Hurlers look to knock Royals off their throne

Hoban the hero: Stephen Hoban was on form for Mayo hitting 2-3. Photo:Sportsfile

Hoban the hero: Stephen Hoban was on form for Mayo hitting 2-3. Photo:Sportsfile

GAA: National Hurling League

The Mayo senior hurling team head off to Trim on Sunday for their second game in division 2b of the National Hurling League. Christy Phillips’ team got off to a winning start in the competition last weekend when they snatched a late win against Fingal in the Connacht GAA Centre of Excellence in Bekan.

Mayo had to thank late scores from Fergal Boland and Stephen Hoban for their win by the minimum on a scoreline of 2-13 to 3-9 last weekend. In a see-saw battle, Mayo were able to use the breeze in the second half to their advantage as they turned a 2-7 to 1-6 deficit at the break into a win, limiting their opponents to only 1-2 after the change around while they added six points themselves.

Stephen Hoban was Mayo’s main man on the day scoring 2-3 from play, grabbing a goal in each half along with dropping over a long range point to win the game deep in injury time, not long after Fergal Boland had levelled the contest up. The Mayo defence last Sunday put in a good shift with Aidan Connolly, Adrian Brennan, and Brian Hunt putting in a good showing which will need to be repeated again on Sunday. In attack four of Mayo’s starting six forwards got on the scoreboard over the course of the game, with Kenny Feeney nailing five frees alongside Fergal Bolands’s four points from play, Hoban’s top scoring tally of 2-3 and Derek McDonnell chipped in with a point from play.

Mayo’s opponents on Sunday got off to a losing start when they were beaten by Wicklow on a scoreline of 1-15 to 0-8 in Arklow. Meath were well beaten by the Garden County side and trailed by 0-4 to 1-7 at the break, James Toher and Peter Durnin were the top scorers for the Royals on the day with three points each.

After Sunday Mayo have three more games left in the league, they travel to Down on March 9, before hosting Wicklow before the Mayo senior footballers game against Cork on March 16, and they round up away to Armagh the following week on Sunday March 23. The top two teams in the division will play off in the final of the division, while the bottom two teams will meet in a relegation play off. A win on Sunday would set Mayo up nicely to avoid the latter predicament and keep them in contention for a place in the final in April.


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