Mayo came out on top in a challenge game against Donegal last Saturday morning. It finished 2-11 to 1-19 in the Connacht men’s favour. The challenge game took place at Markievicz Park in Sligo as Mayo prepare for their NFL Division 1 clash with Galway on October 18.
Somewhat surprisingly, James Horan opted against experimentation as just one newcomer featured for Mayo. That player was Westport’s Mark Moran who lined out at centre-forward. He was just one of five Westport men to feature. Likewise, club teammates Lee Keegan, Fionn McDonagh, and Eoghan McLaughlin started the game. Meanwhile, Rory Brickenden came off the bench.
Despite their County Final win, no Knockmore players were called in apart from regular Kevin McLoughlin. He played at centre-back who had McLaughlin and Colm Boyle either side of him. The sight of Boyle will be a welcome one injury concerns earlier in the year.
Lee Keegan was the goal scorer for Mayo. He found the net early as the Mayo men took a 1-3 to 0-1 lead early on. However, the rest of the first half went Donegal’s way. They outscored Mayo 2-7 to 0-5 in that time. Oisin Gallen kicked 1-3 of those for his side. As a result, there just a goal in it at half time at 2-8 to 1-8.
The introduction of James Durcan spurred Mayo into life in the second-half. He scored four points as they won the second half by eight points. Both Cillian O’Connor and Michael Murphy missed penalties in the game. O’Connor in the first-half and Murphy after the break. However, the challenge game win was dampened for Horan as Jason Doherty picked up an injury.
Donegal were without their Naomh Conaill and Kilcar contingent who are in the senior county final. Due to be played next weekend, that tie is now cancelled and the players could go straight into county action.
Donegal play Tyrone in their own National League tie on the 18th.
Robert Hennelly; Oisin Mullin, Chris Barrett, Lee Keegan; Colm Boyle, Kevin McLoughlin, Eoghan McLaughlin; Tom Parsons, Mattie Ruane; Diarmuid O’Connor, Mark Moran, Fionn McDonagh; Cillian O’Connor, Aidan O’Shea, Tommy Conroy. Subs used: James Durcan, Fergal Boland, Rory Brickenden.