McNulty calls for more as clinical Mayo ease past Laois
Mayo 1-11 Laois 0-8
Mayo's promising start to the season continued as they saw off the challenge of Laois at O'Moore Park on Saturday.
In a Division 1 clash which failed to produce much in the way of excitement or cohesive football, Mayo were more clinical in front of goal and ran out deserving winners.
For spells in the first half, Laois didn't look like the relegation candidates many expected them to be. With the wind at their backs and veteran midfielder Padraig Clancy playing at full-forward, they rained long balls down on the Mayo full-back line and earned some reward, but ultimately not enough.
They had enough of the ball to be ahead at the break, but instead found themselves a point in arrears, and the writing was on the wall from then.
Afterwards, Justin McNulty called for an immediate improvement. "The team didn't do themselves justice in terms of the performance. It was a fair enough result, Mayo were deserving winners, and we have to go back to the drawing board to a certain extent to see how we produce a better display than we did today.
"The lads didn't go out to try and play as badly as the team did, but it's something we have to rectify."
Over in the Mayo dressing-room, James Horan was just happy to open with a win as he targets a push for the Division 1 title.
"If you look at the All- Ireland champions over the last 10 years, it's quite evident that the league is now a serious competition and a good indicator of where teams are at, so we want to stay in the league for as long as we possibly can."
Both teams traded early scores before Laois opened up a three-point lead at 0-5 to 0-2, with Clancy playing his part in four of Laois' first five points.
Mayo steadily came back into it though, and when Alan Dillon found Alan Freeman all on his own 14 yards from goal in the 34th minute, his deflected shot wrong-footed Eoin Culliton and nestled in the back of the net to open up a 1-4 to 0-6 lead at the break.
Laois started the second half with three wides, and ran out of ideas in attack as Mayo slowly built up a winning lead. Two points from sub Enda Varley put the seal on a deserved six-point win.
Man of the Match: Alan Freeman (Mayo)
SCORERS -- Mayo: C Mortimer 0-5 (4f), A Freeman 1-2, E Varley 0-2, A Dillon, B Moran 0-1 each. Laois: D Conway 0-4 (3f), R Munnelly 0-2 (1f), J O'Loughlin, D Strong 0-1 each.
MAYO -- D Clarke 6; L Keegan 7, G Cafferkey 6, K Higgins 7; P Gardiner 6, D Vaughan 7, R Feeney 7; S O'Shea 6, P Harte 6; K McLoughlin 7, A Freeman 8, A Dillon 8; C Mortimer 7, B Moran 7, A Moran 6. Subs: E Reilly 6 for Cafferkey (14 inj), J Doherty 6 for Harte (54), E Varley 7 for A Moran (54), D Geraghty 6 for O'Shea (65).
LAOIS -- E Culliton 6; C Healy 8, K Lillis 7, P O'Leary 7; D Strong 5, S Julian 5, C Boyle 5; B Quigley 6, J O'Loughlin 6; R Munnelly 6, K Meaney 5, C Begley 5; P Cahillane 5, P Clancy 7, D Conway 6. Subs: D O'Connor 5 for Cahillane (50), MJ Tierney 5 for Conway (50), B Mulligan 5 for Julian (59).
Ref -- R Hickey (Clare).