Kelly sisters combine for 0-7 as Mayo defeat Westmeath in League opener

Lidl National Football League Division 1, Round 1

MAYO 0-11


Michael Gallagher in Swinford

A much-changed Mayo survived the stern challenge of Westmeath in windswept Swinford today in the opening round of the new campaign.

The Green and Red fielded a large number of new and returning faces and showed enough guile and desire to come through a very stern test.

That said, Westmeath will take a lot from this battle and showed enough today to suggest they’ll be ultra-competitive in every outing.

The wind was in Midlanders’ faces in the opening half but the guests were highly impressive carrying the ball forward, however the Mayo tackling was highly-effective and limited them to just two points in the first session.

Sarah Dolan opened the scoring for the guests in the second minute and Maud Annie Foley doubled their tally midway through the half, but apart from that their scoring chances were limited.

Mayo’s Kelly sisters, Niamh and Grace, were very dangerous close to goal and with Sinead Cafferkey, Sarah Tierney and Aileen Gilroy also catching the eye the Green and Red held a tenuous 0-7 to 0-2 lead at the break.

Mayo were much-improved after the resumption and the arrival of substitute Kathryn Sullivan added to the home armoury greatly.

Grace Kelly continued to cause Westmeath huge difficulties and despite the very best efforts of Maud Annie Foley, Johanna Maher and their colleagues they couldn’t reel in the home side before time ran out.

For new Mayo boss Peter Leahy, this was a significant opening day victory against his native county. 


Mayo; Grace Kelly 0-4 (1f), Niamh Kelly 0-3, Sinead Cafferkey 0-2, Aileen Gilroy and Sarah Mulvihill 0-1 each

Westmeath; Maud Annie Foly 0-4f, Laura Walsh, Karen Hegarty and Sarah Dolan 0-1 each

MAYO: Rachel Kearns; Eilish Roynane, Sarah Tierney, Orla Conlon; Marie Corbett, Noirin Moran, Sadhbh Larkin; Clodagh McManamon, Doireann Hughes; Aileen Gilroy, Sinead Cafferkey, Danielle Caldwell; Niamh Kelly, Emma Needham, Grace Kelly

Subs; Sarah Mulvihill (for Caldwell 24 inj), Kathryn Sullivan and Emma Lowther (for Conlon and Moran ht), Saoirse Ludden (for Needham 36), Rebecca O’Malley (for Ronayne 52), Amy Dowling (for G Kelly 56)

WESTMEATH: Karen Walsh; Rachel Dillon, Amie Giles, Marguerite O’Connor; Laura Brennan, Anna Jones, Fiona Coyle; Karen McDermott, Karen Hegarty; Kelly Boyce Jordan, Maud Annie Foley, Fiona Claffey; Ciara Blundell, Laura Walsh, Lucy McCartan

Subs; Johanna Maher (for Dolan ht), Amy Alford (for Jones 48), Chloe Kelly (for Boyce Jordan 57)

REF: Maggie Farrelly (Cavan)

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