MAYO kicked off their Under 13 Gaynor campaign this morning at UL against MGL North.
With perfect playing conditions, from the start Mayo knew this would be a tough test against a physically strong MGL side who started brightly, bringing a smart stop from 'Mayo keeper Charlie Benson after three minutes.
Mayo started to get their passing game going with Emma Duffy to the fore and after seven minutes she just failed to find Joanne Gallagher with a through ball.
After nine minutes the excellent Amy Cummins had a long range shot which was easily saved by the MGL 'keeper.
MGL took the lead after 10 minutes after a long through ball was controlled by their striker. Her first attempt was blocked by Suzanne Tuohy but, unfortunately for Mayo, it fell back to her feet she finished well.
MGL were on top now and forced another save from Charlie after 15 minutes. Then Mayo were awarded a free kick around half way and centre-back Aoife Gannon stepped up and she hit a long ball which bounced over the 'keeper to level the scores.
This woke MGL up again and they hit back straight away with a good finish. On 27 minutes they made it 3-1 when a lucky bounce fell to their No. 7 and she slotted home, with nothing Mayo 'keeper Charlie could do about it.
Just before half-time Aoife got another free kick around half way and this time her long ball fell to striker Aoife Gallagher who tucked her left foot shot away with great aplomb.
Half-time 3-2 down but Mayo were still very much in the game. Half-time subs were Katie Heaney for Aoibheen Bilbow and Wiki Kaminska on for Joanne Gallagher.
The second half started with Mayo very much in the ascendancy, playing some great football Wiki Kaminska added some pace to Mayo's attack and this was evident straight away when she raced down the right wing only for her cross to be gathered by the 'keeper.
On the 35th minute Mayo deservedly drew level after a moved started at centre back involved both centre mids, Sarah Gough and Kayla Doherty, who went out wide to Katie Heaney and she slipped a lovely pass to Emma Duffy whose cross shot was handballed in the penalty area, and Kayle stepped up to slot home low to the keeper's left.
At 3-3 it game on and the action was end to end for the next 10 minutes with neither team able to break through.
MGL had the better of the last 10 minutes when Mayo seemed to tire, which was understandable after all the efforts of the first 50 minutes, and MGL capitalised, scoring three goals in this period – their excellent number 7 securing a hat-trick.
Late subs for Mayo were Erin Nash and Sarah King for Wicky and Sarah Gough.
It was a tough start for Mayo against one of the tournament favourites but they showed they can compete with the best and hopefully will get a better result later against Tipperary.