The first matches of 2020 involving Mayo teams took place today. Tooreen were in action against Fr O’Neill’s of Cork in the All-Ireland Intermediate club hurling semi-final while the county’s U20 footballers took on Roscommon in the opening round of the Leo Murphy Cup.
Tooreen were ranks outsiders this afternoon against the Cork club at O’Connor Park in Tullamore. Despite this, they battled hard all day and fought back from being 0-10 to 0-5 in arrears at half-time to close the gap to just two points with five minutes left to play.
That was as close as they got, however, as Fr O’Neill’s held their nerve to seal the win by four points on a scoreline of 0-19 to 1-12.
Over in Castlerea, meanwhile, Mike Solan’s U20s took on Roscommon in the U20 Development League, in which this year Mayo are competing for the Leo Murphy Cup. They’re in Group 1 alongside Derry and Donegal as well as today’s opponents.
Early on in this afternoon’s match the Mayo lads looked well on their way to victory. With only five minutes played they were 1-2 to 0-0 in front, the goal coming from full-forward Kuba Callaghan.
The home side steadied the ship between then and the break, however, at which point Mayo’s lead stood at 1-8 to 1-5. A second Roscommon goal soon after the restart altered the game’s complexion and from then until the finish it was the visitors who were battling to get back on terms.
Roscommon looked to have done enough to squeeze home by the minimum margin but then Mayo were awarded a 14-yard free and, with it, the chance to level it up. A tricky one it was too, with sub James Jennings having only a very narrow angle at which to aim. No bother to him he nailed it perfectly.
The match finished all square on a scoreline of 1-13 to 2-10. The U20s’ next outing is this day week when they have a home match against Derry.