Murphy makes mark as Sligo show intent from the start
Kevin Walsh began his fifth year in charge of Sligo by overseeing an efficient victory in a far from testing clash at Ballinode.
With a much-changed Sligo panel on view – former All Star Eamonn O'Hara is one of nine players from last year's squad unable to commit to the 2013 regime – the baton was picked up by established forward Mark Breheny and Niall Murphy, an exciting newcomer.
Breheny notched five points and his tally was matched by Murphy, who, in his second year at this grade, showed well for possession, providing assists for Breheny, twice, and Francis Quinn.
The Michael Moyles-managed IT Sligo were severely depleted – Mark McHugh (Donegal), Kevin Keane (Mayo), Eugene Keating (Cavan) and Tony Taylor (Sligo) were among their absentees.
With their Sigerson Cup tie against NUI Maynooth just weeks away, Moyles was made aware of the work that lies ahead as his charges failed to ruffle Sligo, although Stephen Coen, at corner-forward, was one of a handful who impressed for the students.
Sligo led 0-8 to 0-1 by the 18th minute, their choicest scores coming from Breheny, Murphy and centre-back Mark Quinn, who pointed from long-range.
Points from Coen and Paul O'Connor brought IT Sligo a little closer before the interval, but the winners' half-time lead of five points, 0-8 to 0-3, was never under threat and the winners were 0-14 to 0-3 clear before IT Sligo scored their first point of the second period through Coen's 53rd-minute rasping effort.
SCORERS – Sligo: N Murphy (3f), M Breheny (2f) 0-5 each, F Quinn, M Quinn, A Marren, P Hughes 0-1 each. IT Sligo: S Coen (1f), P O'Connor (1f) 0-2 each, N Costello 0-1.
Sligo – D McCormack; C Harrison, B Kennedy, N Ewing; A McIntyre, M Quinn, K Cawley; S Gilmartin, J Clarke; F Quinn, A Marren, P Hughes; M Breheny, K McDonald, N Murphy. Subs: A Devaney for D McCormack (h-t), B Curran for A Marren (42), E Mullen for J Clarke (46), M Gormley for C Harrison (52).
IT Sligo – A McCallig; R Donovan, D McKernan, B McQuaid; N Hahessy, M Jennings, P Seoige; D Hyland, G Whyte; D Gilsenan, M Forde, D Maye; S Coen, P O'Connor, N Costello. Subs: J Rogers for D Hyland (40), D Lyons for M Jennings (44), D Gallagher for D Maye (53).
Ref – E O'Grady (Leitrim)