Cylo-cross cycling league is back

Fri, Oct 31, 2014

After a successful debut league in 2013 the Connacht Cylo-Cross League is back for a second running this year. This year the league will kick off in Ballinrobe with round one being hosted by Western Lakes CC. The five event series is open to all Cycling Ireland licence holders, you can also use any type of bike with the correct tyres, but it is recommended to use a cylo-cross bike. There will be two categories of races for seniors, with a novice race getting underway before the main race.

This year’s series will kick off this coming Sunday, November 2 with round one taking place at the cycling centre, Kilmaine Road, Ballinrobe. The event will get going with a youths’ race at 10am. The 1.5km course will be very technical and twisty, but should be manageable to most. The course is mostly dry, but if there is heavy rain and with heavy usage on the day it could get mucky very quickly. The senior novice race will get under way at 11am and will last for 35 minutes, and the senior A race lasting 50 minutes will get under way at 11.45am. The top three riders in the novice section each week will be moved up to the A grade for the next round of the league. Sign on will be open from 9am on the day and refreshments will be served afterwards in the cycling centre. All entrants are reminded to bring their Cycling Ireland licence.

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Lecarrow date for men from Mayo

Fri, Oct 31, 2014

The Mayo League team who defeated the Roscommon and District League in the Connacht Inter-League Cup in September. Photo: Mayo League

The Mayo League make the trip to the far edge of Roscommon on Sunday where they will face down against the Roscommon and District League in the first round of the Oscar Traynor Trophy at 2pm.

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Veterans face neighbours in quest for victory

Fri, Oct 31, 2014

Old friends: Conor Mortimer at the launch of his book One Sunday, with his former Mayo team-mates, Donal Vaughan, Aidan O'Shea, Seamus O'Shea and Michael Conroy. Photo: Sportsfile.

It may not be officially sanctioned by the GAA anymore, but come Saturday afternoon in Clonberne when Mayo and Galway meet in the final of the Gaelic Masters Series at 2pm, it will be as hotly contested as any game where the right to be declared the best is down for decision.

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These are special times for Ballyhaunis

Fri, Oct 31, 2014

Ballyhaunis GAA club are most certainly on cloud nine at the moment. I can only imagine how tough it is trying to keep the hurling and football teams fresh as they are playing every other week. In all, 10 or so players are representing both teams so some serious negotiating has to be going on between the managers to make sure that the players are fresh for whichever code is on the following weekend. Their hurlers had a fantastic win last Sunday in Athleague and this Sunday it’s the footballers’ turn against tournament favourites St Croan’s in Hyde Park at 2pm. Kiltane’s victory over Boyle last year in Castlebar means it’s an away game for Ballyhaunis. I don’t imagine club officers would have it any other way and love the predicament they are in. Any time you are training for championship matches after the October Bank Holiday weekend means you have at the very least secured a county title for your club, and with wins for both the footballers and hurlers already in the provincial series it can only mean there will be a real adrenaline rush attending training. I experienced it twice as a player; it brings such a feel-good factor around your town or parish to be involved in the championship when the evenings are short. Players are probably and deservedly getting a little spoilt now, gear bags, training tops and polo shirts are more than likely been sponsored and to top it off they are probably been treated to some grub after training, which is ideal for the bonding of the group, that never happens unless you at least win your county title. Ballyhaunis will need to be on top of their game to win in Roscommon.

It will be interesting to see if Achill can put the disappointment of their county junior final loss to Castlebar behind them when they take on Michael Glavey’s of Roscommon in Castlebar also on Sunday at 2pm. It won’t be easy as Michael Glavey’s were a senior team not so long ago and Achill will be a little deflated after their heartbreaking county final defeat. It’s a shame Ballyhaunis and Achill are both playing at the same time as I would have enjoyed watching both games.

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Achill looking to bounce back with victory

Fri, Oct 31, 2014

On Sunday in Elverys MacHale Park in the Connacht Junior Football Championship the Mayo team will be making a longer trek to the home of Mayo football than their opponents from Roscommon. According to the AA’s route planner, it is 46 miles from Achill Head on the far side of the island to MacHale Park, while their opponents on Sunday, Michael Glaveys from Ballinlough area of Roscommon, face a 34 mile journey to the game.

