Final spots up for grabs on Sunday in junior championship

GAA: Mayo JFC semi-final

John Maughan will be on the sideline for Lahardane this weekend in the Mayo GAA Junior Football Championship semi-finals. Photo: Sportsfile

John Maughan will be on the sideline for Lahardane this weekend in the Mayo GAA Junior Football Championship semi-finals. Photo: Sportsfile

On Sunday in MacHale Park the junior semifinals of the Mayo GAA championship will be played as a double header with the action getting under way at 2pm, with the meeting of Kilmaine and Ballycastle. The north Mayo men booked their place in the final four last Saturday night when they saw off Kilmeena in a quarterfinal replay by five points in terrible weather conditions, their opponents booked their spot in the final four with a big  3-16 to 1-9 quarterfinal win over Killala a few weeks ago.

The south Mayo men will go into the game as favourites to book their spot in the final, but the north Mayo outfit showed that they would be up for the challenge last weekend, and if Fergal Forde, Micheal Forde, and Shane Healy are able to hit the high notes they will not be found wanting in terms of effort or ability. Kilmaine will be looking to the experience of Pat Kelly, Brian Maloney, and Joey Maloney to get them over the line in this one as they look to bounce straight back up to the intermediate grade this year.

VIDEO: MAYO GAA TV

The second game on Sunday is the meeting of last year's beaten finalists Balla and Lahardane at 3.30pm. The two men patrolling the sideline will know each other well with former Mayo manager John Maughan in charge of Lahardane and one of his former charges on the field, Pat Fallon, the man looking to plan Balla's move back up through the grades. Balla booked their spot in Sunday's game with a six point win over Achill last Saturday night in the wind and rain in MacHale Park, they looked very impressive in the first half scoring 10 points, but they only managed to add one more point in the second half — something they know will not be good enough this Sunday. But still with Val Roughneen, Gary McHale, Matthew Flanagan, and Barry Duffy they have plenty of quality, while Lahardane will be looking for Adrian Leonard, who hit 1-11 in their 2-16 to 1-12 quarter-final win over Ballina Stephenites B, to hit those high notes again, along with James Maughan and Barry Leonard to also put in showings if they are to get over the Balla challenge.

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