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28th Jan 2024

Fergal Boland reminds McStay of his worth with brilliant performance in Mayo’s Salthill stroll

Niall McIntyre

Having been dropped from the Mayo senior football panel last year, Fergal Boland reminded Kevin McStay of his worth with a brilliant performance in their 2-12 to 0-10 win over Galway.

A member of the Mayo panel for many years, the half forward from Aghamore was surprisingly dropped by Kevin McStay in 2023 but he returned with a bang in Mayo’s first round Allianz National Football League win over Galway in Pearse Stadium on Sunday.

Played in typically blustery conditions in the Salthill venue, Mayo started with much more purpose and pace than Galway, and were rewarded for their efforts with a brilliant early goal by wing back Eoghan McLaughlin.

McLaughlin’s direct-running style caused plenty of problems for Galway’s defence, while alongside him, both Paddy Durcan and Sam Callinan also impressed in the Mayo half back line.

Jordan Flynn also impressed for Mayo in their win over Galway

Frees from the other-wise quiet Shane Walsh and the impressive kept Galway in the game, as did the impressive Liam Ó Conghaile, but further Mayo points from Bob Tuohy, Jordan Flynn (two) and Boland (two) helped Mayo into a 1-6 to 0-5 half-time lead.

Mayo began the second half as they’d ended the first, with Boland opening Mayo’s account with his third of the day after a brilliant dummy and strike from 45 yards.

Mayo maintained their momentum well into the second half with a late Cillian O’Connor penalty sealing a comfortable and deserved eight point win.

Boland was one of the many positives Mayo will take from this display. Last year, at a time when he wasn’t on the panel, Boland told us of his intention to return force his way back into the panel ‘as a better player.’

“I wouldn’t be the sort of fella to start arguing or anything, or to cause any conflict,” the Tooreen hurler told us back then.

“He gives you one or two reasons why you’re gone, or let go, and basically it’s up to yourself then.

“It’s up to me now if I want to force my way back onto the panel, it’s as simple as that.

“And you just have to be completely honest with yourself.

“You’re just going to have to get better as a player and play well for your club and then hopefully force your way back next year or whatever.”

He certainly seems to have taken it the right way.

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