After engaging in a shoot-out reminiscent of a hurling championship game last weekend against Kildare, James Horan’s Mayo go looking for their first points of the league on Sunday in Omagh against Tyrone. Horan, whose selection choices were stretched before the Kildare meeting because of injury and club commitments were stretched even further, with the injury picked up by Tom Parson’s not long after the start of the game, ruling him out for six weeks.
With Seamus O’Shea on the recovering list and Barry Moran involved with Castlebar Mitchels, Horan will be looking to either Jason Gibbons or Brian Gallagher to fill in beside Aidan O’Shea on Sunday. The latter’s black card just before half-time saw both men pair up in the middle of the park for the second half and neither did themselves any harm with their performances, with Gibbons in pole position to get the start it would be assumed.
The black card was the main talking point after the game on Sunday, with Horan saying that it was making players afraid to tackle because they didn’t want to see themselves sent to the line for the remainder of the game. O’Shea’s black card was one of the major talking points to come out of Mayo’s opening round clash, with many observers noting that his clumsy challenge did not look like it warranted a black card.
Sunday’s meeting with Tyrone see the sides renew acquaintances after meeting in last year’s All Ireland semi-final, with Mayo eventually coming out on top after a slow start against Mickey Harte’s men. Sunday’s game will be a far less intense affair and if the opening round of league games is anything to go by, it could be a far closer affair and a lot more high scoring than last year’s league meeting between the sides which was won by Tyrone in Castlebar by 1-12 to 1-11 thanks to a late Stephen O’Neill penalty
Ladies open up the action
The Mayo ladies senior football team will provide the curtain-raiser for the men’s game when they also take on Tyrone at 12pm in the league. Mayo fell just short last weekend in their opening round game against Cork in Mallow, going down on a scoreline of 1-10 to 1-8 in a repeat of last year’s league final.
Cora Staunton was the star of the show for Mayo again, scoring all of Mayo’s 1-8. Mayo’s hosts on Sunday also tasted defeat to Munster opposition last weekend going down 1-16 to 1-6 in Fitzgerald Stadium in Killarney.