The Mayo senior hurling team got off to a winning start last weekend in their first game under newly appointed manager, Christy Philips. The Limerick native had previously acted as a selector under previous manager Murt Connolly during his two years in charge of the side. Last Sunday afternoon in the Connacht Centre of Excellence in Bekan, Mayo faced Donegal in Philips’ first game in charge of the team. Despite having to play without a number of regular starters from the last few years Philips’ side managed to see off the challenge of their Ulster opponents by a single point on a scoreline of 3-7 to 1-12.
Mayo's next game is against Leinster and Offaly Club Champions Kilcormac/Killoughey at 2.30pm tomorrow, Saturday January 26 in Kilcormac. Kilcormac/Killoughey will contest the All Ireland club hurling semi-final against Thurles Sarsfields in a couple of weeks and will provide a very demanding test for Phillips' team.
Phillips has appointed a back room team consisting of Ciaran Hynes (Westport ) as coach, Austin Kenny (Tooreen ) as a selector with Sean Malee (Kiltimagh ) the team physio. The first target for Phillips is Division 2B of the National Hurling League where Mayo will face, Roscommon, Armagh, London, Down and Meath. Their league campaign opens up at home to Roscommon on February 24, their second game will be away to Meath on Sunday, March 10 and they will be in action for four weekends on the trot from that date rounding up their league campaign away to Down on Sunday March 30.
Mayo will be in action in the Christy Ring Cup on Saturday May 4 away to Kildare and will enter either the winners round or the losers round the following weekend.
The Mayo team that started last weekend’s game was; Donal O'Brien; Adrian Brennan, Pa Connell, David Horan; Luke Cribben, Padraig O'Flynn, Thaigh Morley; Ciaran Charlton, Sean Markham; Adrian Guiry, Derek McDonnell, Kenny Feeney; Brian Hunt, Darren McTighe, Gary Nolan. Subs: Barry Lane, Fergal Lyons, Nathan O'Malley, Ciaran Finn and Declan Gallagher.