Mayo move on to Galway challenge

LFGA: National Football League

On the ball: Maria Reilly was one of a number of Mayo players to impress last Saturday night. Photo: Sportsfile.

On the ball: Maria Reilly was one of a number of Mayo players to impress last Saturday night. Photo: Sportsfile.

Mayo ran riot in the NUIG Connacht GAA Center of Excellence AirDome in Bekan last Saturday night in their opening round clash of the National Football League against Westmeath.

Michael Moyles' charges ran up 7-22 on the scoreboard in a fast and frantic game against the midlanders in perfect conditions, while the wind and rain howled outside.

Next up for Mayo is a meeting with old rivals, Galway, on Sunday afternoon in Tuam Stadium, and the hosts will pose a much sterner test and will be itching to get one over Mayo, coming off an opening round loss away to Donegal last Saturday night, where the Tribeswomen went down 0-10 to 0-7 to the Ulster side in that game

Speaking after the game last Saturday, Mayo manager Michael Moyles was pleased with how things had gone in the game, as he admitted himself he didn't know how his opponents were going to go.

"We didn't know what to expect from Westmeath, they won the intermediate championship, but there is about five or six of their elder players who have stepped aside, younger players came through very similar to ourselves.

"Last year we played them in the third round of the league, but I think the wind was out of their sails by the third game and we had a fairly easy win. I watched them in the first round of the league last year against Donegal. I was very impressed with them, they were very unlucky to not take something from that game.

"Our last couple of weeks and our training has been all about Westmeath and that is where our priority has been, to get points on the board, you know, four teams in it, you could be in relegation, semi-final or safe."

While Mayo ran out massive winners on the scoreboard at the end, they were hauled into a game after they had a bright opening, only for Westmeath to rally initially before Mayo took the game by the scruff of the neck and that resilience pleased the Mayo manager.

"We talked a small bit about resilience and it is very important and you know there is turnovers in players, players leaving, players in other countries and that and we just have to be resilient and be as strong as we can and have a panel that everyone wants to be around and involved in. We had two girls there that came on who are still in the minor panel and they got 2-5 between them, that is excellent and that is the competition we want and there are other minor girls there that are looking to come into the panel and so nobody is resting on their laurels.

"There is plenty of girls that got their first time with a senior jersey for Mayo and that is great, but it is to park it and it is all about Galway and Mayo in Tuam and we all know how Galway and Mayo can go, we will have only one training session to prepare on Friday night because of the O'Connor Cup."

Mayo not only played the game in the dome, but were able to train there on a number of occasions in the recent weeks and it was all a big help, Moyles said.

"We are very lucky to have this facility here and it is a great occasion and you can see people around and getting photographs with players and family members and when we got the opportunity to train here over the last few weeks, we took it. Westmeath trained on the AstroTurf in Loman Park so it suited them as well.

"For coaching ability, for skills, and we get to slow things down and you get to talk on things. I was talking to Maxi Curren (Donegal manager ) a few weeks ago and they are out in Convoy in belting rain, where it can be hard to break things down; we are very lucky with this facility and any time we get to use it we'll use it.

Mayo will take on Galway in Tuam at 2pm on Sunday.

 

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