A look at who is coming up for Mayo

GAA: National Football League

Three men looking to stop Mayo: Paddy Tally (Down), Jack Cooney (Westmeath) and Andy McEntee (Meath) will be looking to stop Mayo's drive in Division Two North of the National Football League. Photos: Sportsfile

Three men looking to stop Mayo: Paddy Tally (Down), Jack Cooney (Westmeath) and Andy McEntee (Meath) will be looking to stop Mayo's drive in Division Two North of the National Football League. Photos: Sportsfile

With Mayo getting their league campaign underway tomorrow in Division Two North of the National Football League, we take a short look at the three teams that Mayo will be facing over the next few weeks.

Down

The Mourne county men hit the headlines early in the year after being reported for training - despite a ban in place from the GAA on any collective training being allowed. Manager Paddy Tally was hit with a 12 week ban that was then reduced to eight on appeal, and they lost home advantage for one of their league games.

Last season Down were knocked out of the Ulster championship at the semi-final stage by Cavan, having beaten Fermanagh in the last eight. In the league last season, Down were promoted from Division Three alongside Cork, having won four, drawing one and losing two of their seven games.

The last time the sides met in a competitive game came in the 2019 qualifiers, when Mayo ran out 1-16 to 1-11 winners in Newry, a game Conor Loftus hit 1-4 in for Mayo.

Westmeath

The midlanders are managed by Jack Cooney, who will be in charge of them for the third season. The local man was a selector under Páidí Ó'Sé when the Lake County won their only ever Leinster title in 2004 and was previously part of Rory Gallagher's management ticket when he was in charge of Donegal.

Westmeath didn't finish that far off promotion from Division Two last year, finishing up with seven points from their seven games, thanks to three wins and a draw and three losses, ending up just two off Armagh, who were promoted to Division One. In the Leinster championship last Winter, they were knocked out by Dublin at the quarter-final stage, going down 0-22 to 0-11 in Portlaoise.

The last time Mayo faced Westmeath was in the All Ireland qualifier in Croke Park in 2016, which Mayo won 3-15 to 1-14, with Cillian O'Connor bagging 1-5. The last league meeting of the teams came in 2014 in Mullingar, with Mayo edging it 2-17 to 3-9 on a day Lee Keegan hit 1-2.

Meath

The Royal County were relegated to Division Two alongside Mayo last term, when they both finished in the bottom two of Division One. Andy McEntee is once again the man on the line for Meath, having taken charge of the side in 2016, following guiding Ballyboden- St Enda's, to the All Ireland Senior Club Championship. He was also in charge of the Meath minor side in 2012 that reached the All Ireland final, defeating Mayo in the semi-final.

Last year, Meath finished bottom of Division One of the league, they did reach the Leinster final after a memorable journey through the provincial championship, where they hit 12 goals in their quarter-final win over Wicklow and semi-final victory over Kildare, but they were well beaten by Dublin in the final.

The last time the sides met was in the league last year, just before restrictions hit, with Mayo winning 1-9 to 2-5 and the year before that, Mayo saw off Meath in Croke Park in the second round of the Super Eight stage of the championship, winning 2-17 to 0-14 - a game that saw Cillian O'Connor bag 1-5.

 

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