Back on the winning trail

GOALDEN BOY: Trevor Mortimer got Mayo's goal.

GOALDEN BOY: Trevor Mortimer


THE be-all and end-all was quite simple. Two points. Thank you very much. Move onto Kerry. And nothing less was expected or, dare I say it, would be tolerated.

Westmeath came to Charlestown on the back of a hiding at the hands of Derry and with no Dessie Dolan (and Denis Glennon the only championship forward on their front six), Mayo’s injury woes were insignificant in comparison.

Pat Harte, Billy Padden and Barry Moran were all out in advance of the game and while both Ger Cafferkey and Alan Dillon were listed to start in the programme, neither were able to do so.

Cafferkey’s absence was a very late decision – John O’Mahony admitting afterwards that while he had passed a midday fitness test, he tweaked his ankle minutes before the game. All of which meant very little time for Knockmore’s Kevin McLoughlin to get his head around making his Mayo debut. Probably no harm and McLoughlin showed us all the massive potential he has.

Mikie Sweeney started instead of Dillon and the inclusion of both Sweeney and McLoughlin, along with Donal Vaughan, who started at full-back, probably left Under 21 manager Pat Holmes crossing his fingers ahead of next weekend’s championship clash with Galway.

Westmeath started effectively and led 0-2 to 0-1 but their blunt forward line reverted to type for the rest of the half and with Tom Parsons doing well on his home ground in Charlestown, Barry Kelly seeing a lot of ball at wing-forward (and using it well too) and the Shrule trio of Trevor and Conor Mortimer and the excellent Mark Ronaldson all in fine form, we were in control of the game by half-time.

By that stage we were 1-6 to 0-2 in front. Trevor got the goal on 19 minutes. He hit the bar initially, Conor saw the first rebound saved by Gary Connaughton before Trevor cashed in at the second go.

The second half was a formality but Austie O’Malley lost the chance to audition substantially for full-forward, picking up a yellow card early in the second half. He was replaced by another very meaningful option on the edge of the square, eighteen year old Breaffy man Aidan O’Shea. O’Shea was later joined by his brother Seamus, no doubt a proud day for the family.

But let us not read too much into this for one very simple reason. Westmeath were abject. The new rules probably don’t suit their defensive style of play and the fact that Mayo scored 1-10 from play points to a reluctance to tackle by the midlanders. No weaker team will we encounter until we travel to New York in May.

Kerry next will be altogether more educational as to where we stand. Then we’ll know how we’re faring for championship but today’s result was vital if we look at the league in isolation. We stand currently in fourth position on three points. Tyrone, Dublin, Donegal and Westmeath all lie below us. One more win might be enough to see us safe in Division 1 with Donegal now the favourites to go down with Westmeath.


1 Response to “Back on the winning trail”

  1. 1 Willie Joe March 9, 2009 at 4:36 pm

    Hi there and welcome to the expanding world of Mayo GAA bloggers! We’re all nuts, I think, but, then again, without the football we’d never be sane. All the best with the blog and keep up the good work. Regards, WJ.

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