By Colm Gannon in MacHale Park
MAYO REACCLIMATISED TO reacclimatised to life in Division Two of the National Football League for the first time since 1997 with a comfortable win over Down in MacHale Park.
James Horan gave a debut to Garrymore’s Enda Hession as he got used to life without a number of players who announced their retirement at the start of the year.
Tommy Conroy put in a staring performance for Horan’s men bagging 1-3 from play and setting up their second goal for Ryan O’Donoghue.
Mayo were in control of the game from the get go and led 1-5 to 0-5 at the first water break with Conroy’s goal coming just before the quarter hour.
He cut in from the right hand side and drove a low shot under Rory Burns after shaking off a tackle from Patrick Murdock.
Mayo kept the scoreboard ticking over up to the interval tagging on five more points, with Matthew Ruane putting in a strong showing in the middle of the park and Cillian O’Connor doing his business from placed balls to go in leading 1-10 to 0-6.
The second half followed the same course with Mayo outscoring their visitors by 1-6 to 0-2 in the third quarter, O’Donoghue grabbed their second goal after Conroy again drove into space before laying the ball across the face of goal for the Belmullet man to finish from close range.
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The final quarter of the game saw a torrential downpour make under foot conditions very tricky and both sides were just as keen to see the game wrap up. The Mourne men did get a goal for their efforts when Stephen McConville fired home after a strong run.
Barry O’Hagan chipped in with a number of good scores for Down over the game, but at the of the day Mayo had just too much for them on their return to Division Two.
Scores for Mayo: Cillian O‘Connor 0-8 (0-7f, 0-1 ’45), Tommy Conroy 1-3, Ryan O’Donoghue 1-1, Matthew Ruane 0-2, Jordan Flynn, Fionn McDonagh, Michael Plunkett, Diarmuid O’Connor (f), Bryan Walsh & Eoghan McLaughlin 0-1 each.
Scores for Down: Barry O’Hagan 0-5 (0-4f), Stephen McConville 1-0, Corey Quinn 0-2 (0-1m), James Guinness, Daniel Guinness, Paul Devlin (f) & Liam Kerr 0-1 each.
1. Rob Hennelly (Breaffy)
2. Enda Hession (Garrymore)
3. Oisin Mullin (Kilmaine)
4. Lee Keegan (Westport)
5. Michael Plunkett (Ballintubber)
6. Paddy Durcan (Castlebar Mitchels)
7. Rory Brickenden (Westport)
8. Matthew Ruane (Breaffy)
9. Diarmuid O’Connor (Ballintubber)
10. Fionn McDonagh (Westport)
11. Kevin McLoughlin (Knockmore)
12. Jordan Flynn (Crossmolina Deel Rovers)
13. Tommy Conroy (The Neale)
14. Cillian O’Connor (Ballintubber)
15. Ryan O’ Donoghue (Belmullet)
21. Eoghan McLaughlin (Westport) for Brickenden
25. Bryan Walsh (Ballintubber) for Flynn
24. Conor Loftus (Belmullet) for McDonagh
22. Stephen Coen (Hollymount-Carramore) for McLoughlin
23. Aiden Orme (Knockmore) for O’Donoghue
20. James McCormack (Claremorris) for Diarmuid O’Connor
18. Colm Boyle (Davitts) for Keegan,
1. Rory Burns (Caislean Uidhilín)
2. Gerard Collins (R.G.U.)
3. Gerard McGovern (Boireann)
4. Patrick Murdock (Cumann Pheadair Naofa)
of the team
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5. Pierce Laverty (Naomh Phadraig Sabhall)
6. Kevin McKernan (Boireann)
7. Jonny Flynn (Loch an Oileain)
8. Ryan McEvoy (Cill Chua)
9. Caloan Mooney (R.G.U.)
10. Ceilium Doherty (Cill Chua)
11. Conor Poland (An Cloch Fhada)
12. Daniel Guinness (Ceathru Aodha Dhuibh)
13. Barry O Hagan (Cluain Daimh)
14. James Guinness (Ceathru Aodha Dhuibh)
15. Corey Quinn (Droichead Mhaigh Eo)
23. Liam Kerr (Boireann) for Doherty
18. Eoghan McCabe (Ceathru Aodha Dhuibh) for Poland
17. Darren O’Hagan (Cluain Daimh) for McKernan
22. Paul Devlin (Cil Chua) for Quinn
21. Liam Middleton (Liatroim) for McEvoy
26.Stephen McConville (Cluain Daimh) for Daniel Guinness
19. Brendan McArdle (Eanach Cluanna) for Murdock
Referee: Fergal Kelly (Longford).
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