Down come calling for Coen’s men

GAA: National Hurling League

The Mayo senior hurlers will look to get back on winning ways on Sunday when Down are the visitors to Elverys MacHale Park in round three of the National Hurling League. JP Coen’s men have a 50 per cent record so far this season, having beaten Donegal on the opening day in Letterkenny then going down to Meath in a rain soaked and wind lashed affair in Bekan a fortnight ago.

Mayo’s win over Donegal was backboned by an impressive performance from Brian Hunt who bagged two goals in three minutes, while it was a quick fire two goal salvo from the Royal County that killed off Mayo’s chances in the monsoon conditions in Bekan in the next round.

Sunday’s opponents come into the game ahead of Mayo on scoring distance in a tightly contested division that has four sides with two points each from two games, and last year’s Christy Ring Cup champions Kildare, the only side with a 100 per cent record, while Donegal still have to register a win in the league.

So far in the league Down have accounted for Armagh in round one with a 1-13 to 0-9 win before falling short against the division’s pace setters Kildare on a scoreline of 2-15 to 1-12 in Newbridge a fortnight ago.

JP Coen has named the same starting 15 in both of his side’s national league games so far this season, but the Ballyhaunis man will be hoping for a much better performance from them this time around. They conceded three goals in the first 35 minutes against Meath and went in trailing by 3-6 to 0-4 at the break, killing off any realistic chance they had of mounting a comeback in the terrible conditions they played in that day.

Only three Mayo players have scored in both of their games so far. Brian Hunt has been Mayo’s top scorer over the two games, with 2-7 to his name, with Kenny Feeney chipping in with six points, scoring 0-2 against Donegal and 0-4 in the loss to Meath. Eoin Collins has 1-1 to his name, scoring a point against Meath to go with the goal he bagged against Donegal.

A win on Sunday is something that Mayo will badly want to shake off the loss the last day out, and before they head to Newbridge to take on a Kildare side who look to be favourites to take the league crown and have a real crack at defending the Christy Ring Cup later this summer. At the start of the league, Coen said that he wanted to see his side hit the 20 score mark in each game to put themselves in with a chance of winning games. After scoring nine points in their last outing, he will be hoping they can push on closer to that target on Sunday.


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