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Following their defeat at the hands of Galway in the Connacht Final at the start of July, the Mayo senior ladies will be looking to get their championship hopes back up and running tomorrow afternoon, when they take on Kildare in the All Ireland Senior Football Championship qualifers in Duggan Park in Ballinasloe at 3.15pm.
After missing out on making it to the last four of the league back in the Spring, it has been a long wait for the Mayo to get to back into competitive action. On Sunday, they are looking to put together back-to-back Connacht titles after dethroning Galway last year and putting an end to the Tribeswomen's quest for a five-in-a-row dreams.
Galway are on a revenge mission when they face old foes Mayo in the Connacht Ladies SFC final in MacHale Park on Sunday (4.30pm).
This time last year the Mayo were riding a crest of a wave seeing off all comers in the league going right up to the final of the competition unbeaten. They followed that up with a good go at the championship, only to come undone in the most cruel of circumstances — a buzzer beating free from Dublin right at the death.
It was third time lucky for the Mayo Ladies last weekend, when they picked up their first win of this year's National Football League with a 3-14 to 0-18 win over Armagh in Clonmore. Mayo will be hoping that five point win will kick start their league campaign up a few gears, following defeats to Galway and Monaghan in the opening two rounds of the competiton.
Last weekend saw the Mayo Ladies' senior side open their account in the National Football League this season with a defeat registered against them, but in the grand scheme of things, with the confirmation that Cora Staunton, Yvonne Byrne, and Martha Carter would be committing to another season in the green and red coming late last week, the result will be forgotten quickly enough.
“At half time we said we’d nothing to lose and to just go out there and have a go” Mayo manger Frank Browne said in the immediate aftermath of his sides heart breaking All Ireland semi-final loss in Cavan on Saturday night.
It has been nine years since Mayo last competed in the All Ireland senior final and seven years since they last took part in a semifinal. On Saturday evening Frank Browne's charges are looking to take another step towards claiming the county's first All Ireland title since 2003.
It will be six weeks since Mayo last took to the field in competitive action in the Connacht final against Galway this weekend. The long lay off is nothing new for this bunch of ladies, who had a similar layoff after their league final defeat to Cork before their championship opener against the Tribeswomen. Going into both of those games Mayo were the underdogs, but on Saturday afternoon they are warm favourites to book their place in the last four of the All Ireland series against beaten Leinster finalists Westmeath.
Hard work, determination and belief along with a fair chunk of skill was what won the day for Mayo in MacHale Park on Sunday afternoon as they claimed their first Connacht senior title in six years with a stunning display against Galway. Mayo manager Frank Browne couldn’t hide the delight with the effort his side put in speaking after the game he told us “It was probably a fair result it was probably touch and go there, early in the first ten to 15 minutes in the first half it took us a while to settle, but then our power and our physicality, our tackling and our hunger took over. But you know what after being beaten four years in a row if you’re not hungry today, you’re coming to the wrong place, all the 50/50 balls all the really tight ones we won. I’d love the people to know just how good a group of people these people are, they are good honest, decent Mayo people and they just so, so wanted this. They ran their legs to stumps out there you know, we got very tired in the last ten minutes you can enjoy it.”