New York 0-7
LAST Sunday’s FBD Connacht League Final was played in New York just hours after news had broken of the tragic drownings at Inishbofin, so it was no surprise that there was quite a surreal, subdued atmosphere at Rockland GAA club in Orangeburg.
“When the call came through here on Sunday morning, the first instinct was ‘God, how can we go to play a game?’” explained Mayo GAA Chairman James Waldron.
“It was the same with the players, they were all on a downer. But they went out and gave it their best. It was terrible on everybody. We were all in shock.
“On behalf of the County Board, I want to extend our deepest sympathy to the Feeney and McEllin families, the clubs, and everybody associated with them.”
The record books will show that a new-look Mayo XV beat a New York All Stars selection by twelve points in the end, after the sides had been all square at half-time.
Mayo’s manager for the day was Eoin Sweeney, the squad’s well-known physical therapist for the last six years.
The 32-year-old, who is also part of Belmullet’s management team, selected just seven of the Mayo team that started against Longford in the All-Ireland Qualifier back in June.
One of the newcomers was Garrymore’s Jimmy Killeen who weighed in with eight points for the visitors, five of them coming from play.
Mayo led early on by 0-5 to no score but lost their concentration during the second quarter and, by the interval, New York were back on level terms at 0-6 apiece.
Jimmy Killeen (2), Andy Moran, Mark Ronaldson, Aidan O’Shea and Trevor Mortimer (who lined out at midfield alongside Ger McDonagh) were the Mayo scorers.
Armagh native John Murtagh was New York’s leading marksman with five points.
Eoin Sweeney’s stern half-time team-talk seemed to snap Mayo out of their slumber, however, and the tourists went on to shoot thirteen points during the second half.
At the other end of the field, New York could only add one further score and Mayo’s superior fitness and class meant that the margin got wider the longer the match went on.
Jimmy Killeen continued to impress and tacked on a further six points (two from frees), while his club-mate, Enda Varley, nailed three for himself.
Knockmore’s Kevin McLoughlin (2), Trevor Mortimer and substitute Lee Keegan from Westport also got on the scoresheet.
Mayo captain Trevor Mortimer was presented with the FBD League trophy after the match on a day when football was put into perspective by the tragic events which had unfolded back in Ireland.
The Mayo squad, who touched down in New York last Thursday, were due to arrive back into Ireland this morning (Tuesday) at around 7am.
D Clarke; K Keane, G Cafferkey, C Barrett; P Gardiner, T Howley, S Nally; G McDonagh, T Mortimer (0-2); J Killeen (0-8, 3fs), A Moran (0-1), K McLoughlin (0-2); E Varley (0-3), A O’Shea (0-1), M Ronaldson (0-1).
Subs used: K O’Malley for Clarke; L Keegan (0-1) for Nally; K Walsh for Ronaldson; J Burke for Keane.