SOMEBODY STOP ME Mayo’s Oisín Mullin goes past Kildare’s Paul Cribbin during last Saturday’s match. Pic: Sportsfile
ANOTHER week, another memorable performance from the Westport warrior.
Leeroy marked his 139th appearance for Mayo with a trademark display of tight-marking, uncompromising defensive play with a few of his usual forays up the field thrown in for good measure.
Two of those bursts led to a couple of terrific points, including a second half effort off his left football that one ‘C McD’ would have been proud of! We’re not sure how many of Lee’s 8-71 he has scored for Mayo have come via his ciotóg, but we’re fairly sure it’s now a whole pile!
The five-time All Star had 25 possessions in total and held Kildare’s dangerman, Jimmy Hyland, to just two points from play.
We’re not sure how he does it, week after week, but the hope is that Lee keeps doing it for another few weeks at least!
THE man himself would probably be the first to admit that he isn’t a natural full-back, but his vast array of skills means that he is doing a fair job of ‘standing in the gap’ for Mayo.
Daniel Flynn’s height, aerial ability, freakish physical power and pace would cause problems for any defender in the country. But Oisin stuck to his task doggedly and his willingness to break forward, create overlaps, and join the Mayo forwardline meant that he was an attacking weapon as much as a defensive gate-keeper.
The former ‘Young Footballer of the Year’ had 19 possessions in the match, but there was no doubt which of them was the most important.
That would be the time he got on the ball in the 61st minute and drove at three Kildare defenders, spun out of their tackles, played a one-two with Padraig O’Hora, and cracked in the first goal of his Mayo career.
BELIEVE it or not but last Saturday was the first time since Mayo beat Sligo in the Connacht championship 13 months ago that Fergal had played any championship minutes.
So it was no surprise that he came sprinting on like a man who meant business when introduced on 28 minutes as James Horan took off Jason Doherty.
Understandably, it took the Tooreen dual star a while to get up to speed with the pace of the game on his first outing at Croke Park for quite a while.
But once he did, he came roaring into the game in the last quarter, shooting two brilliant long-range points, including the lead score moments after Oisin Mullin’s decisive goal.
Boland also kept the ball moving in the face of Kildare’s packed defence and his ability to pick out a pass and kick a score was invaluable in a match of tight margins.
He had a total of 20 possessions.