Rochford refuses to put 'too much store' on Mayo cruise
Mayo 1-16 IT Sligo 0-8
While winning is always good for a new manager, Stephen Rochford was more impressed by Mayo's application as they chalked up their second win in the Connacht League by easing past IT Sligo at James Stephens Park, Ballina, yesterday.
The win now sees Mayo and Roscommon topping the group and they meet next Sunday in Hyde Park to decide who goes through to the final.
Rochford said that while winning the two games so far was good for building morale and team spirit, the players will need to move up few rungs of the ladder against Roscommon, who have now joined them in Division 1 this season.
"I'm not placing too much store on these results," he said. "Roscommon will be a more realistic test as they are now in Division 1 and we are preparing for two tough opening games in the League, away to Cork and then Dublin.
"But it was good to see some of the things we have been working on in training coming off, and that is the most pleasing aspect."
Newcomers Keith Ruttledge, Darren McHale and Andrew Farrell impressed in a forward line in which all six hit the target. All bar two of the scores came from play, while the experienced Mark Ronaldson put in a man of the match display with four points from play.
Ruttledge, making his second start, was particularly effective in the first half as Mayo took a 0-7 to 0-3 lead in with them at half-time.
The arrival of Tom Parsons, who was stationed at full-forward, Colm Boyle, Lee Keegan and Donal Vaughan added pace to the attack as Mayo launched their assaults from the half-back line.
The game was sealed 15 minutes from time when Kevin McLoughlin poked a gift of a goal to the bottom corner, but Mayo should have bagged at least three other goals.
Adam Traynor, Ray Connolly and Niall Walsh worked hard all day for the students but the Mayo defence never looked like conceding a goal.
Newcomers David Kenny, Shane Nally and Shane McHale caught the eye, while Jason Gibbons put in big performance at midfield, suggesting he may be about to return to regular duty for the National League.
SCORERS - Mayo: K McLoughlin 1-2, M Ronaldson 0-4, J Doherty (2fs) and K Ruttledge 0-3 each, D McHale, T Parsons, A Farrell and C Loftus 0-1 each. IT Sligo: A Traynor 0-5 (4fs), C McGettigan, L Carr and N Walsh 0-1 each.
MAYO - M Flanagan; D Kenny, G Cafferkey, D Harrison; K Higgins, S McHale, S Nally; J Gibbons, C Crowe; K McLoughlin, M Ronaldson, A Farrell; D McHale, J Doherty, K Ruttledge. Subs: L Keegan for K Higgins (45), C Boyle for S Nally (BC, 45), D Vaughan for S McHale (45), T Parsons for A Farrell (51), C Loftus for D McHale (53), P O'Hora for B Harrison (56).
IT SLIGO - J Daly; D McConn, R Gallagher, L Carr; C Surlis, E McGrath, K Donoghue; D McCormack, R Connolly; C Clinton, C McGettigan, C Kenny; K Smullen, N Walsh, A Traynor. Subs: R McGuillion for D McConnon (inj ,20), D O'Reilly for K Smullen (inj, 26), M Kelly for D McCormack (37), M Rock for C Kenny (58).
Ref - S Hehir (Galway).