Getting to this stage has also seen both sides take different routes, with Achill progressing to the provincial stage of the competition even after losing their Mayo final at the death thanks to a last gasp Adam Murphy point for Castlebar Mitchels B. But with B teams not allowed to represent their county, the men from the island had to pick themselves up from that defeat and get ready for a crack at Connacht glory. It would not be an unprecedented achievement, with Killala doing just that in 2006 after they had lost to Crossmolina Deel Rovers B in that year’s county final.

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Can Ballyhaunis hit into second Connacht final?

Fri, Oct 31, 2014

Running to victory: Ballyhaunis will be looking to the likes of Kevin Byrne to lead them to victory on Sunday. Photo: Michael Donnelly

These are heady days indeed in Ballyhaunis GAA circles, the east Mayo outfit already have their hurling team in the Connacht Intermediate Championship final thanks to a 2-10 to 1-10 win over Roscommon champions Four Roads last Monday. This Sunday, their intermediate footballers have the chance to join them in the Connacht final when they take on Roscommon side St Croan’s in the home of Rossie football, Dr Hyde Park.

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Celtic look to get on winning ways in local derby

Fri, Oct 24, 2014

Big win needed: Castlebar Celtic’s Emma Hansberry will be hoping her team can pick up a first league win 
of the season on Sunday against Galway WFC

The start of the current Women’s National League could not have got off to a worse start for Castlebar Celtic, after four games the Hoops are pointless and rooted to the bottom of the table as the only side without a point to their names. It is still early days but Adrian Carberry’s women will be hoping they can pick up their first win of the season in the Connacht derby against Galway WFC in Eamonn Deacy Park on Sunday afternoon at 2pm.

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The running man

Fri, Oct 24, 2014

The year 1984 was significant in Irish athletics. It was the year of the Summer Olympics held in Los Angeles. Ireland's John Treacy made history winning silver in the marathon in 2:09:56 - Ireland's 13th Olympic athletics medal. In the 1984 games too it was the first time a women's marathon had been held - Joan Benoit (USA) won in 2:24:52. Just four years before the Dublin Marathon was held for the first time.

For one Christy O'Malley, 1984 was also a significant year. The Carramore native had just turned 18 and in October of that year he ran his first marathon in Dublin finishing in 3:47:00. Christy is a popular member of Mayo AC, and he will reach a unique milestone when he takes part in next week's Dublin City Marathon on Bank Holiday Monday - a race which also incorporated the AAI National Marathon championships. He will be running his 50th marathon and it will also be his one thousandth race to date in an athletics career spanning 30 years. Back in the summer of 1984, Christy was a prominent footballer with Carramore GAA club. His athletics inspiration came from a number of sources. His brother Gerry ran the 1983 Dublin marathon. Both of them had seen TV coverage of the great Dick Hooper (Raheny Shamrock) winning the first Dublin marathon in 1980 and Christy was hugely influenced by that - Dick Hooper is still his athletics hero.

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Will anyone be able to challenge Westport next season

Fri, Oct 24, 2014

There are not many superlatives left to describe how good Westport United have been this season in league and cup competitions in Mayo. A second treble in three years of the Elverys Sports Super League, FCS Cup and Connacht Gold Cup was achieved last Sunday, with a 3-0 win over Ballyheane in the Connacht Gold Cup Final, and with that they went through the entire domestic season, league and cup unbeaten. The only minor blemish on their record was a draw at home to Straide and Foxford United in July. But last weekend it was jut about taking care of business and they did that with ruthless efficiency and killing the game off early thanks to goals from Dave Cameron and Pat Fitzgerald inside the opening 20 minutes, with Philip Keegan rounding off the win before the hour mark.

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Connacht prepare for tough six days as they head to Exeter

Fri, Oct 24, 2014

Connacht, leading pool two, travel to Exeter for Saturday’s second European Challenge Cup fixture to face the top seeds and pool favourites. In their first home fixture, the Chiefs are expecting to come out with all guns blazing to ensure they maintain their push for qualification, and there is little doubt Saturday’s game will present a different challenge than that posed by La Rochelle last weekend.

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Higgins, Boyle and O’Connor get All Star awards

Fri, Oct 24, 2014

For their efforts this summer three Mayo players will pick up All Star awards at tonight’s banquet. The ever reliable Keith Higgins picked up his third All Star in a row for his displays this summer after being selected in the corner back position.

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