The Mayo Masters travelled to the well kept Corran Park in Ballymoate to play Sligo in their first round of this year’s championship. Mayo played into the breeze in the first half and got off to a good start with Kevin Filan getting the first score of the game from a well earned free in front of the Sligo posts. Both teams played good quality attacking football from the start and traded points throughout the first half leaving the score at half time 0 - 07 to 0 - 06 in favour of the Mayo men.
With the aid of the breeze one would be forgiven for thinking that Mayo might pull away in the second half, however Sligo had other ideas and really took the game to Mayo in the third quarter. There was a feeling that whichever team were to get the first goal it would swing momentum their way and that is exactly what happened. Excellent defending by the Mayo backs managed to stem the tide of the Sligo attack. Upfront the speedy substitute Joe Keane along with Kevin Filan were constant treats for Mayo. Filan was unlucky with his first goal attempt after a lovely one/ two pass from Keane set him up with only the keeper to beat. Unfortunately the ball hit the crossbar but soon after it was Filan again that managed to get on the end of another Mayo attack that eventually saw the ball hit the back of the Sligo net. To their credit Sligo never gave up scoring five points in the second half. The goal and perhaps a slightly higher level of fitness gave the Mayo men the advantage. Best for Mayo was their Captain Pat Mulchrone (kept the former Sligo player and all star Eamon O Hara scoreless), Joe Keane (3 points from play), Kevin Filan (1-02 from play) while Kieran Hastings and midfield pairing of Aidan Higgins and Declan Sweeney covered a huge amount of ground during the game.
Scores for Mayo Joe Keane 0-3, Declan Sweeney 0-1, Kevin Filan 1-07 (5F), Kieran Lavelle 0-1.
Martin Conway, Declan Conway, Brian Hughes, Declan Ryan, Brian Hennelly, Kenneth Mortimer, Pat Mulchrone (Captain), Declan Sweeney, Aidan Higgins, Kieran Hastings, Kevin Filan, Darren Madden, Kieran Lavelle, Danny O Toole, Brian Shaughnessy
Joe Keane, Brendan Horan, Anthony McGarry, John Flannery, James Prenty, Sean McCaughey, Eddie Ball, John Crean, Seamie Maughan, Declan O’Boyle.
Match report; Ollie Mulchrone
Mayo 1 - 12 0 - 11 Sligo