Intermediate interest heats up this weekend

GAA: Mayo IFC Round Two

Club ambitions: Chris Barrett will be looking to drive Belmullet to victory this weekend. Photo: Sporsfile.

Club ambitions: Chris Barrett will be looking to drive Belmullet to victory this weekend. Photo: Sporsfile.

Group One

Ardnaree v Ballyhaunis

Saturday, June 17 at 6.30pm

In Ardnaree

Both sides head into this one looking for their first win in the championship to date, with the home side grabbing a morale boosting draw thanks to a late Ronan Doherty goal away to Belmullet in round one and the east Mayo men going down by a single point to Parke in their opener at home. The visitors were relegated from the senior championship last year after two years at the top table, while the hosts are in their second term in the middle grade after finally escaping the junior ranks after a number of near misses in 2015. In the league so far this year, Ardanree are in eighth place in Division 1B with one win, one draw, and three losses from their five games, while Ballyhaunis are in fifth place in the division below with two wins, two draws, and a loss to their name.

Verdict: Ardnaree

Parke v Belmullet

Saturday, June 17 at 7pm

In Parke

The home side got a morale boosting one point win over Ballyhaunis in the last round, thanks to goals from John Cloherty and Ronan Carolan and they have backed that up with some decent league form in Division 1C with three wins, a draw, and a loss leaving them in fourth place just one point off the top in a very tight division. Parke have always given the championship a good cut and this year looks like no different. Belmullet will be disappointed that they were pegged back by a late goal in round one and will be looking to Chris Barrett and Eoin O'Donoghue to keep things tight at the back, while Ryan O'Donoghue is a serious threat up front for them, he chipped in with six points in their championship opener. The north Mayo men are also playing league football at division higher than their hosts and they should have enough.

Verdict: Belmullet

Group Two

Shrule-Glencorrib v Mayo Gaels

Sunday, June 18

In Shrule

The south Mayo men will feel that they pushed Westport harder than anyone last year bringing the eventual champions to a reply in the semi-final of the competition and they will be looking to give it another good go this year. In round one they were involved in a thriller, eventually seeing off Swinford on a scoreline of 1-15 to 1-14 on the road, and will be confident of backing that up at home on Sunday. Mark Ronaldson chipped in with 1-7 in that win and Mayo Gaels will have their hands full trying to keep tabs on him. They come into this one on the back of a big beating at home by Islandeady in round one. It has not been a great league campaign for them either with just a draw in the positive column from their five outings, Adam Gallagher will be expected to lead the charge up front but he will need a lot of help if they are to win this one.

Verdict: Shrule-Glencorrib

Islandeady v Swinford

Sunday, June 18 at 4pm

In Islandeady

The home side are a team and a club on the rise it looks, they had a comprehensive win over Mayo Gaels in round one and have four wins from five in Division 1B in the league. Declan Conway's men will be confident of making home advantage count on Sunday and will be looking to the likes of the experienced Ollie Feeney to shore things up at the back and allow Danny McGowan and Brendan Gibbons to drive them on further up the field. Swinford will feel they should have taken something from their opener against Shrule-Glencorrib where they pushed them all the way at home, but they came up just short Liam Moran hit eight points in that game from the half forward line and Michael Prendergast kicked three, if they can get a similar return the next day it could keep them in contention.

Verict: Islandeady

Group Three

Burrishoole v The Neale

Saturday, June 17 at 5.30pm

In Newport

Two goals from Fintan McManamon was the difference for Burrishoole in round one when they edged out Bonniconlon in north Mayo, the west Mayo outfit reached the last four stage last year and will be looking to take things a step further this year if they can. Having a recognised quality inter-county player in your ranks at this level can mean a lot, and all eyes will be on Jason Doherty and seeing how he performs in attack for the home team. The Neale went down to a six point defeat at home in round one to last years junior champions Louisburgh and know a win is necessary if they want to keep their hopes alive in this year's championship. Aidan O'Sullivan got 1-2 of his side's total of 1-9 last time around and they will need to score more than that this time if they are to take the points.

Verdict: Burrishoole

Louisburgh v Bonniconlon

Sunday, June 18 at 2pm

In Louisburgh

Last year's junior champions will be looking to make it two wins from two this weekend on their return to the middle ground of championship football in the county. They had a good 0-18 to 1-9 win on the road against The Neale in Cong and John Kelly will be looking for his side to hit a similar return at home on Sunday. One of the most impressive aspects of their round one win was the fact that they had 10 different players score on the day, with all six forwards hitting the target for a combined 12 points, with Kevin Gibbons leading the way with four points. Bonniconlon went down to Burrishoole at home in round one and know this is a game they have to win if they want to make the knockout stages, the north Mayo men have been operating at this level for a number of years - but have never made the proper breakthrough for which they have hoped. David Walsh hit 1-4 for them in that loss, but they will be looking for more scores to support his efforts this time.

Verdict: Louisburgh

Group Four

Kiltimagh v Castlebar B

Saturday, June 17 at 5.30pm

In Kiltimagh

This is a must win game for last year's beaten county finalists, they almost came back from the dead in round one - after Moy Davitts looked to have put them to bed midway through the second half, but they showed their true quality in fighting back and making a right game of it down the home stretch going down by just three points in the end, after trailing 1-13 to 0-5 at one stage. Castlebar had an impressive eight point win over Tourmakeady in round one, showing the strength in depth that the club have, with their B team seeing off the A side of a west Mayo rival with ease. Eamon Tiernan, Richie Feeney, and Kevin Filan are all more than capable operators at this level. But the want is probably greater with the home side in this one.

Verdict: Kiltimagh

Tourmakeady v Moy Davitts

Saturday, June 17 at 7pm

In Tourmakeady

The visitors will be looking to back up their round one win over last year's beaten finalists with another big display on Saturday evening when they head to the West Mayo Gaeltacht. The home side hosted the annual festival of football that is the Comortás Peile na Gaeltachta on the June Bank Holiday weekend, but this is the real bread and butter stuff. Another defeat could see them staring down the relegation play-offs and they do not want to end up there this year. Moy Davitts looked to have done all the hard work early in their round one win over Kiltimagh by half time - but they took their foot off the gas and Kilti almost caught them at the death.

Verdict: Moy Davitts

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