NHL Div 2B: Mayo reign over Royals

February 21, 2016

Mayo's outstanding centre back Gerard McManus closes in on Seanie Geraghty Meath during the NHL Division 2B game at Lomans Park Trim.

Mayo proved too good for Meath in this Allianz NHL Div 2B round two fixture at Trim on Sunday.

Mayo ........ 0-19
Meath ........ 2-9

Mayo finished with four points to spare despite playing into a strong wind after the break to post their second win of the campaign.

JP Coen's men laid the foundations for their second win of the campaign in the first-half when posting 0-15 with the aid of a strong wind.

Mayo subsequently showed sufficient defensive resolve to prevent Meath bridging a nine-point interval deficit, despite lining out with dual player Keith Higgins.

Meath outscored Mayo by 0-4 to 0-1 in the third quarter to cut the gap to five points, 0-16 to 1-8, heading into the latter stages.

That was as good as it got for Martin Ennis' men who managed just two scores in the final quarter and never looked like erasing the interval deficit.

When Shane Boland completed the Mayo tally in the 67th minute, the nearly board read 0-19 to 1-9. Keith Keoghan's stoppage time goal - with assistance from Tom Clarke -

Backed by the strong wind blowing into the town end, Mayo made most of the running in the opening 35 minutes. However, Meath responded to Kenny Feeney's opening point with a goal.

It arrived four minutes in when Neil Heffernan's initial attempt was blocked before Sean Quigley (a late replacment for Timmy Hammersly) finished to the net. That score sustained Meath through the opening 15 minutes during which the sides were tied three times.

At this stage the scores were tied at 1-2 to 0-5 before Mayo - with Kenny Feeney leading the way - tagged on eight points on the bounce to leave it 0-13 to 1-2 after 29 minutes.

A dominant midfield pairing of Eoghan Collins and Ciaran Charlton propelled Mayo to a productive second quarter.

Meath's tactic of playing half-forward Damian Healy as in sweeping role behind midfield didn't appear to be working. Joseph McManus (three) and Sean Regan (two) were other to impress in the Mayo attack.

Jack Regan's 31st minute pointed free ended Meath's 17-minute scoreless spell. Mayo closed out the half with points from Feeney and wing-back Cathal Freeman, his second score of the game.

Mayo - winners over Donegal first time out - lead by six points at the break, 0-15 to 1-3. It didn't seem sufficient to sustain the men in mainly black jerseys. Their resolve proved otherwise.

Mayo - Donal O'Brien; Brian Hunt, Patrick Connell, Adrian Brennan; Austin Lyons, Gerard McManus, Cathal Freeman (0-2); Eoghan Collins, Ciaran Charlton; Joseph McManus (0-3), Shane Boland (0-3), Gary Nolan (0-1); Kenny Feeney (0-7, 5fs), Sean Regan (0-2), Corey Scahill (0-1). Subs - Sean Mulroy for Regan (ht), Kieran Kiely for Lyons (60), John Cotter for Nolan (68), Noel Casey for Collins (70).

Meath - Shane McGann; Shane Whitty, David Donoghue, Stephen Morris; Jack Regan (0-2 fs), Ronan Sherlock, Sean Heavey; Sean Geraghty (0-1), Michael O'Grady; Damian Healy, Joe Keena (0-1 f), Keith Keoghan (1-1); Sean Quigley (1-1), Neil Heffernan, Adam Gannon (0-1). Subs - Tom Clarke (0-1) for O'Grady (31), James Toher (0-1) for Quigley (ht), Ciaran Fitzsimons for Heffernan (ht), Naomhan O'Riordan for Geraghty (ht), Shane Brennan for Gannon (70).

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