Mayo ace Sarah Tierney

Mayo ladies show their resilience

Mayo .......................0-11

Westmeath ...............0-7

MAYO ladies senior footballers got their 2018 national league campaign off to a winning start following their victory over Westmeath at Swinford Amenity Park.

While the official scoreline says Mayo won by four points, everyone in the ground except the match official, felt it was a three-point victory. According to the press reporters on duty and supporters from both sides they all had Westmeath down for scoring eight points.

However, the match official, Maggie Farrelly from Cavan, who refereed the All-Ireland final between and Dublin last September, said that Westmeath only scored seven points. Just as well there was more than one-point between the sides at the final whistle.

For new Mayo manager Peter Leahy, who is a native of Westmeath, this was a victory he was very happy to start with as from here on the opposition will get much tougher, especially as the fitness levels of teams improve. He will also have been pleased with the performances of a number of new players who were playing in their first National League game.

Although it was Westmeath who had the games opening score in the fourth minute, Mayo levelled 60 seconds later with a point by Grace Mayo followed this by scoring four unanswered points to lead by 0-5 to 0-2 at the end of the first quarter.

In the second quarter they added two more points to their tally while keeping their opponents scoreless. This left them five in front as they went for the interval break.

On the resumption points were exchanged on two occasions before Grace Kelly found the target twice to extend the Mayo lead to seven points with 13 minutes gone inthe half.

Although Mayo didn't raise another flag after this they stood firm at the back and ended up thedeserving winners by four points, 0-11 to 0-7.

Mayo travel to the Kingdom next weekend where they wil lplay Kerry in round two. This will provide Mayo with a much tougher challenge.

Mayo: R. Kearns, E. Ronayne, S.Tierney, O. Conlon, M. Corbett, N. Moran, S. Larkin, C. McManamon, D. Hughes, A. Gilroy (0-1), S. Cafferkey (0-2), D. Caldwell, N. Kelly (0-3), E. Needham, G. Kelly (0-4).

Subs used: S. Mulvihill (0-1), E. Lowther, K. Sullivan, R. O'Malley, A. Dowling.

Westmeath: K. Walsh, R. Dillon, A. Grimes, N. Feery, A. Jones, S. Dolan (0-1), F. Coyle, K. McDermott, K. Hegarty (0-1), K. Jordan, M. Foley (0-5), F. Claffey, C. Blundell, L. Walsh (0-1), L. McCartan.

Subs used: J. Maher, A. Connolly, A. Alford, C. Kelly.

Referee: M. Farrelly (Cavan).