A fortnight ago Mayo made their way across the country to open their account in the National Hurling League for the year only for it to be called off because of the weather; they must make that same long trip again this weekend. Tomorrow (Saturday, March 6 ) Martin Brennan and Pete Finnerty will be hoping that their side will be able to put their first points up on the board in the match against Armagh, after they failed to overthrow the Kingdom in McHale Park last Sunday.
Not having a game the previous week worked against Mayo, explained Mayo manager Martin Brennan when he spoke to the Mayo Advertiser this week. “We knew it was always going to be tough and last Sunday they just looked that bit sharper than we did. Having the game the previous week really helped them, whereas we were fresh into it and they started better than us.”
But the defeat has not railroaded Mayo’s plans for the league according to Brennan. “It’s not an ideal start to have, but if we pick up the win on Saturday we’re back on track and we have the possibility to winning all our games, and the top two sides go into the league final so we could have another crack at Kerry again.”
Mayo will be making a number of changes to the side that will line out in Crossmaglen on Saturday afternoon from the one which faced Kerry, Brennan also confirmed. “Brian Moran will be coming into the attack along with Kenny Robinson who got the goal when he came on the last day. Shane Morley will also come into the side while Eoin Madigan will be pushed out to the half back line.” Keith Higgins, who will be on duty with the footballers on Sunday against Dublin, also will be travelling with the side, but Brennan hopes he will not have to use him. “Keith will be travelling up with us, but I hope we won’t have to use him and if we do hopefully it will only be in the second half.”
Having to make the 150 mile plus trip on the morning of the game is not ideal after Mayo overnighted for the previous game, but Brennan has no fears it will affect his side. “It’s mind over matter a lot of the time and we’ll go up there fully confident we can get the win and get the league back on track. On paper the league looked very good for us with three home games and starting off away to Armagh, but it didn’t work out like that, but we can still win the rest of our games and make a league final.” Mayo will take on Armagh in Crossmaglen on Saturday, throw in is at 2.30pm.