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The Mayo senior hurlers will be hoping to avoid moving one step closer to falling through the trapdoor into the Nicky Rackard Cup for next season when they take on Wicklow in Mullingar tomorrow. JP Coen's side lost out to Kildare in a seesaw encounter in James Stephens Park in Ballina last Saturday, and now have 70 minutes to ensure their Ring Cup status for next season and avoid the relegation/promotion final which will see the losers of this game take on the winners of the Rackard Cup on Saturday June 13 for the right to compete in the Christy Ring Cup next season.
Mayo’s interest in this years Christy Ring Cup came to an end in James Stephens Park on Saturday afternoon, when a storming Kildare second half performance saw the Lilywhites turn around a nine point deficit into a comfortable five point win.
There couldn't be a much tougher task for JP Coen's Mayo senior hurlers if they are to have any interest in championship hurling beyond the middle of May tomorrow. James Stephens Park in Ballina will be the venue for the meeting of Coen's side and last year's Christy Ring Cup champions, Kildare, in the winner takes all round 2b clash. Mayo lost out to Derry in Owenbeg a fortnight ago by two points, while Kildare were finally defeated by London in a replay in St Conleth's Park in Newbridge last weekend. Both sides finished level after extra time in the Emerald Grounds in Ruislip the week before, when Mayo were going down to Derry.
The Mayo senior hurlers have two chances to avoid the drop to Division 3A of the National Hurling League over the next three weeks. On Sunday in Páirc Seán Mac Diarmada in Carrick-on-Shannon they will face Donegal in the Division 2B relegation play-off, if they win that game they will secure their status for next season. If they lose that game, they will then enter a promotion-relegation play-off against the winners of Division 3A in a final fling clash over the weekend of Saturday, April 11 and Sunday, April 12. The final of Division 3A is down for decision on Easter Saturday, April 4 when Tyrone and Monaghan meet in the title decider.
The Mayo senior hurlers slumped to their third straight defeat last Saturday, when Kildare put them to the sword in Newbridge. That defeat along with the two before at the hands of Meath and Down now have Mayo sitting second from bottom of the league table on two points, with just the winless Donegal below them.
The Mayo senior hurlers fell to their second defeat in this year’s National Hurling League last Sunday when Down ran out 2-20 to 0-15 winners in Elverys MacHale Park. JP Coen’s men now face the toughest test of their season so far when they head to Newbridge tomorrow afternoon to take on last year’s Christy Ring Cup winners, Kildare. The Lilywhites have a 100 per cent record so far with wins over Meath, Down, and Armagh under their belts. Their wins over Meath and Armagh came on the road and over their three games they have scored 5-64.
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.
A waterlogged pitch in Elverys MacHale Park saw this second round game in division 2b in the National Hurling League switched to the Connacht GAA Centre of Excellence in Bekan on Sunday morning. Mayo decked out in their new black change jersey were slow to get to the pitch of the game and found themselves trailing by 2-2 to 0-0 with less than ten minutes gone, a gap they were never able to bridge over the remaining hours play.
The Mayo senior hurling team will be looking to make it two wins from two in Elverys MacHale Park when Meath come to town. Last Sunday Mayo got their National Hurling League Division 2B campaign off to a winning start when they had eight points to spare over Donegal in Letterkenny, while Meath went down by 10 points to Kildare in Trim on a scoreline of 0-24 to 0-14.
The Mayo senior hurlers get their National Hurling League campaign under way on Sunday, when they head north to take on Donegal in their opening game in Division 2B of the league.