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Mayo hopes for more medals in the Community GamesStars of the future ready to shine on national stage
Mayo Community Games are back on the road again for weekend number two of the National Community Games festival of sport finals in Athlone. Following the great success of last weekend a further 142 participants go forward to compete in track and field athletics, gymnastics, hurling, and the culture section of the games.
Five teenagers from Castlebar based White Tigers martial arts club are winging their way to San Sebastian in Spain this weekend to represent Ireland in the WAKO European Kickboxing Championships.
Westport United maintained their push for a league title with a 5-1 win over Manulla last Sunday afternoon. Dave Hoban nailed two first half goals along with an unfortunate Keelan McDonnell own goal. Tom Healy’s men were struggling to generate any momentum and in fairness to them they regrouped after the break with Matthew Nolan cutting the gap on 52 minutes. However, the Covies reignited their challenge as goals from Joe Lawless and a close range Vinny O’Malley effort put a seal on the three points on offer.
This time last season Iorras Aontaithe were on the brink of relegation and they needed a moment of magic to spark their season into life. Thankfully they survived and maintained their position in the upper echelons of the Mayo Football League.
The Mayo u21 hurlers head east on Saturday as they enter unchartered waters in the All-Ireland u21B Championship with an away assignment against the Royals in Trim. Mayo have had a progressive season at U21 level this summer, having beaten both Sligo and Roscommon to claim the Connacht GAA u21B title and pick up the Hogan Couriers Cup in the process. The confidence gained from winning their first Connacht u21 title since 2006 was a major bonus to Mayo, as they then overcame Donegal in the All-Ireland quarter final in Letterkenny a fortnight ago. The Westerners came out on top by 1-14 to 1-6 in a physical encounter - the Mayo goal coming from Corey Scahill (Castlebar).
Achill v Louisburgh
Last year Achill came within touching distance of bringing the Pete McDonnell Cup back home from the mainland, when Castlebar Mitchels B pipped them at the post in the junior final. Despite that disappointment the island men shook off that heartbreak a few weeks later and went out and represented Mayo in the Connacht championship and went all the way to the Connacht final, where once again they fell just short when the Aran Islands beat them in a game that was dubbed the All Island final. But the men from the island have dusted themselves down and are back again for another shot at claiming the Mayo junior title.
As Mayo people, it really does not seem to bother us right now because we most definitely dine at the top table in terms of Gaelic football. Not only have the Mayo team won five Nestor cups in a row but more impressively they have qualified for the All-Ireland semi-final five years in a row, beating Donegal twice, Cork twice, and Down in those quarter finals. Two of them, victories against Cork in 2011 and Donegal in 2013, were when they were All Ireland champions.
Mayo defender Kevin Keane will now be eligible to play for Mayo in next weekend's All Ireland semifinal clash with Dublin after winning an appeal against his sending off in the dying stages of Mayo's victory over Donegal in the All Ireland quarter final.
For the second week in a row, the Galway minor hurlers produced a spectacular reaction to adversity when they came from four points down to stun Kilkenny with two late goals, setting up a clash with Tipperary in the All-Ireland final in three weeks.