Just the two Mayo matches today, with a win for the women footballers, while the hurlers lost again.
In the LGFA game, victory over Donegal was secured at the Connacht GAA Centre of Excellence largely on the back of a strong first half. Playing with the wind, we kept the visitors scoreless for 24 minutes of the opening half, in a spell where goals by Sinéad Walsh (the newcomer’s fourth goal in three appearances) and Shauna Howley put the home team in a strong position.
Donegal hit back before half-time, though, with an unanswered 1-1 to cut the gap to a more manageable five points. With the wind now at their backs, the margin was further reduced and it stood at just two points at the second water break.
Michael Moyles’ team reasserted control of the game in impressive fashion over the final quarter. They did this by holding onto the ball for long spells, taking the sting from Donegal’s challenge as they did so.
An Aoife Geraghty point, which came at the end of a controlled, patient build-up, was a good illustration of this. When Shauna Howley pointed a free soon after the gap was now back out to four and, while Donegal had the last say on the scoreboard, they were unable to add further to their tally as we won out by 2-7 to 1-7.
The win sees Mayo unbeaten after three games and topping the Division 1A table. Their reward for this is a Division One semi-final against All-Ireland champions Meath, who were pipped by a point in yesterday’s match against Dublin. That semi-final tie takes place the weekend after next.
The county’s hurlers, meanwhile, had another disappointing afternoon as they fell to another defeat in Division 2B. This time it was at home to Sligo, where the visitors ran out winners by 4-13 to 0-19.
This was certainly a case of goals win games. The home side were motoring nicely at James Stephens Park just after the half-hour, at which point they led by four points. Two goals in quick succession for the Yeatsmen, however, changed all that and so they went in at the break two points in front.
Two further majors followed for the visitors in the second half, the fourth one putting the game beyond the reach of Derek Walsh’s team, with Sligo winning at the finish by six points.
The loss leaves second Mayo from bottom in Division 2B, ahead of Wicklow on points difference, with both of them on just a single point from four outings. Relegation might yet be avoided but to do this Mayo will need to get a result against Donegal in their final outing in a fortnight’s time.