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Students teach Mayo

Students teach Mayo a lesson

IT SLIGO     1-10
MAYO            0-9


THE final whistle and the biting cold last night (Wednesday) were probably enough to dispel any lingering hopes among Mayo supporters that John O’Mahony’s return would yield a quick-fix to the county’s football aspirations.
This match will be no water-shed for Mayo’s season but it was a starting point. There was no fanfare, no frills, just the reality that there is a long season ahead.
 "I think it was clear we were fairly rusty out there, that it is a while since we have played football together," the Mayo manager said afterwards.
"There are players coming back from holidays and the rest of it and that was reflected in what we saw out there tonight."
The match itself was keenly-contested up until the 51st minute. IT Sligo led by 0-8 to 0-7 at that juncture but the game-breaking goal proved decisive. It came when Balla’s Alan Costello (who retains the rare ability to deliver crisp, incisive foot-passes) split the Mayo defence with a probing ball. Andy Moran beat Kenneth O’Malley in the race for possession and stepped around the Mayo goalkeeper before smacking the ball to the net.
Donegal’s Michael Doherty and Jamie Murphy from Tuam Stars tagged on points soon after and IT Sligo were 1-10 to 0-7 clear with only five minutes left.
O’Mahony ran his bench throughout the second half and one of the more industrious replacements, Michael Conroy, swung over a fine score from the left wing before Ger Brady added the signature score in the final minute. But IT Sligo held out deservedly.
The sides were level on three occasions in the first half before an Alan Dillon point from play sent Mayo in at the interval leading by 0-4 to 0-3.
Mayo meet Roscommon on Sunday in Ballyhaunis at 2.30pm.

K O’Malley; D Geraghty, J Kilcullen, K Higgins; P Gardiner, D Heaney, E Devenney; R McGarrity, D Brady; A Campbell (0-1), A Dillon (0-4, 2fs), G Brady (0-1); M McNicholas (0-1, 1f), A Kilcoyne, M Mullins (0-1).
Subs used: M Conroy (0-1) for Kilcoyne; J Nallen for Geraghty; T Howley for Higgins (inj); E Casey for Heaney; E Varley for Kilcullen (inj).

P Durcan; S McDermott, A O’Flynn, K Lacey; C Boyle (0-1), B McWeeney, J Murphy (0-1); R O’Connor, J McCarthy; A Moran (1-0), A Costello (0-2, 2fs), E Mulligan; S Purcell, B Regan (0-2), M Doherty (0-3, 2fs).
Subs used: T Costello (0-1) for Mulligan; T Parsons for Purcell; B Solan for McCarthy, K Costello for Doherty.

Referee: E O’Grady (Leitrim)