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The Galway footballers will head to Kingspan Breffni Park this Sunday for a 2pm throw-in knowing exactly what is required of them.
An interprovincial that is also top of the table - it does not come much bigger or better for Connacht Rugby. With just five Guinness Pro 12 fixtures remaining, Connacht face Leinster in the Galway Sportsground on Saturday (5.15pm) in front of a capacity 7,300 crowd, live on both TG4 and Sky Sport, and with the world's top referee Nigel Owens in charge.
An interprovincial that is also top of the table - it does not come much bigger or better for Connacht Rugby.
It is another big weekend for Connacht Rugby. Still sitting on top of the Pro 12 table, Connacht are preparing to step it up for the visit of former champions Ospreys to the Sportsground on Saturday (7.35pm).
Mayo based company Team Horizon is celebrating success following the Connacht final of the Ulster Bank Business Achievers Awards. The awards, which took place last month at The Meyrick Hotel, Galway, saw seven other Connacht businesses selected as winners. The eight winners will now progress to the national final in December to compete with winners from Munster, Leinster, and Ulster.
After blitzing their way through Connacht without much fuss the first test of Mayo's credentials from a side outside Connacht will come tomorrow when they square up against Donegal in Croke Park. Mayo joint managers, Noel Connelly and Pat Holmes, announced their starting 15 for the showdown on Tuesday this week, much earlier than they have done for their two other championship games, and the starting line-up showed no changes from the one that started against Sligo in the provincial decider.
This Saturday in Croke Park (6pm) the Galway footballers will have to produce one of their best performances in a few seasons to beat the 2012 All-Ireland champions and 2014 All-Ireland finalists Donegal, in their round four qualifier clash.
The Galway footballers will have to get an early Mass this Sunday morning or have gone on Saturday evening as they face Cavan in Pearse Stadium at the unusual time of 12.45pm as part of an attractive double header with the hurlers who face Cork at 2.30pm.
In the last number of weeks a few big GAA stories have escaped inches in my column because of the drama in the drawn All-Ireland semi final between Mayo and Kerry, the subsequent replay, and last but by no means least, the performance of the referee in that replay. I am putting that to bed now. You have to take your hat off to Jim McGuinness, his philosophies, and his way of thinking. He has his team so well fine tuned it borders on professionalism. He had a five day training camp prior to the Dublin game and the same again in the lead up to Sunday’s All-Ireland final. This all comes at a considerable cost, and along with some players being flown from Dublin to Donegal by helicopter for training it must mean some very generous individual or individuals are bank rolling it (that is of course if it is all true).
At least one wish eventually occurred that I was hoping for as the four provincial winners are through to the semi-finals in the football championship, Mayo and Donegal by the skin of their teeth, Dublin and Kerry in a canter. It seems the day of having an All-Ireland winner that comes through the qualifiers is well and truly gone. Not since Kerry navigated their way in 09 have we had a winner through the back door. For the first time in GAA history the four provincial minor winners are also the same as the four provincial senior winners.