Ronaldson on song in derby duel as NUIG cry foul over new rules
Mark Ronaldson was in inspirational form with seven points, including three from play, as Mayo got their FBD Connacht League campaign off to a winning start against NUIG at Garrymore yesterday.
In what was always a tight game played under the new experimental rules, Mayo's experience pulled them through in the last five minutes.
Towering full-forward Aidan O'Shea was the key player in unlocking the Galway defence, his dominance under the high ball creating the winning chances for Mayo, who lost Keith Higgins on a double yellow card in the closing minutes.
NUIG's top player Sean Armstrong scored six points of his own; the last two, from play and from a free, reduced the gap to the minimum.
However, a superb sideline free from local boy Jimmy Killeen secured the points for the home side, who had squeezed ahead just before half-time from an O'Shea fisted point to lead 0-6 to 0-5.
NUIG put their best foot forward early in the second half to draw level.
However, confusion over the newly introduced mark cost them a point when an effort from substitute Dave O'Gara was ruled out.
And the new hand-pass is unlikely to get the thumbs-up from very frustrated players who took a long time to adjust to the change.
Amid the frustration, debutant Neil Douglas and Ronaldson ensured that Mayo kept their heads in front until the end with scores from play.
SCORERS -- Mayo: M Ronaldson 0-7 (0-4f), N Douglas, J Killeen and, T Mortimer, A O'Shea 0-1 each. NUIG: S Armstrong 0-6 (0-3f, 0-1 '45), G Bradshaw, C Devaney, J Egan 0-1 each.
Mayo: D Clarke; D Vaughan, A Feeney, K Higgins; P Gardiner, T Howley, C Barrett; R McGarrity, T Parsons; A Moran, P Harte, T Mortimer; M Ronaldson, A O'Shea, M Sweeny. Subs: J Killeen for M Sweeney (h-t), K Walsh for T Mortimer (45 mins), N Douglas for Harte (50 mins).
NUIG: L Grant; C O'Connor, D Finnegan, C McDonald; P Domican, K Conroy, C Leyden; D Duffy, P McGee; C Devaney, G Bradshaw, C Kenny; J Egan, J Doherty, S Armstrong. Subs: J O'Brien for Kenny (48 mins) , C Mimnagh for Doherty (50 mins), D O'Gara for Devaney (53 mins).
Ref: L D Hunt (Roscommon.