herald

Thursday 24 January 2019

Mayo march on as Tribesmen tripped up

Galway haven't posted as low a score against their great rivals Mayo since the 1992 replay between the teams.

By that stage they were in the middle of an eight-year famine without a Conancht title. This 1-12 to 1-6 result ensures that the half-way point to matching that stretch will have been reached by next season with little sign of a reversal of fortunes.

There was nothing encouraging about this Galway display. Nothing unless Michael Meehan's return to competitive action after 55 minutes here comes under that heading.

The facts are that Mayo have now won the last five competitive meetings in league and championship between the counties. After one-point wins in the 2009 league and championship Mayo have now kicked on with six-, seven- and eight-point victories over the last 18 months.

To their credit, Mayo put the scare in London behind them and applied themselves impressively, particularly in the third quarter.

Aided by a very strong wind they quickly ate into Galway's rather false four-point lead, 1-5 to 0-4, and had wiped it out to take a one-point lead by the 49th minute.

Only the alert goalkeeping of Adrian Faherty during that storm of Mayo pressure prevented further embarrassment for Galway.

The coup de grâce came in the shape of Alan Freeman's 57th-minute goal. The defeat will obviously bring Tomás ó Flaharta's management into question too, just as a dismal start to the league earlier this year created quite a stir around him.

"We gave some silly ball away and if we got more breaking ball around the middle it might have been different," suggested ó Flaharta.

For Mayo boss James Horan there was quiet satisfaction: "I think we do a lot of good things and there are things we have to improve on. If you put it over the course of the last 10 games, I'd say the trend is on the way up."

WEXFORD cried foul with the referee after Kilkenny secured a flattering 2-19 to 2-13 victory in an enthralling encounter Leinster MHC semi-final at Wexford Park on Saturday.

Wicklow official John Keenan felt the wrath of home fans when he dismissed wing-back Colm Heffernan on a controversial second yellow card offence just before the break, having harshly booked the player within four minutes of the start.

Helped by a great goal from Aidan Nolan, Wexford led 2-10 to 1-8 at the interval, but it was Kevin Kelly who called the tune in the second half as Kilkenny began to flourish in their new-found space.

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