I was sitting close to Michael Maye (AKA Mayo Mick) in the stand at Healy Park yesterday and after Fionn McDonagh had lashed home Mayo’s second goal I remarked to him that I hoped he’d managed to snap a few photos of the young Westport player. I had an inkling by then that I might be needing one of them to adorn the piece I’d be doing tonight on our Man of the Match from yesterday’s game.
So it has come to pass. Yesterday was Fionn’s first full appearance for the county in a competitive inter-county fixture – he’d also lined out for us in the FBD but a League match is always a big step up from pre-season fare – and he sure lit up a dull Northern day with a sparkling debut.
His 1-3 contribution to our 2-13 total was eye-catching but what was more satisfying was his overall contribution to the play. He tracked back repeatedly, he got stuck in and tackled well, he was out in front showing for ball and, when in possession, he provided ample evidence of his burning pace. As first appearances go, this one was very impressive and he wins this week’s Man of the Match award with a decisive 40% of the vote.
But yesterday’s win was not, in any sense, a one-man show. Far from it, in fact, as the team as a whole put in a hard-working collective display. Chief among the other prominent performers for us yesterday at Healy Park were Keith Higgins (21% of the vote), Andy Moran (7%), Aidan O’Shea (6%) and another debutant, Ciaran Treacy (5%). Congrats to them all.
By the way, Fionn McDonagh was named as MOTM by TG4 yesterday and he’s also now been shortlisted for the GAA’s Footballer of the Week award. Several Mayo players have followed up winning the MOTM poll here on the site by scooping the GAA award too so if you’d like to help Fionn on his way in this regard you’ll find details on how to vote for him here. Voting takes place on the GAA’s Instagram page (here) and the poll closes at 10am tomorrow morning. Best of luck to Fionn in that one.