlebar on Sunday - last weekend they were narrowly beaten by Wicklow. Photo: Ciara Buckley

It was always going to be a tough task for the Mayo hurlers to maintain their place in division 2A of the National Hurling League this season.

Last Sunday in Bekan, despite putting in a battling performance against Wicklow, they fell to their third defeat in the league this season, going down by three points on a score of 1-16 to 1-13.

Mayo have been welcoming back a number of experienced players over the last few weeks and while the league is important - challenges they have faced already and to come this season will put them in good stead for the Nicky Rackard Cup, which gets underway in early May.

On Sunday they will host four-time Liam McCarthy cup winners Offaly, to Castlebar - the faithful county are under the guidance of Kilkenny legend Michael Fennelly this year, with the county looking to get themselves back to the top level of the game after falling through the tiers over the past number of years.

So far in the league Fennelly's men have one win and one loss to their name seeing off Meath in round one on a scoreline of 0-26 to 1-21 in Tullamore, before they were beat by Kerry in round two by three points in Tralee. Their meeting with Antrim last weekend was called off due to the weather.

Mayo manager Derek Walsh will hope to see continued improvements from his side this weekend against Offaly, hitting 1-13 against Wicklow in the conditions last Sunday was good, but just not a good enough return for his side. Shane Boland hit five points from frees, with Cathal Freeman bagging 1-3, Séan Kenny chipped in with three points and Eoin Delaney hit a brace over the 70 minutes; Mayo will hope to increase on those returns this weekend before they face into their final league game of the season the following week when they take on Meath in Trim.

 

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