As has already been noted in the comments, we won this evening’s challenge match up in Enniskillen where we overcame Fermanagh on a scoreline of 3-14 to 1-12. Because it was only a friendly tie, there wasn’t the usual tsunami of social network updates for this one but the redoubtable @fermanagh4sam (see, they’ve got their own Nigel) kept the world updated on this contest – a fundraiser for the very worthy Together for Sam cause – which drew a crowd of around 1,000 to Brewster Park.
It was a comfortable enough win for the lads by the sounds of it – we led by 1-10 to 0-5 at the break, the goal coming from Donal Vaughan, and we were threatening to run away with it early in the second half when Alan Freeman notched our second goal just after the restart. However, a goal soon after for the home side – from a rebound following a penalty – followed quickly by a few unanswered points threatened to make a game of it. Sub Alan Murphy put an end to any such worries, though, when he banged in our third major of the evening to seal what was in the end an eight-point victory.
So, aside from scoring more goals in one game than we’d managed over the entire course of this year’s NFL, what else was noteworthy about our Erneside performance this evening? Well, having not made the trip North for the occasion I’m at a bit of a disadvantage but it’s always interesting to look at the line-up in matches such as this and, courtesy of @MayoGAA, here’s how we lined up in Brewster Park this evening:
Mayo (SF Challenge v Fermanagh, 4/5/2013): Kenneth O’Malley (Ballinrobe); Michael Walsh (Ardnaree), Shane McHale (Knockmore), Brendan Harrison (Aghamore); Lee Keegan (Westport), Donal Vaughan (Ballinrobe), James Burke (Ballymun Kickhams, Dublin); Aidan O’Shea (Breaffy), Seamus O’Shea (Breaffy); Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore), Richie Feeney (Castlebar Mitchels), Cathal Carolan (Crossmolina); Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber), Alan Freeman (Aghamore), Darren Coen (Hollymount/Carramore). Subs: David Clarke (Ballina Stephenites), Ger Cafferkey (Ballina Stephenites), Kevin Keane (Westport), Keith Rogers (Ballaghaderreen), Jason Gibbons (Ballintubber), Conor O’Shea (Breaffy), Alan Murphy (Ballinrobe).
A few interesting pointers in that selection, with experimentation the order of the day in the full-back line, James Burke making a welcome return to the fray at wing-back (a ready-made replacement for Boyler should the need arise?), Aido back in the engine room, another run-out on the forty for Richie, Alan Freeman getting yet another chance at full-forward and Darren Coen finally getting a chance to impress at corner-forward. So, how did they all get on? Haven’t a clue, I’m afraid – that’s challenge matches for you.