Challenge: Mayo v Connacht

October 24, 2008
Connacht XV        1-10 Mayo XV            0-11   Just four days after the Mayo SFC season drew to a conclusion, foundation stones were being laid for the 2009 intercounty campaign as a Mayo select XV took on a Connacht side in preparation for their upcoming Interprovincial semi-final, on Thursday evening under lights in Aghamore.   In a tight affair, an opening half goal from Connacht's Alan Dillon was the difference between the sides in the end, but most of the sizable crowd present had come to see if John O'Mahony could unearth new talent for the coming season. The Mayo full-back position was filled on the night by Ger Cafferkey (Ballina) and he acquitted himself well in a fine dual with Barry Moran - who was on the edge of the square for Connacht. Other notable newcomers to the Mayo side were Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore), Brian Gallagher (Claremorris) and Donal Vaughan (Ballinrobe), while the home crowd were treated to two Aghamore players in the Mayo attack - Simon McGuinness and Alan Freeman.   For Connacht, Gareth Bradshaw and Charlie Harrison played with spirit and drive at the back, while the towering Micheal Finneran provided the ball winning height at midfield. Eight Mayo players in total played on the Connacht selection giving manager John O'Mahony a chance to get a 'headstart on the rest' in preparation for 2009, just days after his two-year Mayo management extension.   Mayo are in action again on Sunday, as an Erris XV take on another Mayo XV at 1.30 in Bangor in the Marie Carolan Trust Challenge, while Connacht play Leinster in the Interprovincial semi final on Saturday at 3.30 in Kiltoom.   Mayo: Robert Hennelly (Breaffy); Colm Boyle (Davitts), Ger Cafferkey (Ballina), Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore); Alan Egan (Bonniconlon), Liam O'Malley (Burrishoole), Donal Vaughan (Ballinrobe); James Gill (Westport), Brian Gallagher (Claremorris); Simon McGuinness (Aghamore), Aidan Campbell (Swinford), Aidan Kilcoyne (Knockmore); Alan Durkin (Breaffy), Alan Freeman (Aghamore), Mark Ronaldson (Shrule-Glencorrib). Sub: Kieran Conroy (Shrule-Glencorrib)   Connacht: David Clarke (Mayo); Charlie Harrison (Sligo), Tom Cunniffe (Mayo), Gareth Bradshaw (Galway); Damien Burke (Galway), Diarmud Blake (Galway), James Nallen (Mayo); Pat Harte (Mayo), Micheal Finneran (Roscommon); Peader Gardiner (Mayo), Alan Dillon (Mayo), Emlyn Mulligan (Leitrim); Senan Kilbride (Roscommon), Barry Moran (Mayo), Andy Moran (Mayo). Sub: Philip Greene (Sligo) & Gary Sice (Galway) Ref: Charlie Collins (Lacken)

Most Read Stories