Intermediate hopefuls look to stake their claims

GAA: Mayo IFC Round Two

The race to follow in the footsteps of last year's intermediate champions Moy Davitts will get back underway this weekend across the county.

In group one the action will get underway on Saturday afternoon when Kiltimagh host Mayo Gaels in Gilmartin Park. The home side are flying high at present in division one of the league. The east Mayo men are mixing it well with the big boys of the senior championship and sit in joint second place alongside Breaffy and Garrymore - just two points behind league leaders Castlebar Mitchels with six wins from their nine league games.

In the opening round of the championship they had a hard fought 0-10 to 0-8 win over Ballyhaunis. Their opponents on Saturday were well beaten in their previous championship game where Belmullent saw them off 3-15 to 1-15. They are performing well in division three and are well in the promotion hunt from that division, but they will probably come up short against their hosts this time out.

The other game in this group looks on paper to be another one that will go only one way, Belmullett had a good win last time out in the championship and are sitting in fifth place in division two - while Ballyhaunis are languishing in mid-table in division three. The north Mayo men will be looking to key men like Ryan O'Donoghue, Chirs Barrett and Eoin O'Dononghue to kick them on to a second championship win, while Ballyhaunis will be hoping the likes of Keith Higgins can drive them on, but the north Mayo men look like the better package at this stage.

In group two Burrishoole and Swinford sit at the top of the group after their round one wins over Bonniconlon and Islandeady respectively. On Saturday evening Swinford will be looking to make it two from two when they host Bonniconlon and see themselves move into the last eight of the championship.

They have won ten from ten in the league in division four and look to be building something. Their opponents are playing in a division higher in the league and have won four of their eight games, but their defeat in round one to Burrishoole have put them into the position of really needing to win this one to avoid a relegation dog fight in their last championship outing - but with momentum behind them Swinford could just have enough.

The other game in the group is a repeat of last years quarter-final game where Islandeady saw off Burrishoole to claim a final four spot. Islandeady were surprisingly at the time turned over by Swinford in round one and now head to Newport needing a win to keep their championship hopes alive. The hosts are flying high in the league in division three and sit at the top of that league seven wins from nine, while Islandeady are plying their league trade in a division higher but have picked up just three league wins to date and they may well come up short again this time out.

A real tasty local derby will be the highlight of group three this weekend when The Neale host Ballinrobe on Sunday afternoon in Cong. The visitors ran out a 3-12 to 2-9 win over Ardnaree in round one and will be looking to book their spot in the last eight this weekend against their near neighbours. In the league they have won four from nine in division two - but it is all about trying to get back up to the senior championship for them, after slipping out of the top flight last year.

The homeside drew with Castlebar Mitchels B team in their first round game and will be keen to put one over their neighbours on Sunday in the league, they are playing in division three and are having a so-so season with four wins and four losses in their eight league games to date and they will have to really hit their top form to see off Ballinrobe in this one.

The other game in this group is the meeting of the senior champions second string against Ardnaree. Mitchels are doing very well in division four of the league and their draw with The Neale in round one was a very good result. While Ardnaree were beaten by Ballinrobe in their opener, they will be targeting this one as must win to get their championship ambitions back on track. In the league they are playing in division two and doing ok with four wins and five losses in the league, but with home advantage the men from Sean Duffy Park will be looking for the two points.

In group four last year's junior champions Lahardane will be looking to keep follow up their round one win over Shurle Glenncorrib with another victory this weekend and set them up for a last eight spot. They will host Parke on Sunday and the two sides are level on points in the league in division three with the West Mayo men just holding the advantage on points difference, when the sides met in the league back in April Lahardane edged home in a thriller on a score of 1-15 to 1-14.

In the other game in the group, Louisburgh will welcome Shrule Glencorrib to the sea-side on Sunday and it looks like a home win in this one. The homeside sit in second place in division three with six wins from eight games, while Shrule-Glencorrib are stuck to the bottom of division two in the league with just one win from their nine games coming against a Davitts side who have also just won once this season in the league.

Mayo GAA Intermediate Championship

Group One

Kiltimagh v Mayo Gaels; Saturday August 25 at 4pm in Kiltimagh

Belmullet v Ballyhaunis; Saturday August 25 at 6pm in Tallagh

Group Two

Swinford v Bonniconlon; Saturday August 25 at 6pm in Swinford

Burrishoole v Islandeady; Sunday August 26 at 4pm in Newport

Group Three

The Neale v Ballinrobe; Sunday August 26 at 3pm in The Neale

Ardnaree Sarsfields v Castlebar Mitchels; Sunday August 26 at 3pm

Group Four

Lahardane v Parke KC; Sunday August 26 at 2pm in Bofeenaun

Louisburgh v Shurle-Glencorrib; Sunday August 26 at 3pm in Lousiburgh

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