Donegal trip next up for Mayo after opening day win

Ladies Football: National Football League

Six of the best: Shauna Howley kicked six points for Mayo last weekend against Galway. Photo: Sportsfile

Six of the best: Shauna Howley kicked six points for Mayo last weekend against Galway. Photo: Sportsfile

Following on from their win over Galway last Saturday evening, the Mayo Ladies senior footballers are heading to Ballybofey on Saturday evening to take on Donegal at 6pm.

Michael Moyle's side came from behind late on to snatch a big win against Galway in MacHale Park and he will be hoping his side can build on what they learned in that game, as they continue to attempt to put their best foot forward in this year's league campaign.

Éilis Ronayne was the captain last Saturday and she was very happy with how things went, saying afterwards: "A good start, it was brilliant, last season was a little bit tougher in the rain and the dark so we've been gunning to go the last while. We were five or six down and we had to dig deep, so thankfully we did that and it will stand to us again."

She also said that the new management team was settling in well and the team was enjoying something different this year. "The new management team are settling in great, we've been training the last three or four weeks so we've plenty done and plenty to work on from today as well; and the new management, they have a different outlook, no harm in that, with a fresh set of eyes and we've a lot of new players in, so hopefully we'll kick on."

As for the manager, while he was happy with the win - there is plenty to work on early doors this term, with stopping the concession of goals being a priority for them, he said after the game: "I know I was saying during the week that it is a building process and what we are looking for is a strong foundation.

"The last two weeks, all we have been working on is to try and not concede goals, so I was a little bit disappointed with the second half; there was a tap-in goal, the penalty, you know; I think she was on the ground when she touched it away, so look - there is no issues with that, we are just disappointed with conceding the goals, as we set our stall out not to concede goals and keep it at seven scores a half. We were on that record for the first half and pretty pleased with it, in the second half we lost our way a little bit, especially with the the kick-outs."

Mayo were forced to play with 14 players for two different ten-minute periods after picking up yellow cards in both the first and second half and that is something else they will be working on as they try to impose a new style of play, Moyles said.

"Yah, look there is a lot of work going on with the tackle and stuff like that - the girls have been used to playing a way and we are trying to change that way, so there is a bit or leeway with it there.

“I’m looking to do it right and that might mean that things look a bit sketchy for a while, but the girls are really coming into their form at training and they are playing an awful lot of football at training and there is more football than anything else - so they are learning, but the majority of that today was them.

"There was nothing else in it, they just instinctively went to where they had to go to and played the game the way they want to play the game."

Mayo's opponents on Saturday are also heading into the game on the back of a win after Donegal saw off Westmeath by nine points last weekend. Maxie Curran's side hit the front early on through a Niamh McLaughlin score, after less than 30 seconds and never looked back.

McLaughlin finished up with 2-1 to her name in that game, with the Donegal captain bagging goals in both halves and Karen Guthrie chipping in with four points.

The Mayo side that went into action last Saturday evening showed eight changes from the last time they were in competitive action against Armagh last November in the championship. Shauna Howley kicked six points for Mayo, while Rachel Kearns chipped in with 1-3, her goal coming from the penalty spot late, a key score in Mayo's late surge to victory, while Deirdre Doherty held her nerve to kick the winning score from a free not long after coming on as a sub.

After this weekend's game they will have one more game in the round robin stage of the league when they travel to Mullingar to take on Westmeath on Sunday, June 6.


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