Blistering first-half display the difference


NFL DIVISION ONE: Mayo 1-13 Westmeath 0-8:A BLISTERING 10-minute spell from Mayo in the first half when they hit 1-5 without reply sealed Westmeath’s fate and consigned them to their third defeat on the trot at Charlestown yesterday.

Mayo were anxious to get points on the board and it showed in their firs half play in particular as they held the visitors to just two points and hit 1-6 on a day when they would score 1-10 from play.

Conditions were wretched and wintry which did not make for happy viewing for either sets of supporters in a crowd of just under 2,000 but Mayo will be happy to have pulled themselves up from the bottom of the table and were worthy winners on their work rate alone which was outstanding in that first half.

Kevin McLoughlin impressing in the full-back line and Donal Vaughan was another of the under-21 squad to catch the eye as John O’Mahony’s looks to youth to rebuild his team.

The only goal of this game was finished in style by Trevor Mortimer. It came after 19 minutes when scores were hard come by and Westmeath were 0-2 to 0-1 ahead thanks to wing-back Michael Ennis, who got his sides’ openings score on 11 minutes, the same player getting a second point in the second half.

Conor Mortimer replied for Mayo but Denis Glennon, Westmeath’s top man on a day when the injured Dessie Dolan was sorely missed, had his side ahead again before Trevor Mortimer saw his effort crash off the crossbar and back into the arms of Conor Mortimer who provided his brother with a second chance and this time Trevor found the net.

It began a flood of 1-5 from Mayo without reply, Westmeath failing to score for the rest of the half as Mayo went in at the break 1-6 to 0-2 ahead.

Mark Ronaldson, one of the new Mayo players to impress, Conor Mortimer from play, Austin O’Malley and Ronaldson each in turn hit the target as Mayo began to take control in most areas of the pitch.

Mayo drew first blood to go further head inside two minutes of the restart when Mikey Sweeney hit the target but Westmeath did get a second wind and might well have closed the gap further but for some poor finishing.

Mayo regrouped and killed off the game with some excellent scores from Tom Parsons, Ronaldson, substitue Aiden Kilcoyne from a free and Tom Cunniffe, substitute Francis Spollen and Glennon offering token resistance with the final two scores.

MAYO:D Clarke; L O’ Malley, K McLoughlin, D Vaughan; P Gardiner (0-1), T Cunniffe (0-1), A Moran; T Parsons (0-1), R McGarrity; B Kelly, T Mortimer (1-2), M Sweeney (0-1); C Mortimer (0-3), A O’Malley (0-1), M Ronaldson (0-2). Subs:A O’Shea for O’Malley (37 mins, yellow), A Kilcoyne (0-1) for Sweeney (6 mins), S O’Shea for McGarrity (65 mins), C Boyle for A Moran (65 mins), A. Dillon for Ronaldson (67 mins).

WESTMEATH:G Connaughton, F Boyle (0-1), K Gavin, J Keane, M Ennis (0-2), D Heavin, D Harte, D Duffy, N Kilcoyne, E Leonard, P Kelly, C Reilly, K Martin, T McDaneil, D Glennon (0-4 (3f). Subs:P Bannon for Kelly (40 mins), F Spollen (0-1) for Martin (45 mins), D Gilmartin for McDaniel (65 mins), A Claffey for Duffy (67 mins).

Referee:R Hickey (Clare).