Draws set up some mouth watering encounters

The focus of all the GAA clubs in Mayo was sharpened this week when the draw for the senior, intermediate and junior football championships were made in MacHale Park. In the senior championship the defending champions Castlebar Mitchels were pitted in a group with two of the heavy hitters from the recent past with Ballina Stephenites and Crossmolina Deel Rovers in the pool with them. Joining those three sides are Ballinrobe who'll fancy their chances of turning over at least one of the former giants.

Last years beaten finalists Breaffy have landed themselves in the south Mayo 'battle royale' group with Davitts who nearly cut Breaffy's run off at the knees before it got going last year, Garrymore and Claremorris making up the four team group. Ballintubber will open their championship run at home to last years intermediate champions Hollymount-Carramore who only finished their season last weekend, the other two sides in the group are the east Mayo heavyweights Charlestown and Aghamore. With Ballintubber on paper, favourites to take at least one of the two last eight spots. the second place in the quarter-final is sure to be a hotly contested one. The final group in the senior championship looks to be another tight affair, Knockmore and Ballaghaderreen look to be the two heavy hitters, but Kiltane and Ballyhaunis won't let them have it all their own way

In the intermediate championship, group one is an east Mayo heavy hitting battle with Kiltimagh, Bohola Moy Davitts and Swinford drawn together with the outsiders from Tourmakeady looking to break up this east Mayo affair and ruffle a few feathers and hope to book a place in the last eight. Shrule-Glenncorrib who were relegated from senior football last year have been pitted with last year's junior champions Ardnaree and Westport with Castlebar Mitchels B making up what should be a very keenly contest group. Group three is another interesting battle with any of the four sides realistically believing they can make in a dent in this years intermediate championship, they foursome of Mayo Gaels, Bonniconlon, Burrishoole and Belmullet will see some serious battles played out over the course of the six games in this group. Last years beaten finalists The Neale will have plenty of tough company to contend with in their group with Kilmaine looking to put the things that went wrong for them last year right and Parke-Keelogues-Crimlin and Islandeady more than capable of knocking the two south Mayo sides out of the competition on their days.

Is this the year that Achill finally make it back out of junior? They've been pitted against Lahardane, Charlestown B and Crossmolina B in group one of the junior championship. In group two, Cill Chomain, Louisburgh and Kilfian will be expected to battle it out for the two spots in the quarter finals, while Ballycroy will be competitive but may struggle to keep up with the other three. The third four team group sees last year's beaten finalists Killala being joined by last year's junior B champions Ballycastle with Kilmeena and Ballintubber B making up a fiercely competitive group. The final group in the junior championship sess Balla and Aadagh joined by Swinford B and Ballina B.

Senior Championship

Group 1: Breaffy, Claremorris, Garrymore, Davitts

Group 2: Ballintubber, Charlestown, Hollymount-Carramore, Aghamore

Group 3: Ballinrobe, Castlebar, Ballina, Crossmolina

Group 4: Ballaghderren, Kiltane, Ballyhaunis, Knockmore

Games to be played the weekend of May 15, June 26 and July 17

Intermediate Championship

Group 1:Kiltimagh, Bohola Moy Davitts, Swinford, Tourmakeady,

Group 2: Shrule-Glencorrib, Ardnaree, Castlebar B, Westport

Group 3: Mayo Gaels, Belmullet, Burrishoole, Bonniconlon

Group 4: The Neale, Islandeady, Kilmaine, Parke-Keelogues-Crimlin

Games to be played the weekend of May 15, June 26 and July 17

Junior Championship

Group 1: Achill, Lahardane, Charlestown B, Crossmolina B

Group 2: Louisbugh, Kilfian, Ballycroy, Cill Chomain

Group 3: Ballycastle, Kilmeena, Killala, Ballintubber B

Group 4: Swinford B, Balla, Ardagh, Ballina B

Games to be played the weekend of May 15, June 26 and July 3

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