Mayo get championship off to winning ways

Ladies Football: All Ireland Senior Football Championship; Mayo 1-18 Cavan 0-15

Back of the net: Rachel Kearns hit Mayo's goal against Cavan. Photo: Sportsfile

Back of the net: Rachel Kearns hit Mayo's goal against Cavan. Photo: Sportsfile

Mayo were able to hold off a brave Cavan showing to pick up the points in this opening round of the LGFA senior football championship.

Michael Moyles side did the hard work in the first half going in leading by seven points and they were able to keep the gap between themselves and the Breffni side up to the final whistle, with Rachel Kearn’s goal proving the vital score.

Mayo led by 0-5 to 0-3 at the first water break, Cavan had raced into an early two point lead thanks to two frees from Aisling Gilsenan inside the opening three minutes.

The westerners rallied reeling off the next five points on the bounce with with Shauna Howley kicking three of them, two from from play.

The other scores came from Grace Kelly and Sinead Cafferkey - but the final say on the quarter went to Cavan full-forward Aisling Sheridan who landed a fine effort to cut the gap to two.

In the second quarter Mayo stretched their legs and went in leading 1-9 to 0-5 at the half time break, with their goal coming from Rachel Kearns 24 minutes in after she picked the ball 21 meters out and rifled it past Elaine Walsh in the Cavan goal. That scored pushed Mayo well ahead and on the road to victory.

There was seven points between the sides at the final water break - Aisling Sheridan got Cavan going early after the restart with a fine point as the sides went point for point in the third quarter with Cavan’s Amy Rooney kicking three points after being introduced not long after the resumption and she went on to add another trio in the final quarter.

Cavan kept pushing Mayo all the way to through the final 15 minutes, going score for score with them but Mayo were always able to keep themselves that bit in front down the home straight - they also welcomed back Sarah Rowe making her first appearance of the season for the side as a second half substrate.

Mayo will go on to their meeting with Monaghan in the next round in confident form, while Cavan will be taking on Armagh as they look to get their first points on the board.


Mayo: Shauna Howley (0-7,3f ), Rachel Kearns (1-2 ), Sinéad Cafferky (0-2 ), Grace Kelly (0-2 ), Sarah Rowe (0-2 ), Tara Needham (0-1 ), Fiona Doherty (0-1 ), Ciara Whyte (0-1 ),

Cavan: Amy Rooney (0-6 4f ) , Aisling Gilsenan (0-3, 2f ), Aisling Sheridan (0-2 ), Geraldine Sheridan (0-1 ), Niamh Keenaghan (0-1 ), Sinéad Green (0-1 ), Niamh Halton (0-1 )

MAYO: A Tarpey; S Lally, C McManamon (capt. ), E Brennan; T O’Connor, É Ronayne, K Sullivan; C Needham, S Cafferky; F Doherty, R Kearns, M McHale; G Kelly, S Howley, T Needham.  Subs: Sarah Rowe for McHale (33 ), Ciara Whyte for Doherty (40 ), Lisa Cafferkey for McHale (40 ), Saoirse Walsh for McManamon (45 ), Orla Conlon for Needham (57 )

CAVAN: E Walsh; R Doonan, S Lynch, M Smith; S Greene, L Fitzpatrick (capt. ), M Sheridan; C Dolan, N Byrd; A Kiernan, C Finnegan, N Keenaghan; G Sheridan, A Sheridan, A Gilsenan.  Subs: K McIntyre for Smith (29 ), Amy Rooney for Finnigegan (38 ), Zara Fay for Keenaghan (42 ), Sinéad Mc Kenna for Byrd (57 ), Niamh Halton for Gilsenan (59 )

Ref: Gus Chapman (Sligo )


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