Flying the colours from a height

Fri, Aug 01, 2008

The wearing of county jerseys has become extremely fashionable in recent times. It affords the wearer an opportunity to advertise his or her identity in a subtle way that often leads to a conversation about the chances of their team in an upcoming championship encounter. I was descending Croagh Patrick last Thursday morning when I noticed a family bedecked in their county colours. This Fermanagh family was heading for the summit to plant their county colours ahead of the Ulster final replay between Fermanagh and Armagh. Having stopped briefly to engage with them and to offer my best wishes I recognised a striking resemblance of the father of this particular family to that of Marty McGrath, the towering Fermanagh midfielder. He excitedly told me that he was indeed Marty’s brother and, as he would normally travel to climb on Reek Sunday, the clash of fixtures left him with no option but to travel west a few days in advance.

My few prayers and those of thousands of others for Fermanagh could do nothing to stop the juggernaut that is Armagh when they are in mean mode. They have the capacity to smother opposition with their physicality and industrious style of play. Of course they were assisted in this victory by a miss-firing Fermanagh forward line, particularly in the first half when easy scores went a-begging. The beauty of sport is the uncertainty of outcome and that is the reason we have such terrific summer Sundays every year. Fermanagh supporters arrived at Clones last weekend full of hope and expectation that this present crop of players were finally going to land an Ulster title that their efforts over the last four years so richly deserved. Unfortunately for them there was not going to be a fairy tale ending to this romantic journey. However, they have contributed wonderfully so far to this year’s championship campaign and I am sure their loyal supporters will not abandon them next weekend in Croke Park where I expect they can overcome Kildare.

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Mayo look to open the back door

Fri, Aug 01, 2008

With the front door closed by Galway after the Connacht final, Mayo go in search of squeezing themselves through the back door starting with Tyrone tomorrow afternoon. The two-time All Ireland champions, who were kicked to touch at the quarter-final stage of the Ulster championship by Down and have come through the first two rounds of the qualifiers, seeing off Louth and a 13-man Westmeath side last weekend, to arrive in Croke Park with a bit of steam built up.

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Braves gear up for new basketball season

Fri, Aug 01, 2008

The recently reconstituted Ballina Braves Basketball Club is already gearing up for the new basketball season which gets under way in early October. Season tickets for the 2008/09 season will be on sale in the coming weeks. Meanwhile, the club’s Division 1 team will play a tough pre-season challenge game against Scranton University, USA, in Ballina Sport and Leisure Centre on Saturday 9 August at 8pm. This should be an entertaining game and all basketball followers are asked to come along and support the home team which will feature a number of the club’s younger players. Pre-season training is now taking place each Wednesday at 8pm and each Friday at 7pm in the Sport and Leisure Centre and new players are always welcome.

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It’s Westport’s to lose — Kilkelly

Fri, Jul 25, 2008

After this weekend’s round of games in the Mayo league the corner flags and nets can be put away for a couple off weeks around the county as the Mayo League takes its mid-season break. In the Super League most sides will have played at least 15 games, leaving three to play after the break and Castlebar Celtic manager Declan Kilkelly reckons that the league is Westport’s to lose, but he can’t see them doing that. “I knew it was always going to be hard coming in mid-season, but I’m delighted to be back with the club and in the game. It’s been tough though because it’s been all go since then. We’ve had a good few weeks where we’ve been playing Thursday and Saturday or Sunday, that’s not leaving you much time to do anything on the training field. We’re still fighting for the league, but realistically you have to say it’s Westport to lose, they’re top by a point and have two of the bottom three at home in their last three games.”

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Mayo one-two at Cork Week Regatta

Fri, Jul 25, 2008

For a small sailing club to win an event at the prestigious ACC Bank Cork Week Regatta is quite an achievement. For boats from a single club to finish first and second is an outstanding result. That is exactly what happened for Mayo Sailing Club in Cork this year. X-Rated and Roxanne finished first and second respectively in the X332 Class. It’s no wonder the champagne corks popped.

To set the context, Cork Week is the biggest club regatta in Europe. It is the single most important sailing event in the country with 4,000 boats competing for prizes. The event is held every second year. In 2006 X-Rated, owned by John and Gair Gordon, Knockmore, Ballina, was the first boat from Mayo Sailing Club to win her class. This year four X332s from Mayo Sailing Club competed in the class. The racing was tough and challenging, the series was the best of eight races, with one ‘discard’ (the poorest race result is discounted).

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Good scores at clubs around Mayo

Fri, Jul 25, 2008

Castlebar Ladies Golf

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What a wonderful weekend of sport it was

Fri, Jul 25, 2008

The TV licence was worth paying for, if only to have had the benefit of sitting back last weekend to watch some of the greatest sporting moments of the summer. I have to be honest here, I felt rather guilty last Sunday evening having spent the majority of the previous two days watching hurling, football, golf and boxing. I am a farmer’s son and the guilt kicks in automatically if I spend any bit of time indoors on a fine day!

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Tyrone, Donegal, Limerick and Down to advance

Fri, Jul 25, 2008

The wheat is continuing to be separated from the chaff now in the All-Ireland football qualifiers and this Saturday sees four games in Round 2 down for decision.

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Christy Ring Cup semi-final - Day of destiny for Mayo hurlers

Fri, Jul 25, 2008

While many would have been lining the pitches in Breaffy, Shrule, Claremorris, and Burrishoole or easing themselves into watching Joe Canning put ona legendary display but still end up on a losing side last Saturday night, there was a bit of history being made in Aughrim, County Wicklow.

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Mayo Club Championships -Quarter finalists emerge in club championship

Fri, Jul 25, 2008

After a long lay-off there was a hectic weekend of action on the club championship front last weekend, with the quarter-finalsts in the senior competition all being decided. Section A saw Ballintubber join the already qualified Charlestown in the last eight thanks to a 2-12 to 2-8 win over Garrymore. Crossmolina had already navigated their way into the knockout stages of the competition before the last round and it was down to a straight shoot out between Ballinrobe and Knockmore to see who would join them. In a tight battle in Flanagan Park it was the north Mayo men who came out on top.

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