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The battle for places in the match day 26 was a major factor in getting Mayo ready for their game against Donegal on Saturday. The lack of having a major test ahead of the game was something that many feared could count against Mayo going in against a battle hardened Donegal side, but Cillian O’Connor wasn’t to concerned about it saying after the game. “I don’t think it was really, you can only play what’s in front of you. The Sligo game we put up a big score, but it was tough work for us especially in the forwards. Although we were getting scores and making a big lead it’s still hard, it’s still hard work to do that. We relied heavily then on intensity in training and matches between ourselves and thankfully the competition, especially the last two weeks and three weeks has been massive, especially from the six or seven lads outside the 26, some tough calls had to be made because there are lads flying and training was brilliant coming into the game. You don’t know until you go out and play we had a few good sessions and we felt great coming into it.”
Since the end of the National League campaign, Noel Connelly has become the public face of the Mayo management team when it comes to engaging with the press. On Saturday evening, it was once again the former Mayo captain who came out to face the questions after Mayo booked their place in the final four of the championship with a comfortable win over Donegal in Croke Park.
Lee Keegan said that he “absolutely” meant to loop the ball over Paul Durcan’s head and into the top corner of the net three minutes into the second half. As soon as the green flag was raised by the umpires, Mayo were on their way to a fifth All Ireland semi-final in a row. That goal put seven points between the sides and it was a matter of seeing out the game from there on in.
After last weekend's two mis-matches in the All-Ireland quarter-finals, GAA people are really hoping for some high quality fare this Saturday, when Monaghan take on Tyrone and Connacht champions Mayo face Donegal. The second game is the more attractive fixture by far and following Donegal's 10 point defeat of Galway last weekend, and in particular the way they finished the game, Rory Gallagher's men will feel that they can take down Mayo, as they did in the All-Ireland final of 2012.
Back when Pat Holmes and Noel Connelly took charge of the Mayo u21s for the first time in 2006, Keith Higgins was the man who they entrusted as their leader on the field. When the duo took the reins of the senior team this year it was the Ballyhaunis man they looked to again to be their battlefield commander. Higgins has been one of the finest defenders in the game over the best part of the last decade and he knows despite what others may say about the championship proper only beginning in August, it kicked off in earnest a long time ago. "If you're a Mayo player and you see the draw coming out and you see you've Galway in Salthill, that's where the championship starts no matter how good your record has been the last few years. That's championship stuff and that's what gets you going. You ask the Donegal boys and they'll say the same thing when they'd to play Tyrone in the first round at the end of May. They can't be thinking ahead to August. But August is where you want to be."
For me the championship proper starts tomorrow at Croke Park. What has gone on before is bordering on a joke. Apart from Kildare defeating Cork in a round three qualifier and Cork almost catching Kerry on the hop in the drawn Munster final the rest has been straightforward and in some cases embarrassing. The first year the quarter-finals were introduced the cumulative winning total of the four games was just 11 points, the first two this year yielded a 35 point winning margin for Kerry and Dublin. I have no doubt Kildare would have taken a respectable few points loss to Cork in that qualifier rather than trying to come to terms with that 27 point humiliation at the hands of Kerry last weekend. Who would ever have thought that Kildare footballers would suffer a 19 point and a 27 point hiding from Dublin and Kerry and in the same season knock Cork out? Football has gone crazy.
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The Heaney family’s association with master butchery stretches back more than 300 years. Heaney Meats produces only the highest quality meat which has now become synonymous with the Heaney name.
Quite often, my colleagues and I hear clients say that they have made several job applications but have heard nothing back. The palpable frustration this causes is clear for all to see. It’s an all-too-common problem within the recruitment process but there are ways to reduce the chances of it happening to you. In simple terms – it boils down to you as a job seeker making a connection with someone on the other side of your application, writes Mark McDonald, Career Coach.
The unique ‘Green Tea Chai’ pyramid range from Galway-based Solaris Tea has been shortlisted for the finals of the prestigious Irish Quality Food and Drink Awards. Solaris ‘Green Tea Chai’ was one of almost a thousand product entries which underwent three weeks of tough judging at the Dublin Institute of Technology’s School of Culinary Arts and Food Technology.