The last eight of the Mayo GAA Senior Football Championship are now known after this evenings final round of group games. The draw for the quarter finals will take place tomorrow in MacHale Park with four seeded sides, Breaffy, Castlebar Mitchels, Ballintubber and Knockmore and the other quartet of qualifiers, Ballaghaderreen, Aghamore, Garrymore and Crossmolina Deel Rovers.
Defending champions Castlebar Mitchels booked their place with a 1-15 to 0-11 win over Ballina Stephenites. Neil Douglas hit nine points for the defending champions with Aidan Walsh hitting the net. The county town men looked in trouble early on with Ballina leading by 0-6 to 0-2 after the opening 13 minutes, and went in trailing 0-9 to 0-6 at the turn around, Aidan Walsh’s goal just after the restart saw them pull level before they rand out convincing winners outscoring Ballina by 1-9 to 0-2 over the final half an hour. Joining them in the last eight from their group is the former kingpins of the county Crossmolina Deel Rovers who had a huge 4-16 to 2-7 win over Ballinrobe in Crossmolina. The north Mayo men led 3-8 to 1-4 at the turn around and eased their way home in the second half, consigning Ballinrobe to the relegation play-offs before their championship season ends.
Last years beaten finalists Breaffy made it three from three in group one with a 2-11 to 0-11 win over Davitts in Ballindine. The visitors led by 1-6 to 0-4 at the short whistle with Kevin Curry getting the all imporant goal 18 minutes in. Peter Dravins hit their second three pointer in the second half, with Aidan O’Shea putting in a good showing, but Liam Irwin was the main man on the scoreboard kicking seven points over the hour.
Joining them in the last eight is Garrymore who were involved in an epic battle with fellow south Mayo men Garrymore. Jimmy Killeen came to the rescue for Garrymore kicking a levelling point three minutes into injury time to rescue the point for Garrymore. It looked like Garry’ would ease home to victory early in this one leading by 2-5 to 0-2 after 25 minutes, but Claremorris who were battling for pride threw everything at this one and edged in front down the home stretch only for Killeen to hold his nerve at the death.
Ballintubber and Aghamore battled it out in Tooreen for top spot in group two and it was the west Mayo men who came out on top comfortably seeing off their hosts 2-11 to 0-9, with Cillian O’Connor hitting 1-7 for the victors. Ballintubber had to do without the services of Alan Dillion who wasn’t togged but his replacement was a welcome return for all Mayo GAA supporters with Jason Gibbons coming into the side and putting in an excellent shift in the middle of the park for John Feeney and Lydon Reilly’s side. Aghamore’s challenge wasn’t helped when they lost corner back David Kenny to a second yellow card just before the break and right after the restart Ballintubber earned a penalty that was calmly dispatched to the net by O’Connor.
The other game in the group saw Hollymount-Carramore needing a win to stay in contention for a quarter final spot, but Charlestown who’d been very poor in the earlier rounds of the championship stood firm, showing the same good league form they’ve been displaying in recent weeks coming out on top on a score of 1-13 to 2-9, that result saw Charlestown stay out of the relegation play-offs with last years intermediate champions who have also just recently won the top division of league football having to now battle for their survival in the senior ranks in the relegation play-offs.
Ballaghaderreen were the only side who were 100 per cent sure of their place in the knock-out stages before this weekend and they headed to Knockmore looking to top the group, it was the north Mayo men who claimed that spot with a 1-12 to 2-7 win, it was all square at the break with the sides going in on the unusual scoreline of 0-7 to 2-1, with Andy Moran hitting the entire 2-1 for his side in the opening 30 minutes. Both sides go into the hat tomorrow with Knockmore being on the seeded side of the draw. In the other game in the group Kiltane ran out 2-9 to 0-10 winners, with the east Mayo men now having to play-off to avoid relegation to the intermediate grade, two years after winning promotion.
Garrymore 2-13 Claremorris 3-10
Davitts 0-11 Breaffy 2-11
Aghamore 0-8 Ballintubber 2-10
Charlestown Sarsfields 1-13 Hollymount-Carramore 2-9
Castlebar Mitchels 1-15 Ballina Stephenites 0-11
Crossmolina Deel Rovers 4-16 Ballinrobe 2-7
Kiltane 2-10 Ballyhaunis 0-9
Knockmore 1-12 Ballaghaderreen 2-7
Group Winners: Breaffy, Ballintubber, Castlebar, Knockmore
Runners Up: Garrymore, Aghamore, Crossmolina Deel Rovers, Ballaghaderreen
Claremorris, Hollymount-Carramore, Ballinrobe, Ballyhaunis.
Potential Quarter Finals
Breaffy v Aghamore / Crossmolina Deel Rovers / Ballaghaderreen
Ballintubber v Garrymore/ Crossmolina Deel Rovers / Ballaghaderren
Castlebar v Garrymore / Aghamore/ Ballaghaderreen
Knockmore v Garrymore / Aghamore / Crossmolina Deel Rovers.