NUI Galway 1-21
Colm Gannon reports from Elverys MacHale Park
A MAKESHIFT MAYO team with ten debutants in their starting line-up got their 2017 season underway with a two point defeat to NUI Galway in MacHale Park this afternoon.
With the majority of the Mayo squad on holidays in South Africa, there was a chance for the All-Ireland finalists to experiment.
In a high scoring encounter the students ran out 1-21 to 2-16 winners, with Mayo’s James Durcan having a goal chance right at the end of the game only to hit it straight at NUIG keeper’ Tadgh O’Malley.
The sides went in locked level at half time on a score of 2-7 to 0-13, with Neil Douglas and Danny Kirby finding the net for Stephen Rochford’s side in the opening half.
The two goals came in a six minute period in the final ten minutes of the half with Douglas hitting the net from the penalty spot after he was fouled by James Kennedy.
The students hit a number of big scores from distance with Enda Tierney and Damien Comer hitting three points each in the opening 35 minutes and Mayo man Adam Gallagher kicking four in an impressive display from the Mayo Abbey club man, which saw him finish up with nine points over the 70 minutes.
Mayo went into an early three point lead after the resumption, but following a flurry of points from the students in reply and a Damien Comer goal on 45 minutes it was case of catch up for Mayo.
With 20 minutes to go, Mayo were reduced to 14 men when Ray O’Malley picked up a second yellow card for a foul on Comer. When the Galway star kicked his fourth point of the day with 52 minutes gone it put the students clear by six points on a score of 1-19 to 2-10.
Mayo pegged the gap back as time ticked on and Neil Douglas tapped over a free three minutes into injury time to cut the gap to two points, but Maurice Sheridan’s men held on for victory.
Scorers for Mayo: Neil Douglas 1-3 (1-0 pen, 0-1f), Fergal Boland 0-4, Liam Irwin (0-3f), Brian Reape 0-3 each, Danny Kirby 1-0, Shane Nally 0-2, Fionan Duffy 0-1.
Scorers for NUI Galway: Adam Gallagher 0-9 (0-5f), Damien Comer 1-4, Michael Daly, Enda Tierney 0-3 each, Matt McClean, Kieran Molloy 0-1 each.
1. Rory Byrne (Castlebar Mitchels)
17. Niall McManamon (Westport)
3. Ray O’Malley (Castlebar Mitchels)
4. Donie Newcombe (Castlebar Mitchels)
5. Brian McDermott (Westport)
6. Eoghan O’Reilly (Castlebar Mitchels)
7. Michal Plunkett (Ballintubber)
8. Shane Nally (Garrymore)
18. Danny Kirby (Castlebar Mitchels)
10. Fionn McDonagh (Westport)
19. Cian Costello (Castlebar Mitchels)
12. Fergal Boland (Aghamore)
13. Liam Irwin (Breaffy)
14. Neil Douglas (Castlebar Mitchels)
15. Brian Reape (Moy Davitts)
20. James Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels) for Irwin (45
21. Jason Forkan (Kiltimagh) for Costello (61)
24. Fionan Duffy (Crossmolina) for Reape (64)
22. Dylan Cannon (Breaffy) for McDermott (66)
23. James McCormack (Claremorris) for McDonagh (66)
25. TJ Byrne (Kiltimagh) for O’Reilly (68)
1. Tadgh O’Malley (Galway)
2. Stephen Brennan (Mayo)
3. James Kennedy (Galway)
4. Aaron O’Connor (Kerry)
5. Kiearn Molloy (Galway)
13. Ruairi Greene (Galway)
7. Enda Boland (Westmeath)
8. Matt Barrett (Galway)
9. Enda Tierney (Galway)
10. Stephen Conroy (Mayo)
11. Michael Daly (Galway)
12. Adam Gallagher (Mayo)
19. Matt McClean (Donegal)
14. Damien Comer (Galway)
15. Owen Gallagher (Antrim)
24. Michael Clarke (Sligo) for Kennedy (half-time)
21. Andrew McCormack (Westmeath) for Boland (40)
17. Kevin Quinn (Mayo) for McClean (57)
22. David McCormack (Westmeath) for Barrett (65)
Elsewhere in the Connacht pre-season competition today, it was a good start for Galway, Roscommon and Leitrim
Sean Armstrong, Fiontain Ó Curraoin and Johnny Duane were all back in action for Galway as they defeated Sligo by 0-13 to 0-10. Barry McHugh kicked 0-7 for the winners against a Sligo team that finished with 14 men.
Roscommon bagged six goals with a 6-21 to 0-14 success over IT Sligo with Andy Glennon (3), Ciaran Murtagh, Shane Killoran and Diarmuid Murtagh also raising green flags.
While Leitrim defeated GMIT by 5-20 to 1-10 with Emlyn Mulligan, Damien Moran, Nevin O’Donnell, Cillian Canning and a Conor Nolan own goal, all finding the net.
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