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Praise the Lord the Premier League is back. Tuesday night was arguably one of the biggest disappointments Irish football has ever seen and many of the team's supporters need club action to distract them from the awful thought of missing out on football's big jamboree next summer and painting Red Square green.
EXPERIENCED Mayo star Martha Carter admits that she still hasn’t dealt fully with the fall-out from last September’s TG4 All-Ireland ladies senior football final defeat to Dublin.
Mayo Sports Partnership this week launched its new Strategy and Action Plan 2017-2021, the launch took place in Ballinrobe Golf Club and was carried out by Minister for Rural and Community Development, Michael Ring, and Caitheoirleach of Mayo County Council Cllr Richard Finn. Following the successful delivery of its previous two plans 2006 – 2010 and 2010 – 2014 the partnership plans to further deliver on its commitment to the people of Mayo, greater participation in recreational sport by all.
Castlebar Celtic returned to top spot in the Masters League division one on Wednesday night last following a dominant win over Fahy Rovers with Manulla and Ballina also impressing in victory. Manulla opened the evening still smarting from their round three defeat to Srtaide & Foxford United and took their anger out on Ballyhaunis Town. Five goals for Dessie Campbell, a hat-trick from Dermot McNicholas, including a brilliantly executed chip from the edge of the penalty area, and a further goal from Roger Clarke saw the blues run out 9-1 winners. John Guilfoyle grabbed Ballyhaunis only goal of the night.
It was another busy weekend around the courses of the county and this weekend promises another busy weekend as the Winter season kicks into gear.
On the road again, and Longford bound, this time Mustangs were guests to former national league side, Longford Falcons in the Mall Sports Complex in Longford on Wednesday night last.
Fresh from their historic 6-3 win over Instonians in the quarter-final of the All Ireland Junior Cup last weekend, Ballina will go looking to make it five wins from five on the domestic front when they return to action in the Connacht Junior 1A League. So far this season the north Mayo men have been in flying form running up big scores, seeing off Westport 27-7, Galwegians 56-5, and Buccaneers 69-22, the closest that any side has got to them in the league this season is third place Sligo, but Ballina still saw them off 27-19 a month ago. On Sunday they will expect to make it win number five when they take on seventh placed Monivea who have only registered one win so far this season from their four outings.
They were underdogs in most people's minds, but not their own when they went into the county final against Kilmaine, but the warriors from Lahardane were paying no attention to that particular script and they blew away the south Mayo men to claim a historic victory. Now this Sunday they are just an hour away from another historic movement when the face Sligo champions Ballymote in the Connacht Club Junior Football Championship final at 2pm in MacHale Park.
Having had to come through two titanic encounters with Galway champions Kilkerrin/Clonberne - Carnacon's attentions turn north this Sunday when they take on Tyrone and Ulster champions St MacCartans in the All Ireland semi-final in the Red Hand side's home patch at 2pm. The Carnacon girls are looking to make it back to the final of the competition for the first time since 2013 as they go looking to claim their sixth All Ireland title. Since they first claimed an All Ireland title in 2002, the Mayo side have reached the final on eight occasions winning five and losing three times.
The provincial club championships really kicked into life last weekend with some mouth watering games and exhilarating displays in all four Provinces and no question the shock of the club season occurred in Leinster as the mighty St Vincent's were humbled by Wicklow champions Rathnew. Credit to Castlebar Mitchels who qualified for another Connacht club final after getting the job done eventually against Sligo champions Tourlestrane but not without a real scare. Castlebar are not playing with the same fluency and conviction of other years which is slightly worrying from their viewpoint but the most important thing is that they are winning.