Nice and easy for the U20s

Photo: @MayoGAA

Mayo began the defence of their Connacht U20 title in fine style at a sun-washed MacHale Park this evening. Sligo proved no match for the free-scoring Mayo youngsters who cantered to a 19-point win, coming out on top on a scoreline of 1-25 to 1-6.

A succession of unanswered points in the first half laid the foundations for this win, which was watched by an attendance of close to a thousand punters. Mayo started well, with points from Evan O’Brien and Tommy Conroy settling them nicely in this contest, but Sligo’s second score of the evening left just two points between the sides.

Mike Solan’s team put the foot down then, banging over eight points without reply to lead by ten at the break. Leading the charge for them in that period were Tommy Conroy, Aiden Orme and Evan O’Brien, all of whom each bagged three first half points.

The Magpies had, though, a good opportunity to break this streak and cut the deficit when they were awarded a penalty shortly before half-time. Alan Reilly’s spot-kick was, however, saved by Mayo ‘keeper Jamie McNicholas.

It got no better for the Yeats County lads after the break as Mayo kept the scoreboard ticking over with further scores. With around ten minutes to go their tally had stretched to 21 points, by which time they led by sixteen.

It was then that Sligo broke through for a goal, Seán Carroll rifling home after the Mayo defence failed to clear their lines. Further points at the other end, one from Stephen McGreal and the other from Tommy Conroy, resumed normal service for the Green and Red.

There was no let up ’till the finish either. Oisín Mullin broke forward to find the net, stretching the Mayo lead still further, with Paul Towey tacking on the home team’s 24th point.

With time running out Mayo were reduced to fourteen players, with substitute Nathan Moran black carded after the full complement of replacements had already been brought on. It made no difference, though, as they ran out extremely comfortable 1-25 to 1-6 winners.

Mike Solan’s charges now go forward to the Connacht final this night week where they’ll play Galway. The young Tribesmen got the better of Roscommon by 0-17 to 1-7 at Kiltoom in this evening’s other provincial semi-final.

So it’s another Mayo/Galway showdown, with next Wednesday’s U20 provincial decider making it four meetings between the counties in under a week. Nothing like a bit of local rivalry, eh?

24 thoughts on “Nice and easy for the U20s

  1. No previous game between mayo and Galway as mayo were in the northern development league and Galway in the southern one. Game is in Castlebar????!

  2. Great performance from the boys this evening. Shooting was superb and the build up play was top class. Bring on Galway.

  3. 3 chances in the next week to beat Galway. 4 if you include the Ladies game. Here’s hoping

  4. You’re right, Ros Town, I am. Too many games on at too many levels right now! Edited out that error now, thanks for pointing it out.

  5. No bother Willie Joe. You are doing a marvellous job. This blog is a credit to your trogan efforts. It has kept me going between matches for the last few weeks. Let’s hope the journey continues after Saturday night.

  6. Don’t worry about it Willie Joe. I made a mistake once. Think it was on a Wednesday when I was 3. 😉

  7. Are you sure Tuamstar? Last time we played you was in 2017 when this was U21 and that was in Tuam so would it not be in Castlebar this time around?

  8. Powerful midfield on display there today and well able to score too.omre hit a sweet left footed free under the stand.can’t judge much considering quality of opposition but it was a good team performance and hope they progress.

  9. What are the chances of us losing to galway 3 times in 7 days, not worth thinking about but quite possible

  10. Great to see all starting forwards on the score sheet and also another two off the bench. Inside line looks potent with 11 points 10 from play and 8 points from midfield with 6 from play. Good understanding with o Brien and Durcan, both won an All Freshers this year with NUIG as a midfield partnership. A lot of talent on the bench and more in the stand. Good to see Solan bringing Orme in late shows that if a kid is in form he will get a chance.

  11. An evening catching butterfies or picking strawberries would have been as demanding on the Mayo players as this evening was. What we learned was Zilch. Next Weds will tell us more but there will be a sad finality about it for one team or the other. What’s the point in taking up time with games like this? We need tiers introduced at all levels of the game.

  12. Fair point AndyD. This was an old school hammering. Mayo would have learned as much in an A v B game.

    At least there was a decent development league played during April/May…Galway were excellent in this beating Dublin and Kerry comfortably.

    We’ll learn alot about how well this bunch of Mayo players have developwd from minor. There’s a significant difference between a player at 16/17 And then at 19/20. The first is really still a boy. The second is a young man, much more developed physically and mentally. U20 is also a far more accurate barometer of what’s coming through to senior whereas with minor down from u18 to u17 it’s relevance has diminished, somewhat. You still want to see teams winning!

  13. Would like to see a round robin introduced at this level to give players more game time. Sligo won their develop league group in May so they mightn’t be all that bad. Couple of points I noticed about this panel. From the Connacht PPS final this year St Gerald’s and St Coleman’s only 2 players are on the squad Cillian Golding and James Jennings both St Colman’s and they didn’t make the make day panel. None of last years U17s or this minors are on the panel. Four of last years panel didn’t make today’s match day 24 namely Cillian Golding Conor Hunt, Basil McLeod and Aaron Murphy another two Nathan Moran and Joe Dawson only make the bench so it looks like a strong group of players. Kuba Callaghan didn’t make tonights 24. Would also like this match day panel increased to 26 like the seniors.

  14. @jp2
    I think its 4 times in 7 days
    U17, ladies, seniors, u20.
    Anyone dare to call them
    U17 Maybe
    Ladies Almost
    Senior Yes
    U20 Ohh

  15. Bit of a bizarre stat. If we beat Galway, we will have won 3 of 4 u21/20 titles including and since 2016.
    Now to check the archives to check when last we did that 🙂

  16. We won four Connaught u21s in a row in 2006-2009.
    3 of 4 in 2001-2004
    3 of 4 in 94-97
    4 of 4 in 83-86
    4 of 4 in 73-76
    3 of 4 70-73
    3 of 4 67-70
    Jese, we tend to produce runs of U21/20 titles.

  17. With those stats it’s hard to believe we were so poor at Senior level during some of those years.

  18. Similar to last year whereby Mayo stroll in the final and the final opponents had to come though a tough battle. Thats advantage Mayo with the game just 1 week away and have every chance of retaining this Connacht title now.

    four Connacht u21s in a row in 2006-2009 and All Ireland in 2006 played a huge role in the Mayo senior team that was consistently competitive 2012 to 2017

  19. Here is an interesting angle. We won the Connaught U21 in 2001, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009 that is 7 Connaught U21 titles in the 9 years prior to exiting the championship to Longford!!
    The 2001 U21’s were 30 in 2010
    The 2009 U21s were 22 in 2010.

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