Tight battle lies ahead in Tuam

Fri, Nov 20, 2015

Next Sunday in Tuam Stadium (2pm) the two best senior club Gaelic football teams in Connacht over the past three years do battle for the Shane McGettigan cup, and the honour of being the 2015 Connacht champions. Corofin are current Connacht and All-Ireland club champions, and they put those titles on the line facing the last team to beat them in championship action two years ago, in Tuam.

An interesting subplot to Sundays joust, is that Corofin manager Stephen Rochford is the only nominee for the vacant Mayo job, and he will probably be in-situ for the FBD league in the green and red colours for early January. Stephen and his management team will know that the challenge they face in three days’ time will be a massive step up on what they have faced over the past few months. Castlebar are without doubt the best squad of players that they have faced since last February, when they beat St. Vincent’s in O’ Connor Park in Tullamore.

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Two out of three the aim for Mitchels

Fri, Nov 20, 2015

Two years ago Castlebar Mitchels travelled to Tuam Stadium as rank underdogs against a Corofin side that were expected to see them off with ease and set up a Connacht final with the then All Ireland champions St Brigid's. But football doesn't always go along expected lines and a dogged and fearless Castlebar Mitchels side, who rode their luck at times early on in that game, ground out a deserved victory to kick-start a journey that went all the way to St Patrick's Day.

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Battle lines drawn ahead of senior showdown

Fri, Nov 20, 2015

The senior Connacht club final has pitted two of the heavyweights of club football against each other when Castlebar Mitchels take on current Connacht and All-Ireland champions Corofin on Sunday in Tuam in what promises to be a mouth watering clash. The Mitchels will need a near perfect ten out of ten performance to dethrone the Galway kingpins.

Castlebar will be more battle hardened after coming through a tough semifinal win over Clann Na Gael while Corofin have breezed their way to this year’s final annihilating Mohill of Leitrim and St Mary’s of Sligo by a whopping cumulative total of 27 points along the way. After nearly getting caught in the Galway quarter-final by Tuam stars, Corofin have steadily improved under the guidance of Mayo manager in waiting Stephen Rochford and recently look back to their brilliant best. It will be a strange scenario for Rochford pitting himself against players from Castlebar he will be managing in a few weeks time. Corofin losing to Castlebar in Tuam in the semifinal two years ago will surely eradicate any form of complacency the Galway men may have, and it will surely inspire them to exact some form of revenge so it is imperative Castlebar are ready from the offset, and unlike their performance against Clann in the semifinal they will need to play consistently well for the entire duration. The bookmakers see this as a foregone conclusion with Corofin priced at 4/11 to win the game while Castlebar are 11/4. I hope we get a cracker and that Castlebar make it three from three for Mayo clubs against the old enemy in Connacht club finals in 2015. It will be tough however.

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History beckons for Hollymout-Carramore

Fri, Nov 13, 2015

They would have never assumed it was was going to be easy, but the willingness to dig out a result when things seemed to be going against them against Melvin Gaels is something that Hollymount-Carramore will have been delighted to have shown on the field a fortnight ago. On Sunday the south Mayo men have the chance to create another little bit of history for themselves when they take on Moycullen to be crowned the intermediate kings of Connacht.

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Ardnaree look to make their mark

Fri, Nov 13, 2015

Ardnaree have had four weeks to drink in the fact that they had finally got back to the promised land of the intermediate championship for next year following their victory over Killala in the Mayo Junior Championship final on October 18. The withdrawal of the Leitrim representatives from the provincial competition gave Ardanree a free pass into Sunday's Connacht final. The form that Ardnaree have shown this year, you would have to assume that they would have booked that passage themselves with ease if they had to play a semi-final, but that is irrevelent and all that matters is the here and now and on Sunday, the Galway junior champions Clifden come calling to MacHale Park.

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Mitchels lay down a marker of intent

Fri, Nov 13, 2015

Castlebar Mitchels qualified for a mouth watering Connacht final clash with All Ireland champions Corofin after a hard fought win over Roscommon Champions Clann Na Gael in Hyde Park last Sunday. It was a classic case of goals win games as The Mitchels pounced for three first half goals that really left the Roscommon outfit with a mountain to climb.

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First half goal glut books Mitchels final spot

Sun, Nov 08, 2015

After the start they got, Castlebar Mitchels made it much harder than it should have been as they booked their place in the Connacht Senior Club Final in a fortnights time with a four point win over Roscommon champions Clann na nGael in Hyde Park on Sunday.

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Plenty to work on for O’Reilly and Mitchels after semi-final win

Sun, Nov 08, 2015

The crowds had well cleared out of the stand in Hyde Park and the TV crew were busy taking apart their rigging, but Castlebar Mitchels joint manager, Declan O’Reilly was still talking football well after his side had booked their place in the Connacht final in a fortnights time. O’Reilly was obviously pleased that his side had sealed their place in the showpiece club game in the provience, but he also admitted he knew there was plenty for his charges to work on over the next two weeks.

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Mitchels look to move things on to the next level

Fri, Nov 06, 2015

After the high of winning their second senior county title in three years, it was back to the mundane business of league football for Castlebar Mitchels last weekend. But they had a job to do and they did it in style hammering Crossmolina Deel Rovers and in the process picking up the senior league title to go with the championship they'd won the week before.

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Hollymount-Carramore come through a classic

Fri, Nov 06, 2015

I went to Elverys McHale Park last weekend expecting to see a whitewash, a landslide victory for Mayo champions Hollymount Carramore against Leitrim champions Melvin Gaels in the Connaught Intermediate final. It surely couldn’t have been anything else, I thought. The South Mayo amalgamation were priced at an unbackable 1/8 to win the game, Melvin Gales were 9/2 and the draw was 14/1. What ensued was far from a landslide.

It was one of the most enthralling, entertaining games you are likely to see in 2015, the Mayo/Dublin drawn semi-final apart. It had superb scores, brilliant defending, a controversial red card and a referee who was like speedy Gonzalez when he went looking for the culprit when he was issuing a card. What made this game so entertaining was the way the pendulum swung on several occasions. Hollymount-Carramore were home and hosed several times only for Melvin Gaels to miraculously claw their way back into the game.

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Feeney picks up hurling award, while footballers wait for big night

Fri, Nov 06, 2015

Mayo and Tooreen hurler Kenny Feeney was rewarded for his displays for Mayo in this years Christy Ring Cup with a place in the Christy Ring Cup Champion 15 selection it was announced this week. The football All Stars team will be announced tonight live on television and a number of Mayo players are in contention to pick up an award. There are seven players nominated for a award they are Keith Higgins, Lee Keegan, Chris Barrett, Tom Parsons, Cillian O'Connor, Diarmuid O'Connor and Aidan O'Shea. Diarmuid O'Connor has also been nominated for young footballer of the year and looks to odds on favourite to follow in the footsteps of his brother Cillian who won the award twice.

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Rochford the sole nominee for senior job

Sun, Nov 01, 2015

There was just one nominee for the vacant position Mayo GAA senior team manager. Nominations for the post closed on Sunday evening and the only nomination recieved was for Stephen Rochford. The Crossmolina native was nominated by his home club Crossmolina Deel Rovers and by Ballinrobe GAA clubs (Rochford lives in Ballinrobe). 

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