Veterans McHale and Reilly impress as Mayo beat Leitrim


MAYO opened the defence of their FBD Connacht Football League title with an impressive win over a poor Leitrim side at wet and windy Charlestown yesterday.

The game marked the return to the Mayo colours of Liam McHale who last played when Mayo lost to Leitrim in the 1994 Connacht final. McHale had a huge influence at midfield in the first half, but it was the inspiration of another veteran, 34 year old Tom Reilly, which paved the way for Mayo's interval lead of 14 to 1.

Reilly scored three of those Mayo points from play while an excellent goal from Kevin O'Neil came just on the stroke of half time.

Mayo manager John Maughan will be happy with the team's overall performance and particularly the display of the defence where Pat Holmes did well at full back and under 21 player David Brady excelled at centre half back.

Both P J Loftus and Diarmuid Byrne were introduced to the Mayo attack in the second half and they contributed two good point each.

Leitrim manager John O'Mahony could take little comfort from this game despite the fact that only a handful of regulars featured. Aidan Rooney scored Leitrim's second point of the game 12 minutes into the second half but at that stage Mayo were 1-7 clear.