Photo: Laois Nationalist
Two matches for Mayo teams today and two wins recorded. That makes for a good Saturday in my book.
Despite it still being only April, the hurlers were in championship action this afternoon up in Tyrone. Relegated – by the Rossies to boot – from the Christy Ring Cup last summer, JP Coen’s charges set out today in their new surroundings of the Nicky Rackard Cup in which they faced Tyrone in a Round 1 clash at Carrickmore (which, as the Mayo Advertiser noted the other day, houses the original Nally Stand from Croke Park).
Hurling’s third tier might be regarded as slumming it as far as our lads are concerned but by half-time today, at which point Tyrone led by a point, it was obvious that things weren’t all going our way. This was even more the case when the Red Hands stretched their lead to four points early in the second half.
But we eventually asserted our superiority and did so in the time honoured tradition of bashing in a few goals. Four of them, to be precise, as we ran out convincing 4-19 to 0-17 winners in the end.
It was a much closer run thing for the ladies in their League Division One semi-final against Kerry at Birr this afternoon. The Kingdom made all the running in this one – right from the off, when they goaled with their first attack – and Kerry were well in front at the break, by which time they led by 2-8 to 1-4.
Despite having the wind behind them for the second half, it took a while before the Mayo girls at last began to reel their opponents back in but when they did it was with some gusto. A string of frees from Cora Staunton helped to cut Kerry’s lead back down to a single point and then Sarah Rowe swung over the equaliser with time running out.
Cometh the hour, cometh Cora with a thumping long-range score – her eleventh point of the game, knocked over in the seventh minute of injury time – to clinch a late, late victory. The girls now go on to face Cork in the League decider in two weeks time. That match is scheduled for Parnell Park, up the road from me here, on 7th May. One for the diary, I reckon.