James Stephens Park in Ballina was the venue today for the county’s second outing in this year’s pre-season FBD League. A winning run-out it proved to be too with the lads never really troubled at any stage as they ambled to a six-point win over the students. It finished 1-21 to 1-15.
You’ll forgive me, I’m sure, a small bit of parochialism as I feel compelled to salute the appearance in today’s starting line-up of no fewer than three Aghamore lads. I know it’s only a kick-about in January but I can’t recall the club supplying that number of players to a starting fifteen for the county too often (if ever) in the past.
By all accounts, David Kenny (whose second senior appearance this was, having made his debut in the corresponding fixture last year), Fergal Boland (who shot three points from play) and Alan Freeman – whose 1-7 contribution went a long way towards securing the win today – all put in good shifts this afternoon. Hon the parish.
Today’s starting line-up had seven changes from the team that began the match against NUIG last Sunday. In came David Clarke (captaining the side on his home ground – a nice gesture to the All-Star ‘keeper and, perhaps, a straw in the wind about who’ll be between the sticks for us when the serious stuff gets going later on this year), David Kenny, David Drake, Cathal Carolan, Jason Doherty, Evan Regan and Alan Freeman. They replaced Rory Byrne, Niall McManamon, Brian McDermott, Fionn McDonagh, Cian Costello, Neil Douglas and Brian Reape.
During the afternoon, James Durcan and Cian Costello (the latter having started against NUIG) came on, as too did Donal Vaughan (who went off again courtesy of a red card soon after), Cillian O’Connor and Caolan Crowe.
As I mentioned earlier on, I wasn’t anywhere near Ballina myself today so there’s little I can say about the match itself. Colm Gannon of the Mayo Advertiser was there, however, and his match report is here.
This year’s FBD campaign wraps up for us next weekend with the usual January set-to against the Rossies, a match that takes place this year at Kiltoom. We saw a number of the more experienced lads re-introduced to the fray today and there’s a good chance we’ll see some more of them back in action when the team takes the field at the Roscommon venue in a week’s time.
Mayo: David Clarke; David Kenny, Ray O’Malley, Donal Newcombe; David Drake, Eoghan O’Reilly, Michael Plunkett (0-1); Shane Nally, Danny Kirby (0-1); Fergal Boland (0-3), Cathal Carolan (0-1), Jason Doherty; Evan Regan (0-2), Liam Irwin (0-3, one free), Alan Freeman (1-7, six frees). Subs: James Durcan (0-1) for Doherty, Cian Costello (0-2) for Irwin, Donal Vaughan for Drake, Cillian O’Connor for Freeman, Caolan Crowe for O’Reilly.