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A battling performance was not enough for our intermediate team as they were defeated by Hollymount/Carramore in the first round of the championship at a sun drenched Hollymount on Saturday evening. The open exchanges were lively with the sides swapping four points in the opening four minutes. The Gaels scores coming from a Danny Burke free and a Shane Lyons effort from play. The Gaels enjoyed the better of the exchanges over the next twenty minutes. Niall Brett pointed a fifty and Kevin Lynch raided from the half backline to kick a great score before Hollymount/Carramore replied from play. A Mallie Byrne free restored the Gaels two point lead, 0-3 to 0-5, after twenty three minutes. The decisive period of the game came in the last five minutes of the half as Hollymount/Carramore rattled off 2-2 with the second coming on the stroke of halftime to give them a six point cushion 2-5 to 0-5. The two goals were particularly soft with the Gaels giving away possession on both occasions. Indeed there could have been a third goal for the home side were it not for a marvellous interception from Paul Mannion.
The second half began as the first ended with Paul Mannion pulling off a fine save in the opening minute. The locals stretched their lead to seven with a point from play. The Gaels then found their spirit and got themselves back into the game. Adam Gallagher pointed from play before a centre by Danny Burke was fisted to the net by Mallie Byrne. Kevin Jordan then fired over a great point to leave two between the sides 2-6 to 1-7. Paul Mannion pulled off another excellent save and from the resulting clearance Adam Gallagher was very unlucky to see his effort come back of the base of the post. This was as close as it got for the Gaels and poor distribution let them down on several occasions. Hollymount/Carramore started dominating the middle third and kicked five points in a row to push eight clear 2-11 to 1-6. It could have been worse but for two more point blank saves by man of the match Paul Mannion. A Danny Burke free briefly stopped the rot but not for long as the home side landed two more from play. A Mallie Byrne free and a Hollymount/Carramore free closed proceedings to leave the final score 2-14 to 1-9.
Best for the Gaels on the evening were Fintan Canavan, Kevin Lynch, Shane Lyons and the outstanding Paul Mannion.
Mayo Gaels team: Paul Mannion, Fintan Canavan, Anthony Byrne, Noel Quinn, Kevin Lynch (0-1), Niall Brett (0-1, 1f), Shane Vahey, Joe Walsh, Paul Walsh, Sean Boyle, Adam Gallagher (0-1), Shane Lyons (0-1), Mallie Byrne (1-2, 2f), Danny Burke (0-2, 2f), Jonathan Morrin. Subs: Kevin Jordan (0-1) for Sean Boyle, Allyn Brett for Noel Quinn, James Fallon for Jonathan Morrin.