Murt Connolly and Mayo got off to a winning start to 2011 with a comfortable win over Galway and Connacht Intermediate club champions Pearses in Ballyheane on Saturday. An early point scoring blitz by Mayo gave the home team a 0-12 to 0-4 half time lead, as the higher athleticism shone through for the county side. Five first-half points apiece from Kenny Feeney (Tooreen ) and Keith Higgins (Ballyhaunis ) afforded both a half-time shower, as Murt Connolly took the opportunity to get to know his panel of players.
Two second half goals from Niall Murphy (Ballyhaunis ) and Declan Gallagher (Westport ) pushed Mayo further clear, while Pearses’ points from Galway senior player Cyril Donnellan and Tomas Flannery showed flashes of brilliance from the north Galway side - who play Ballymartle (Cork ) in the All-Ireland Intermediate club semi final this weekend.
For Mayo, Tooreen newcomers Greg Henry and Michael Morley performed admirably at the back in their first senior starts, while substitutes Austin Lyons, Liam McDermott, and Paul O'Grady all showed well when being introduced.
Mayo: D O'Brien; P Byrne, A Connolly, G Henry; C Ryan, D McConn, M Morley; K Higgins (0-5,2f ), B Higgins (0-1 ); N Murphy (1-1 ), E Madigan (0-1 ), K Feeney (0-5,3f ); B Hunt (0-2 ), D Gallagher (1-0 ), S Hoban. Subs: L McDermott for Feeney, V Flannery for K Higgins, A Lyons for S Connell, P O’Grady for N Murphy.