So the first piece of silverware for the county in 2017 is in the bag. It came in the form of the Mary McPartland Perpetual Cup, which was the trophy on offer to the winners of today’s U21 North West Cup final played at Markievicz Park. The photo above shows Mayo captain James Lyons being presented with the trophy by the late Mary McPartland’s granddaughter, Mary Kate McPartland.
Mike Solan’s charges won today’s decider with a late, decisive surge. Although they were on top for most of the hour – leading by 1-5 to 0-5 at the break, the goal from Colm Reape – Sligo came back into it in the second half, levelling the tie with a goal from Liam Gaughan before briefly edging in front. After James McCormack restored parity, the Magpies again pointed to lead by one.
The sides were level once more, at 1-9 apiece, with less than ten minutes left on the clock. It was then that our lads made their decisive push for the line, with a goal from Kevin Quinn, a pointed free from James Carr, a point from Ryan O’Donoghue, another free from Carr and finally a goal from O’Donoghue to finish the job.
It must have been tough on a game Sligo team who were right in the hunt with ten minutes to go but ended up losing by eight points in the finish. Rough justice it may, perhaps, have been but it was also surely a reflection of the strength of our finishing surge.
Well done to the lads on claiming the spoils today.
Mayo: Scott Kilker; Marcus Park, Stephen Brennan, Sean Conlon (0-1); Dylan Cannon, Jason Forkan, Gary McHale; James Kelly, James McCormack (0-1); Cathal Hennelly (0-1, free), James Lyons (0-1), Ryan O’Donoghue (1-3); Barry Duffy, James Carr (0-4, three frees), Colm Reape (1-0). Subs: Kevin Quinn (1-1) for Hennelly, Matthew Ruane for Reape, Shairoze Akram for McHale, Mikey Murray for Kelly.