The county’s hurlers this afternoon qualified for the final of the Nicky Rackard Cup. They got the better of Leitrim in today’s semi-final at MacHale Park, winning out by 3-23 to 1-11. They now go on to face Donegal in the decider this day week.
I caught a fair bit of the first half on TG4’s live stream and an even half of hurling it proved to be. Our lads may have been strong favourites to prevail but the visitors gave as good as they got in that opening half, which finished level at 1-8 apiece.
Leitrim hit the front with the game’s opening goal on 13 minutes. A long ball in – which had the appearance of an undercooked attempt at a point – came down in the square and Colm Moreton was on hand to poke it to the net. The ref had a chat with his umpires, which appeared to be about whether or not it was a square ball, but the goal stood.
Just before the first water break, our lads hit back in kind. Brian Morley let fly with venom, the net bulging as we edged in front once more.
Unfortunately, it was only the first half’s action from MacHale Park that I saw, as the live stream failed to emerge along with the teams after the break. Had it done so, the video would have told a tale of increasing Mayo dominance in the second half.
Leitrim did, though, bag the half’s opening score but once Cathal Freeman broke through for our second goal our lads were on the road to victory. Points from Seán Kenny and Shane Boland followed to push us further clear and when Boland grabbed our third goal midway through the half we were eight to the good and cruising.
The pressure now off, the lads started to open up and, with the wind behind them, slotted over a succession of points into the bacon factory end. This swelled our winning margin to eighteen points at the finish.
Donegal also enjoyed a big win in their Rackard semi-final today (as did their footballers over Armagh in the Ulster semi-final). They beat Tyrone at O’Donnell Park, Letterkenny, this afternoon by 3-25 to 1-21.
The Rackard Cup final is scheduled for next Saturday, with fixture details for this western seaboard decider to be confirmed later. Well done to the lads on making it to the final and the best of luck to them in it next weekend.