On what has proved to be a hugely historic day for Ireland’s rugby team, Mayo’s hurlers this afternoon put in their second big performance in a row to seal their second win in this year’s NHL Division 3A campaign. As they did last weekend against Monaghan, they banged in five goals today against Louth, winning at Darver by 5-19 to 0-15.
Starting the day at the bottom of the table, the lads knew that a win over Louth in today’s final round would secure their divisional safety. There was also the chance that they might even remain in the hunt for promotion, but a play-off place depended on a result elsewhere going their way, which, in the event, didn’t happen.
The main aim this afternoon, though, was to avoid relegation and to do that they needed to take the points against the Wee County today. That they did, and in some style too.
Louth started brightly, bagging the first three points of the game. They were still a point to the good when we struck for our first goal, bagged by Adrian Phillips in the 23rd minute. A second major followed on the half hour, this one finished by Eoin Delaney, as we surged seven clear.
Although Louth rallied well after that setback, a second goal for us from Adrian Phillips just before half-time left us in the ascendency, as we led by five at the break.
We traded points as the second half progressed but, a bit over halfway through the second period, we earned our fourth green flag. Eoin Delaney found the net – his second goal of the game too – as we eased ten clear.
Joe McManus banged home our fifth goal of the day as the match was about to go into injury time. We won at the finish by nineteen points.
Today’s win meant that the afternoon’s primary objective – that of holding onto our place in Division 3A – was safely accomplished. Roscommon’s win over Monaghan, though, meant that we missed out on a play-off spot, as the table below confirms.
As the table confirms, had we got a single League point more over the five games, we’d almost certainly have topped the divisional table and we would definitely have made the play-off. Our eye-catching points difference, twice as big as table-toppers Roscommon, would have ensured that.
Instead, it’s League safety for us and a decent break ahead of the start of this year’s Christy Ring Cup campaign. Our opening match there is against Meath – currently pushing hard for promotion out of Division 2B – so we’ll need to be well primed for what’ll be a tough contest then.
In the day’s other game involving the county, Mayo lost to Kildare at Tooreen by 2-9 to 1-6 in Division 3A of the Camogie League.